Music Director/Web Master
Career Capsule: I started in Radio at Southwestern College in Winfield, KS as the student manger from 07-11 for KSWC (pop). Went to work as the News Director/Web Master/Marketing at KSOK FM/KSOK AM in Arkansas, Kansas (Country/Classic Country) from 11-12. Started as Music Director/Web Master for KJIL FM Meade, KS from 12-present.
As a young boy I always wanted to be in radio, when I was five, a station started it’s first day on the air, that station was KJIL out of Meade, KS. I was in awe and wonder with the music and the DJ’s and of course Adventures in Odyssey! As I grew, a teacher told my 5th Grade class to call a professional of the job you want to be in, and see what it takes to become that. I called KJIL right way and talked to the then afternoon DJ, Michael Luskey. Mike took the time to tell me all the classes I should take in college and etc. I, later, went to college, got my degree in Radio/TV/Film, and did whatever I could to get into radio. I went from Pop to Country, but I continued to feel God tugging on my heart to get into Christian Radio. I would apply and apply but there wan’t any open spots in Eastern Kansas. One weekend, God would waken me and lay on my heart to try to apply at KJIL. I was sure there was no room for me there, so I would dismiss it. On the third day I awoke sick and couldn’t go to work. I decided to finally just check www.kjil.com. To my amazement the afternoon DJ I had talked to many years ago was now the CEO. I shot him an email, and low and behold there was a opening as MD. I have been there ever since. It will be four years in December. Praise God!
- Blake, Tell us what’s new with KJIL… news, changes, & with YOU… etc?
KJIL is getting ready for it’s 25 year anniversary, well actually we just turned 24, but we are getting ready for next year with a DC Cruise Give-a-way, starting first quarter of 2017. We just finished with our Morning Show Olympics with using Facebook Live, and saw huge numbers through that (check it out here https://www.facebook.com/kjilradio/videos ) For what is new for me, well I’m getting married September 17th to my beautiful bride. Then for a honeymoon in NYC! (Which I’m sure I’ll get lost at least 300 times, pray for me!)
2. What is your typical day like regarding getting ready to go on the air?
I’m a member of our Morning Show team with Michael Luskey and Delvin Kinser. I start my day with a breakfast sandwich, a devotional, and a computer. Part of my job in the morning show is to find all the trending topics from Facebook, Twitter, and Google Trends and from there I put together quick 30 second prep topics for talking points for the boys. Beyond that it’s vocal warms and prayer before we go live.
3. What is the best programming advice you’ve been given? The worst?
The best programming (and life) advice I ever received was to start each day saying “I know nothing.” And to treat the rest of your day learning and taking pointers and not being set your ways, because if you follow “knowing nothing,” you have no set ways. Ha! The worst advice? A country music announcer once told me to smoke, a lot, because my voice is too high. I didn’t and he still thinks I was wrong for not doing so.
4. Some say more Christian stations in a market the better, do you agree with that, why or why not?
I think asking if more Christian Stations in the Market is a loaded question. Mostly because we are told to spread the gospel and the message of forgiveness to every tongue and every generation and nation. So in that sense, yes it’s great to have so many options for the listeners. But on the other end of the stick, so to speak, with so many stations makes it hard for the listeners to connect to a station in a family like way. With so many stations it makes where loyalty is much harder to come by. Giving becomes that thing a few times a year where the station you listen to changes completely to ask to do just that, give. Growing up in the listening area I now work I see how when there’s only two to three different stations in a market place makes such a difference. People think they are family here, and feel ownership, so much, to the point in the past 24 years in business here, we have yet to do a true share-a-thon here. We are super blessed. And we thank God for that everyday.
5. What is the ONE thing you must have everyday to do your show?
Food and water, Don’t think for one second that listeners can’t hear your stomach growl. Because they can, and will, call you and tell you to eat. Haha.
6. Where will future Christian radio air talent come from?
If I am any example, I would say your listener base will be your on air talent in the future. The kids in the backseat of the car will pick up everything you say when you are talking to “Becky.” They will hear the great music and how God has used the topics you bring up to change your life, and few of them will want to do what you do. Encourage them, and you never know, you may end up working with them in the future!
7. Generally speaking to the industry what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian radio?
What I see is the biggest obstacles in the industry is choice and giving. With Spotify, iTunes, Pandora, and so much more they listener has some choices on music. Not alot admittedly, but enough to feel in control. So in future we, in radio, may have to think of a way to give that freedom but still be the Station/Ministry that you want to be without being lost in the Blue Ocean. Also my generation and younger needs a cause or a goal to give to. Just look how much Kickstarter makes with sometimes the strangest things! My generation wants to help and they want something to show that they gave. It’s a completely different way to think about asking for support, but it may be something we all have to change to get those listeners in the future.
8. Who are your radio heroes and influences? and why?
I love story tellers, like Paul Harvey and others. The ones that made you lean in and just listen for hours. That type of broadcast as heavily influenced what I say on that air and in print.