Career Capsule: She began her radio career at the early age of seventeen at Dolly Parton’s radio station WDLY in Pigeon Forge Tennessee. Andrea quickly found herself working at 107.7 WIVK in Knoxville TN. which held the #1 market share in the country at the time. Before moving to Dallas, Andrea had a brief stint at the Top 40 station Star 93.1 as Music Director and Mid-Day personality. Andrea is considered a veteran in the radio industry with over 26 years experience including 19 years in a top 5 market. She is part of a team that has received 6 Marconi Awards for excellence in broadcasting from NAB, she has been voted “On Air Personality of the Year” by Program Director.Net and “Radio Person of the Day” by Radio Daily News. Andrea has a great passion for life and people. She loves traveling and catching a round of golf with her husband Mike on the weekends.
- Andrea, Tell us what’s new with your show… news, changes, & with YOU… etc?
We are having a blast with Night Light™ and seeing historically high ratings for the show! Our team at KLTY, Salem Music Network and our affiliates continue to brainstorm ideas for the show so we can see continued growth and reach more people. Nights are filled with a lot of energy, fun topics, inspiring stories and connecting with the heart in an authentic way. The live connection at night is truly the heartbeat of the show. I just love connecting with people from all over the country and sharing life with them. We are family!
2016 had its challenges personally. My mom struggled with addiction and other illnesses for most of her adult life and she lost the battle in January. I’m so thankful God gave me the strength and compassion to be by my mom’s side the final two weeks of her life. That was a true gift of grace and mercy. A short time after, our team at KLTY lost a beloved coworker of nearly 20 years. God has been faithful through the loss this year and has given me some wonderful opportunities to inspire others.
2. What is your typical day like regarding getting ready to go on the air?
A typical day starts on my way into the station. My drive into work is my alone time with God. This time is so important because we never know who will be calling the show and what issues they might be facing. I want to be spiritually prepared for the opportunity to handle those different situations. I arrive at the studio 1 ½ -2 hours before the show and this preparation is key to get ready for a 5 hour show like Night Light™. I spend time editing calls, loading imaging, scheduling social media, returning listener calls, taking care of my KLTY responsibilities and also taking care of the network and our affiliates. Fortunately I have a home studio as well where I can do some prep if I needed.
Best advice: Don’t assume when you open up the microphone that the people listening have heard the station before. Treat each break like you are “new” to the audience. The essence of who you are as a personality and station should be conveyed in every break, promo, sweeper, music etc.…
Worst advice: Don’t eat dark chocolate before or during your show. That is the worst advice I’ve ever heard!
4. What is the ONE thing you must have every day to do your show?
Amazing Callers!I hear from dozens of listeners in every show, and they bring such amazing stories and relatable life experiences that most of our core listeners would say connects with their lives. It’s a privilege to share their stories!
5. Where will future Christian radio air talent come from?
As I mentor area college students, I’m seeing a big uptick in podcasting. They love it and are totally into the idea of creating their own content. I’m convinced this will be where we find up and coming talent. Many young people already have huge followings on social media and they are finding their niche. This will translate to terrestrial radio because not only will they have a following but they will have experience creating new and fresh shows. We will need this going forward as an industry. I encourage radio vets to come along side young talent and help them make the transition into On Air Personalities.
6. Generally speaking to the industry what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian radio?
I’m going to reword this question to “Generally speaking to the industry what are the biggest OPPORTUNITIES facing Christian radio?” I believe this is an exciting time for radio. We have an opportunity to take big risks on developing radio SHOWS not “shifts”. It’s important to understand the differences between the two. Radio will either be a jukebox or radio will continue to invest in great programmers, talented personalities and the content they deliver. Those decisions within our industry collectively will determine the future.
7. Who are your radio heroes and influences? and why?
It goes without saying that I work with an extraordinary and talented team at KLTY and Salem. I feel blessed just to be in the room with such a special group of broadcasters. Chuck Finney early on taught me the importance and skill of connecting with the heart of our listeners. My current program director, Mike Prendergast, continues that great coaching but also was pivotal in identifying the proper lengths of breaks to help us reach #1 in the W25-54 demo in Dallas. Also, for the past few years I’ve been able to attend CMB’s Momentum in Orlando. Michelle Younkman and her team have done an excellent job of bringing the industry together. It’s refreshing to hear the passion and the commitment that so many have for our format. Hats off to everyone!!