Support HisAir.Net

 


Subscribe to
our newsletter


 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

hare |

Feature Interview

Kevin Krueger

VP/General Manager

WGTS

Wash DC

To contact Kevin click here

0


Kevin's Career Capsule

First talked into a live mic in 1982 as a freshman in college. I owe a lifetime to the guy who hired me. I'm not sure I would have hired me if I were him. Pretty nervous and squeaky on that try-out! While in college, it was a blessing to spend a year abroad at an English language radio station in France with Geneva, Switzerland, as its primary listening market. This year helped to craft who I am today in so many ways. It opened my eyes to the rest of the world.

I graduated with a mass communications degree and went straight to being program director at KGTS for a year then was given the title of general manager in 1988.  It was an honor to remain at that post until last summer, growing with the station which ultimately became the Positive Life Radio Network serving the Inland Northwest with over 120,000 listeners through 5 primary stations and 12 translators.  In August of 2013 I found myself in the Nationís Capital - full time - at a station I had worked with (in the background) since 1997 as a mentor, friend, and consultant.



1. Tell us about your role at WGTS, your responsibilities etc... ?

Itís one of those positions that is built for people who like to change gears every 30 minutes. A little ďlook! - ooooh - shiny,Ē is a helpful attribute. Whether itís leading a meeting, planning for the future, working the numbers, or praying with a team member, every day brings its own challenges and rewards.

At WGTS 91.9 this position guides the ship, sets the vision, brings the big ideas and makes sure that at the end of the day we operate a responsible non-profit organization set in motion with the intent to serve Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia, sharing Jesus Christ with as many as possible.

 

2. What were your initial observations after arriving at WGTS?

I was impressed with the depth of feelings by the team in their desire to be friends with and to share Christ with the Nationís Capital. They were ready to move forward; do whatever it would take; to wrap their arms around this magnificent world-influencing city.

The listening audience went deep into the community (1 in 10 residents listen) and was equally ready to participate with WGTS 91.9 in sharing Christ. Whether it was the guy behind the counter at the store, the receptionist at the doctors office (and the doc too), or the deli guy at Whole Foods; everyone I found that listened - really listened and was behind the station 100%.

 

3. What is the best programming advice you've been given? The worst?

Best? Discover through hard work what your listener would appreciate hearing using formal and informal research. Once youíve got it on the air - keep looking, keep asking - itís a moving target. It takes a lot of hard work to make it look easy. Never assume you know what your listener wants.

Worst? "Try not to sound like Wolfman Jack!" In retrospect, I think a little Wolfman would have improved my announcing!

 

4. Regarding your career, what are you most proud of?

The relationships Iíve been blessed with throughout the Christian media industry. This is an industry with kind, mission-passionate individuals. Itís a true blessing to serve alongside them.

Closely relatedÖ itís been an honor to be a part of the university education of hundreds of interns who have worked for me; that Iíve been privileged to mentor. They are doing amazing things around the world right now. Iím incredibly proud of them.

 

5. What is the one thing you must have to do your job every day?

- My iPad and a cup of black coffee. Wait. Thatís a lame answer. Truthfully, along with those two things, I must have the support of my team members. I donít expect them - I donít want them - to agree with me all the time, but I do need to know that we are all headed in the same direction; that we understand and agree on our mission. I must know that they bring a mindset of service to the table.

 

6. Where will future air talent come from?

It seems pretty clear that Christian radio is not creating enough talent internally - of the style that is going to get us where we need to go. Weíve become too homogenous. Weíve done too well at sharing information with each other and weíve looked to too few individuals to show us the way over the last 3 decades.

Just like the fast food company that brings in a leader from the airline industry to compare notes and challenge paradigms, we must first think of ourselves as communicators and then look to other places in which exciting and relevant communication is happening. Thatís where we will find fresh, new talent.

 

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

Itís about the interest level and quality of the content. Many times the economics of broadcasting means syndication has a better cost-to-engaged-listener ratio. And it goes back to the question on talent. Staffing every Christian radio station in America full-time with exceptional talent would be a dream come true, but not a likely scenario. The economics of small and medium market radio are challenging.

At my previous home, the Positive Life Radio Network, I believe we found a good application for syndication. We served a region in a better and stronger way than any of the stations in the network could have going it on their own. And I am so thankful to say that the model continues in a strong way.

Now - here in D.C. - in market #7 - I believe we can fund, attract, and develop talent from within and from outside of our industry to eventually be driven fully with under-the-roof talent.

To answer the question directly - yes - I believe syndication is good for Christian radio. The but, is in the implementation. Letís not use syndication because itís the low-hanging fruit. Letís not be lazy. Letís use syndication judiciously and strategically.

 

8. Who are your radio heroes and influences? and why?

Without a doubt it goes back to my radio beginnings - Dr. Loren Dickinson and Dr. David Bullock both honed the way I approach anything to do with media communication and with interpersonal communication. I respect them both greatly and still enjoy spending time with them whenever I can.

The programmer who took a chance and sent 94.7 in Los Angeles in a new direction on Valentineís Day 1987 with a mood-setting instrumental format that had no DJís. I admire the guts it took to do something pretty out-there - and in the countryís #2 market no-less.

They gave the time-of-day with short, daypart appropriate vignettes. It totally intrigued me. While the no-DJ format ended in 19 months because of low ratings (yes - personalities were needed to get the ratings to compete), it was one of the few times a major market station tried something that wasnít already proven. I admire thinking outside the norm.

My heroes are the men and women in Christian radio around the country who donít give up; the ones that pull their team together with a smile and say, ďIíve got an ideaÖĒ

My heroes are the ones who dig deep and pump adrenaline into their veins working hard to say something fresh for their 3,278th mic-open moment; in a way that intrigues the listenersí mind.

My heroes are the ones that start each day with a prayer - a humble prayer acknowledging human inability without God, dedicating their words that day to Him.

 

 

Previous Interviews

 


 

© Copyright HisAir.Net