Career Capsule: I have been blessed to work my way from the ground up, and to work with some amazing people and stations along the way. People like Jim McDermott (Spirit FM Network in MO), Mark Pluimer, Jon Hull, Rick McConnell, Jim Houser, Sterling Tarrant, Dean O’Neal, Jim Hoge, John Frost, Tommy Kramer, Ed and Jenn at Smile FM, John Fuller at Focus on the Family, etc. (I am missing mentioning so many names that have been heroes to me.) And then about 15 years ago, I connected with this guy, Bob Augsburg, at WAY-FM. Man, did he have vision! I love vision. His vision of “influence this generation to love and follow Jesus” has been screwing with my head ever since.
Faron, what’s new at WAY-FM?
So, as I mentioned, Bob Augsburg’s vision is certainly one of the big reasons why I joined WAY-FM back in 2002. Bob has been a huge influence on me over the years. Now, Bob has announced that he will be moving back to Nashville, and eventually transitioning later this year to a smaller role, and right now the WAY-FM Board of Directors is searching for his successor to be our next CEO. It is certainly a season of transition for us. We are all praying for our Board and believing that God already has this figured out. In the meantime, I wanted to highlight to our entire industry at what a great job Bob is doing at “finishing strong.” I read a statistic the other day from author Steve Farrar, that said, “ Only 1 in 10 ministry leaders finish strong. A lot of ministry leaders start strong, but very few finish strong.” What a legacy and testimony we have with Bob! He is not done yet. He is still serving at CEO for the next few months, but he is finishing strong! Thank you Bob! What a privilege it has been to serve with Bob over the past 15 years. And, sometimes I mean literally serving. This photo was taken during a WAY-FM “Live it out day” where we worked in the house and yard of a single mom.
What else is new?
Lots of things going on here.
- We are looking for our next great WAY-FM Network Program Director. Find out more at www.wayfm.com/jobs This is such an important leadership role in our ministry. I’m looking for someone who is Passionate, Innovative, Strategic, and Disciplined. (I hope that works as an acronym.)
- We are creating compelling content on the air, and in digital media. I’m excited about all of our content team. We have so many passionate talented people. WAY-FM is part of WAY Media, and we have just as many goals for digital as we do for terrestrial now. Our DJs embrace their role as “content creators.”
- We have hired a Prayer Pastor, because of the thousands of prayer requests that we have been getting. I can’t tell you how excited I am about this. WAY-FM is a ministry first, then a Media Group. By the way, Pastor Dave is our Prayer Pastor, but he is only leading the prayer initiative, but everyone at WAY-FM is participating. We just know that this is part of our calling. If you work for WAY-FM, part of your job is that you pray for our listeners. People have been pouring their hearts out to us, and we are committed to praying for every request that comes in individually, and we’re doing more follow up that ever, too. We know that we are not a church. But we know that this is part of our calling.
What are some unique characteristics of your market?
WAY-FM is unique in that we program as a network, but we customize and localize, and we attempt to be strong, local stations. That means we staff locally, too, and are involved in the local communities, etc. But I also like to think we have put together a Network air talent lineup that is the finest in our industry! Also, our on air position “Uplifting, Upbeat, Real” is very intentional and makes us very unique within our format.
Generally speaking to the industry what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian radio?
Digital Media is the biggest obstacle, but also the biggest opportunity. At WAY Media, we are embracing it as opportunity. My role is Chief Content Officer. And, even though I hate titles, I do fully embrace that my team is the content team, made up content creators, not just DJs and radio programmers. I am so proud to serve a team of incredible content creators who are smarter and more talented than me. What an honor and privilege! I often ask myself, how did I get this gig?