Chattanooga Christian radio station J103 launching nationwide music streaming platform and more business news

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J103 launching nationwide music streaming platform

Chattanooga Christian radio station J103 is launching a nationwide positive music streaming platform.

Partners for Christian Media, Inc. (PCM), a nonprofit ministry in Chattanooga that has operated the J103 radio stations in the Chattanooga area for the past 25 years, is adding a digital music streaming platform Tuesday with a variety of listener options for positive worship, praise and other Christian music. Known as JRadio, the streaming service will offer both a free option with advertisements and a commercial-free subscription model available to listeners for $5.95 a month.

"We believe radio is still king, but we recognize people are listening to music more and more on their phones, computers and other devices while they do work, exercise or other activities," said Brett Ritchey, one of the DJs on J103 who is helping to program the new JRadio music options. "With JRadio, you'll have access to positive music anywhere, between listening at or by downloading the Android or iOS apps."

PCM will continue to operate its broadcast radio stations, WBDX (102.7 FM) in Chattanooga and WJLJ (103.1 FM) in Cleveland, Tennessee, along with a translator (W20BG), on Signal Mountain. The new streaming service and menu options were developed over the past couple of years with the Chattanooga technology company L2D to serve a national audience, Ritchey said. JRadio will offer a collection of expert-programmed stations of all kinds of Christian and positive music.

Bob Lubell, the president and founder of Partners for Christian Media/J103, said he "is thrilled with the new digital platform of JRadio" in meeting the listening trends of today.

"Twenty-five years ago, the youth of America listened to an FM radio with their headphones on an average of 4.5 hours a day," he said. "This generation has gone digital. In order to reach them, so must we!"

Hurricane, holiday push up Chattanooga gas prices

Chattanooga gas prices jumped last week by the steepest weekly rise so far this year due to the storm-related closure of Gulf Coast refineries and anticipated demand from the Labor Day holiday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 170 local service stations released Monday.

But going into the final weekend of the summer, prices at the pump are still 18 cents a gallon below a year ago and Chattanooga fuel prices remain 27 cents a gallon below the U.S. average.

GasBuddy said the average price of a gallon of regular gas in Chattanooga rose 14.1 cents a gallon in the past week to $1.95 per gallon - the highest price since early March.

"Gas prices have reached their highest post-coronavirus level as Hurricane Laura caused Gulf Coast refineries to shut, limiting production as gasoline demand edged higher," said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. "While some may see prices tick higher over the next few days, more decreases are coming to gas prices once Labor Day is over as demand will likely move lower. In addition, the switch back to cheaper winter gasoline will happen in a few weeks, giving more potential downward momentum for prices."

The national average price of gasoline has risen 3.5 cents per gallon in the last week, averaging $2.22 per gallon on Monday.

United drops fee to change tickets

United Airlines says it listened to customers and is dropping an unpopular $200 fee for most people who change a ticket for travel within the United States.

"When we hear from customers about where we can improve, getting rid of fees is often the top request," United CEO Scott Kirby said in a video posted Sunday.

United's move will put pressure on American Airlines and Delta Air Lines to drop their change fees, also $200 on domestic travel. Delta and American said they are waiving change fees for travel affected by the virus through the year's end. Southwest Airlines does not charge change fees, a policy which its CEO says has helped it gain more business.

United said that it eliminated change fees for people who buy a standard or premium economy ticket for U.S. travel.

United also said that it will extend a broad waiver of change fees - including for international travel - through Dec. 31. Customers who pay the lowest fares, called "basic economy," can also change tickets free because of the extended waiver announced Sunday.

And starting in January, it will let customers fly standby for free on other flights the same day as their booked flight.

Stocks fall Monday but up 7% in August

Stocks ended lower on Wall Street's Monday, but the market still closed out August with its fifth monthly gain in a row.

The S&P 500 fell 0.2% after spending much of the day wavering between gains and losses of less than 0.1%. The modest decline, which snapped the index's seven-day winning streak, came as losses in financial, industrial and energy companies outweighed gains in technology stocks.

The benchmark index finished the month with a 7% gain, making it the S&P 500's best August since 1986. The Nasdaq composite, meanwhile, added to its recent string of milestones, closing at an all-time high.

Encouraging economic data as broad swaths of the economy have reopened this summer have helped stoke investor optimism about a recovery.

"People need to be careful here because what we have is an exuberant rally sitting on the foundation of a shaky recovery," said David Kelly, chief global strategist at JPMorgan Funds. He added that there will likely be a market correction "that brings us back down to Earth."

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