Air personality, Speaker, Writer, and Advocate for Single Moms
Career Capsule: I started in broadcast news for WMBD CBS 31 News in Peoria, IL, then became a news anchor for 89.3 KSBJ-Houston, and eventually became the co-host of the afternoon show with Tom Carter, then Jon Hull, then Chuck Pryor. I went on to co-host the morning show at WGTS 91.9 in Washington D.C., and then landed the midday host position for K-LOVE. I am now the host of my own syndicated show, “The Amanda Carroll Show” carried afternoons on Christian FM, and on more than 80 stations across the country and in Canada.
1. Amanda, tell us what’s new with YOU… news, changes, expansion… etc?
I’m expanding beyond radio and excited to plan events specifically to encourage single moms and their families. I’m working on a soon to be published book, “Get Your Brave On”, and always adding more affiliates to my show.
2. How has your show evolved over the years?
I’m proud to deliver a unique product that is beyond your average voicetracked show.. I have added listener interaction through a dedicated phone line. Modern technology has made it possible to sound live and local from anywhere, anytime. I’ve added impactfull features like The Daily Prayer, Big Prayer Tuesday, Get Your Brave On stories, and Minute From The Message, encouragement for your life in a minute or less!
3. What is the best programming advice you’ve been given? The worst?
The best advice I’ve ever been given is to never waste a break. Tommy Kramer drilled into my brain that every time I turn my mic on I have an opportunity to connect with a listener, I will never waste it, even if it’s a six second live over.
The worst piece of advice, hmmm, I have to think long and hard about that one. I was once told I needed to downplay my single mom status. I agreed to keep my position, but I think that’s the worst decision I’ve ever made. It’s harmful to be anything other than yourself. Listeners can see right through a fake personality. I think it’s vital to be your authentic self, who God made you to be. The world is full of too many fake Christians pretending to be perfect. We need more real Christians who admit their mistakes and present themselves with relevant authenticity. I can’t help who I am. I will never back down from that again. It was painful to pretend to be something I was not.
4. Some say more Christian stations in a market the better, do you agree with that, why or why not?
I absolutely agree. Competition makes you better. As a CrossFit athlete I know I am only better when I have an athlete in the gym that is breathing down my neck. If I am out front and don’t have anyone chasing me or anyone to chase, then I ease up. Why would I kill myself in a competition if I my competition was sub par? I ease up because I don’t have to work hard and save my energy.
Oh but if there is a new girl at the gym, and she’s younger, and stronger, I will work myself so hard I am lying in a pool of sweat on the gym floor to show her who is boss and who’s turf she just arrived on. Then I get a bit of a thrill when she discovers that I’m driving home in my minivan to care for my 3 children and she’s going back to the dorm. Competition is vital to moving beyond mediocre and truly making an impact. Bring it. Bring me to compete! I like to win!
5. What is the ONE thing you must have everyday to do your show?
I must have a hard workout that leaves nothing left in my tank, a strong cup of coffee from my Nespresso coffee maker, a freshly sharpened pencil to show prep, and my scoop,it show prep page ready to take on the competition.
6. Where will future Christian radio air talent come from?
That’s a tough question. I’m not sure I have the answer. But, where the current talent came from journalism schools I imagine the future talent will come from bloggers, innovators, and people that are successfully telling stories and making an impact online.
7. Generally speaking to the industry what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian radio?
Well, if I can be honest,the biggest obstacle is the false assumption that live and local is better. I think that quality talent that consistently connects with your target audience trumps live and local every hour of every day. My show is as live and local as possible. I am relevant, have listener interaction, and stay up to date with breaking news events as needed. Listeners don’t need local traffic and weather from their radio station anymore. It’s a waste of time. They would rather be hearing their favorite song. We get that in an instant on our smartphone through push alerts. I don’t sit by the radio anymore to find out if school is cancelled, they text me. I know when it’s going to rain down to the minute thanks to the Weather Channel app. What I need when I’m listening to the radio is a friend to encourage me while I run an insane schedule as a working single parent with three active kids. That’s the host that I want to be.
I also think Christian radio unintentionally talks down to women. We assume our target listener is a married,stay at home mom concerned about safety. Research shows something different. She’s working full time, college educated, and may or may not be married. We don’t need safety tips. We know when to use sunscreen and pack an umbrella. We need encouragement to get us through trying to balance a full time career, children with full time academics and athletic schedules, and the burning desires of our hearts that have not yet been met.
8. Who are your radio heroes and influences? and why?
I got into Christian Radio because of John Rivers and 20 the Countdown Magazine. I vividly remember my mother listening over and over to his special on Rich Mullins after his death. I had been to his last concert with my youth group in Central Illinois. I remember thinking how much that affected my mother, and I wanted to be the type of person that could interview and produce pieces like that. My mother was a huge reason why I got into radio. She was a voice for our local station. I would go with her when she recorded liners and commercials. I thought she was the coolest mom in the universe for that. I wanted to be just like her. So I began making radio shows in my bedroom with my dual deck boom box. Oh yeah, the 80’s rocked. I think there was a lot of Debbie Gibson, New Kids on The Block, and Tiffany on those shows. I even wrote the commercials.