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Radio Interview
 

Dan Vallie

President

Founder Vallie Richards Donovan Consulting / Founder National Radio Talent System

To contact Dan click here

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Dan's Career Capsule
Dan is a 42 year broadcast veteran. He founded Vallie Richards Donovan Consulting in 1988, a premiere radio consulting firm with a clientele over the years that could be a list of who's who of broadcast companies.  The firm has worked with most of the major broadcast groups and in the majority of rated markets in America.

Last year Dan founded the National Radio Talent System, to be a system of Radio Talent Institutes on college campuses all across America, funded by individual broadcasters, broadcast groups and organizations. The program debuted with rave reviews from the industry and to date, 70% of the students completing the program have begun their career in radio or a related field. For decades the industry has been talking about the need for and asking where do we find the next generation of talent, finally we have the answer in the National Radio Talent System. 



1. Describe your consultancy?

I'm glad to say that Vallie Richards Donovan is now in its 26th year. We  began the firm in 1988. We have seen many other consulting companies come and go.  We are proud to have had a record of successful clients and clients that continue seeing value in our relationship.  It's performance and service that makes any company successful. I'm glad we can deliver that.  But most important is our clients success. 

Over the years we have worked with the great majority of the leading broadcast groups at any given time. We either do now or have worked in every size market from NYC to market 272  Brunswick, Georgia.

In regard to Christian radio we are proud to have worked with leading Christian broadcasters including starting The Fish format with Salem and naming that format, and working with Focus on the Family and others.    

 

2. Christian radio has experienced a lot growth in some markets recently, what would you attribute that too?

Well, many of us remember when Christian radio was not as sophisticated or as professional as many Christian stations are today. Christian radio has simply stepped up its game in recent years.  The best Christian stations strive to be not only a great Christian radio station, but a great radio station overall, and that makes the stations competitive with secular market stations.

Today the talent is better, the music is better....the best stations deliver a quality product over all. 

 

3. Do you believe (CCM) Christian radio can be mass appeal? (explain)

That is a broad question. Its obvious that in some markets CCM stations perform like mass appeal radio stations with great ratings success. And I still think that can happen in more markets than it does. And it can be done without compromising the message and mission of Christian radio. But along with the product comes the marketing and promotion, the consistency and commitment to a high standard.

We have more successful CCM stations today than ever before, I see no reason that can't keep growing.  

 

4. How do you think multiple Christian radio stations in a market affects each station overall?

It depends on how the stations position themselves, but overall if the product is good I believe the old saying "that a rising tide lifts all ships."  You can see that today with top forty radio. Just a few years ago there was only one top forty in each market, now in many markets there is more than one top forty and they still have success.

 

5. What is one thing you wish would change in Christian radio?

"Change" may not be the word, but its the same thing I hope for in all radio formats and that is to commit to excellence, strive for greatness and high quality. Don't just get in  routine and be so busy that the product sort of goes on auto pilot. I believe we can produce most stations, better, coach the talent to be better, make better eye contact with the listener, endear ourselves more to the listener, and raise the bar in every aspect of the station....and that includes servicing listeners and clients and being very product and listener focused.  By doing that we will generate not only better ratings but more revenue and continue to not only compete but outperform expectations.      

 

6. Do you think it's good for Christian Record labels to help Christian radio promotionally?

As long as it is done in a legal and ethical manner. Working together the radio and record community can help grow the awareness and appeal of Christian music and Christian radio and Christianity.

 

7. What are the biggest obstacles facing Christian radio?

See the answer to number five for that.

 

8. Why do you think there are still many large markets without a CCM station?

That answer usually comes down to revenue potential.  If a company believes that a CCM station can generate as much or more revenue than another format, then they are more likely to do the CCM format. Its simply a business decision.  There are always companies that would prefer not doing some formats because they don't think they are good at it, simply don't like a format, and again, most of that is based on revenue potential.

The other way that will happen of course is if a Christian broadcast company buys into those markets.

 

9. What (if any) Christian radio stations do you consider as innovators today?

Too much of a loaded question. In the past when I have answered that question I realized later I should have mentioned someone that I didn't. So I will pass on that and just say there is no reason that any good company, programmer etc can't be an innovator if they commit to it.

 

10. Where do you see Christian radio  in 5 years?

Continuing to grow. More audience, more stations. As long as the format stays competitive, and has the confidence to do what it takes to maximize success. 

    

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