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Feature Interview

Tim Hopkins

Music Director

KORB

Santa Rosa

 

To contact Tim click here

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Tim's Career Capsule

I have a longer career wanting to get into radio than actually being in radio. Broken FM is my first crack at radio after doing everything from delivering retainers, to the Army and selling paint for a living. I took over as music director shortly after Broken went on the air in 2009 and have been at the helm ever since. I am a married to my beautiful wife and a father to an awesome little girl who I will be exposing to as much good rock music as I can.




1. Tell us about Broken FM and your role there?

Broken FM is a Christian Rock station based in Northern California. We strive to reflect the Christian life as it is rather than we wish it was through rock music. That requires an honesty and openness that isn't always family friendly so we make no claims to be so.

For better or worse I am the man responsible for the music we play and the sound and feel of our programming. Along we with our very talented assistant PD Chris Kuhner we try to take all the things that annoy about radio and tried to not do those things. We are committed to playing great music but not over playing the hits.

 

2. How do you connect locally with the market?

Given that we are located in Northern California which isn't exactly the buckle of the bible belt it can be hard but we have strived to support great causes that need to be talked about. We have partnered with some non-Christian organizations that promote causes like support for rape victims and also some Christian organizations that do things like fighting human trafficking.

We work to be a great rock station that makes people want to tune in for the music. In the end no matter what your beliefs are we want to impart our sense of hope and the reason for that hope. I'll never forget coming in one morning and finding message from a guy who wasn't sure about this Jesus thing but he really liked the music that we were playing and to keep it up.

 

3. Tell about the Broken FM midday show?

I get to host the midday show here and I love it. I am just really hanging out with the listeners for a few hours chatting about music, about music news and what is happening around town. Given that we have a broad playlist we have a lot of people that are regular listeners and will listen all day so we get a lot listeners that are not just regulars but have become friends as we see them on the road at events and festivals.

The show I am even more proud of is a show we have developed called The Broken Record. Every Monday night we play an entire album from start to finish and have the artist on to take us through the process of writing the songs and making the record. We get to give our listeners a glimpse of what goes into making the music they love and into the heart of the artists we feature.

 

4. What are the best variables that go into a Broken FM promotion?

Without a doubt it's the artists we feature. Whether on the phone or in the studio we love having them join us. One band took over the request line while they were in the studio so the listeners who called in their requests got quite a surprise.

 

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

I think you will see more coming from the podcast world. It used to be that to get any experience you needed to get your shot at a station on the air. Now you can develop your skills on a podcast and then transition to on the air. That being the case in think you'll see a a bolder talent and that will in turn make Christian radio more interesting.

 

6. What was the most memorable Broken FM promotion?

A few years ago the band Five Iron Frenzy launched a countdown on their website but wouldn't say what would happen when the clock got to zero. They contacted us and wanted to record a special for the big announcement. So we started promoting this special even though we also had no idea what the announcement would be. When the countdown ended the band came on to announce they were reuniting and launching a Kickstarter. By the end of the show they were fully funded and we were all stunned.

 

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

I would say fear and demographics. Because we do Christian Rock vs CHR or AC we can take more risks with the topics we cover. We know we are going to offend a few people so we just try to be honest and rooted in scripture. That being said even though I wouldn't call us family friendly I am perfectly comfortable with my 11 year old listening to Broken FM no matter the topic.

 

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

I think it is a little bit of both. We have had great success with syndicated shows that are more specialized like The Christian Rock 20 and The Hype but have passed on shows that aren't that different than our typical programming. We have also developed a show called Activate that is beginning to be picked up by other stations.

From the beginning we we've been committed to local content and have developed local talent to produce them. Given that the Christian Rock format is still very small and a significant portion of our listeners are online only it's at times less of a priority to have programming for our area and more to have programming that our listeners will truly connect with and speaks to them wherever they are. 

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