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Feature Interview

Josh Booth

APD/MD/On Air

WFHM

Cleveland

 

To contact Josh click here

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Josh's Career Capsule

I started working with Salem Communications Cleveland when I was a senior at Baldwin Wallace University.  The Fish came on the air in 2001 so I put together a demo and sent it in(I hope that cassette has been long in the dumpster).  I never heard back about the demo but I was hired in as a part-time board operator.  My first full-time gig came doing mornings on our teaching station 1220 AM WHKW, being a sales rep, and hosting The Positive Rock Show on the weekends.  From there I moved onto the FM side being promotions manager and weekends on The Fish. I did evenings, overnights, produced John Tesh locally, received my Music director stripes, and afternoons.  I had a year off in 08 then hired back to do weekends in 09.  In 2010 I took over Midday's from us running the network, did news on 1420 WHK and added Music Director duties




1. Tell us about WFHM and your role there ?

I host midday's on the station and as MD/APD I schedule the daily music logs and be the liaison between the labels and our PD Len Howser. I also produce John Tesh's nightly program locally.

 

2. How do you build on the great WFHM heritage in Cleveland?

I think the key is to always be reevaluating ourselves.  I think we always need to be looking at all elements of our station and making sure that we are doing great radio. Looking at research and charts as well as digital music sites and services like Itunes when selecting music. What works today may not work in 6 months or a year from now. I think our goal is always to do great radio and engage the listeners not just on the air but with social media as well.

 

3. Tell us about the WFHM morning show?

I think we have one of the best morning shows in Cleveland.  I think that when you tune in at any time and feel like you are a part of the family.  You can tell that Len and Brooke are having fun in the morning.  I have an hour commute to the station so I'll listen to other morning shows as well and I have to flip them when my daughter is in the car because I'll hear something that is not appropriate for her to hear.  I think it's great that they are entertaining and fun while still being family friendly.

 

4. What are the best variables that make a WFHM promotion?

Creativity. I think when you have creative promotions make it not only more fun for the listeners but for us as air talent too.

 

5. Where will future Christian radio air talent come from?

That's a good question. I think a lot of radio talent comes from being at the right place at the right time.  So I think it could be colleges or broadcasting schools or Youtube and podcasters.  There are a lot of places where you can find talent in the social media age.

 

6. What is your most memorable WFHM promotion?

I think the most memorable is one that we do every year with our Mom Squad. The Mom Squad is an interactive forum that we have on our website where Moms can connect with other moms.  Each year we host a Mother's Day event where listeners can nominate someone to be the Mom Squad Mom of the Year. Each year we get amazing stories.

 

7. Generally speaking to the industry what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian radio today?

I think the biggest obstacle is bringing in new listeners and keeping them. I think you could have the best talent, the best imaging, and the best music selection and still have challenges in keeping listeners.  Whether that's because of how many other stations are considered AC in your market, or because people are listening more to their Ipods or app based stations like Pandora. I'm not sure if there is "secret sauce" either.  I think you have keep on doing good radio and engaging listeners on and off the air.  Which is a challenge too with most personnel having multiple duties at their respective stations.

 

8. Do you feel syndication is good or bad for Christian radio?

I think it's good and bad for radio in general. I think it's good because it keeps that fire under your rear to keep doing your best because you know that at any time you could be replaced by a syndicated program, even if you are the top of the ratings.  Being a producer of a syndicated program can keep you employed as well. Having a rock show that was on 4 different stations was pretty awesome. Unfortunately syndication can also mean there are less local personalities at stations, making it harder to find jobs in radio. There are only a few stations I know of that are live and local 24/7. For the stations that can do it I consider those to be gems.

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