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Glenn Hascall

KHYM Meade, KS Station Manager and
Owner/Moderator for Fellowship of Christian Broadcasters

A Higher Expectation




I've been at this radio thing for nearly 30 years and the expectation level for radio has increased to an almost unbelievable level.

An air shift and personal appearance schedule was not uncommon then. Sure, we had to record things on an ancient device known as a reel to reel machine. Multi-track recording means recording several tracks at the same time, which gave rise to audio aerobics. We ran a board live with carts, reels and records.

Fast forward to today. Most stations are dealing with a smaller staff and higher expectations. Sometimes a live show is abandoned in favor of voice tracking so staff members can manage duties such as website development, video creation, and connecting with listeners via social media. Radio is in need of graphic designers, promotions talent, producers, programmers – and sometimes one person manages all these things.

This new environment is the outgrowth of an online mentality. Your listeners are used to information and entertainment on demand. They don't want to see you fail, but they have high expectations. They are aware that if you can't supply what they need they can acquire what they want with a few clicks and keystrokes. These has bred an environment of fickle loyalty, which means more work to keep connected with listeners (both potential and actual).


The Internet has opened up the world to a listener who throught they were satisfied with hearing about life through what they heard on your radio station. Strangely, once they get a taste for more they don't want to go back to simply listening. They want a value added experience. If you talk about a cute dog story you saw online they want a link to join you there. If you talk about a new video from an artist they will want to watch it. If you were at an event they want to see the results. If you feature news they want to be able to refer to it later online.

Your listeners also want to see you as approachable and human. Social media like Facebook can make that happen, but staff members need to be trained in what you determine to be appropriate and innappropriate in staff postings. You will also need to determine if you are willing to allow your staff to involve themselves in social media while on the job. This will all come down to whether you believe this is a tool that can help you achieve your goals or a waste of a staff member's time.

Take a look at box stores like Target. They didn't used to sell groceries – today they do. Stores are challenging the way they are perceived. They are diversifying and offering more to their customers. Sometimes the results are mixed, but they are intentional about maintaining – and growing – a connection between their franchise and the consumer. Blockbuster is an example of a business that was too little, too late in this goal.


How we view ministry has to change, too. We should be ministry first and radio second. How do we minister best? And where does radio fit into that goal? Can we diversify into areas we have not been traditionally known for? How does the Internet help or hinder what we are doing in ministry? Is your vision for what you do willing to grow beyond your region? Are you simply holding on hoping something good happens soon? Or are you intentional about bringing your ministry message to others in new ways?

There are no easy answers to the transition that seems forced upon Christian broadcasters, yet the greatest success stories are among those saying, “Where is the Lord working, and how do I plug what we do into that work?” This may mean connecting with other ministries to reach a mutual goal.

Online, offline, and in line with His dream for you. Pray hard – and follow. He, too has higher expectations.


Glenn Hascall is station manager for KHYM and moderator of the Fellowship of Christian Broadcasters email and Facebook forum. Winner of multiple broadcasting awards including a Gold Addy, Telly Finalist for documentary work as well as multiple state awards.