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Feature Interview

Jerry Woods

Promotion Director/mornings

WGTS

Wash DC

 

To contact Jerry click here


 


Jerry's Career Capsule

I
grew in Southern California listening to legendary talents like Rick Dees, Robert W. Morgan and Scott Shannon.  In 1991 I thought I was destined to be an actor, but I followed a girl to a small Christian school in Walla Walla, Washington that didnít have a full drama program.  The girl dumped me.  I knew three people on the campus, and one wasnít talking to me.  I saw a girl from my high in the cafeteria and she introduced me to her boyfriend who was the manager of KGTS.  He asked my major.  I told him broadcast journalism and he asked me to apply to be a news anchor.  Iíve been in Christian radio ever since.  I spent a total of six years working for KGTS as it morphed into Positive Life Radio.  I held a variety of positions from news director to program director to affiliate station manager.  I left Positive Life Radio in 1997 to do mornings and promotions at KTSY in Boise, ID, eventually becoming PD.  In late 2008 I was invited to join the Billy Graham Evangelistic Associationís 106.9 The Light in Asheville, NC as their afternoon show host and director of creative services.  Then in 2012 through a series of God-directed events I ended up at WGTS 91.9 in Washington, DC where I handle morning show duties and run the promotions department.



1.  Jerry, what's the latest news about you and WGTS?

 In our industry itís very easy to jump ship when the tide gets rough.  Things got very rough just eight months after I moved to DC when my GM and friend John Konrad passed away suddenly at the age of 43.  That sent the station into a downward spiral.  I think our whole team was collectively depressed.  Several team members left and we went through a tough transitional period.  I wanted to leave several times, but my wife kept telling me, ďWe were called here, and we havenít been released from that call.Ē  Iím happy to say that 2 Ĺ years later this is the healthiest team Iíve been a part of and God has done some amazing to our station in DC.  I just want to encourage you that if youíre at a tough point in your career, God isnít finished with you yet.  Maybe he has you exactly where you are for such a time as this!

 

 2. How has your morning show evolved over the years, grown ?

Our morning show has grown because we are all better friends three years later.   When you get to know people well and you share life, then you start to learn how your friends think.  Today I know more about my co-host and producer.  I know about their success, struggles and hang-ups, and they know mine.  That allows us to be transparent with each other.  Iíd do anything for either of them, and I think they know it.  That builds a special bond, and that comes out on the air.  They are both very naturally talented, but that friendship is more important than the talent and I think people realize that weíre three friends who do life together and share our faith.

 

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

Iím excited about how our team has persevered through tough times and come together to serve DC.

 

4. What is the ONE thing you must have everyday to do your show EVERYDAY?


I need to be fed every day, a healthy breakfast includes time in the Bible, prayer and bowl of oatmeal.  I guess thatís three things, but whoís counting?

 

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

Weíre starting to see some teens and 20-somethings who are excited about radio again.  Frankly, we are home-growing our talent at WGTS.  We have over 20 student interns in the building and some of the best ideas come from them.  Recently we took TobyMac to Chick-fil-A to serve up the drive-thru difference live and in person.  We shot a video of him doing it which had over half-a-million views.  That idea came from a 25-year-old intern.  I love working with college students because they donít know what ďcanítĒ be done.  They donít make excuses.

 

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

Syndication is simply a tool.  Itís all about how you use it.  If youíre a small to medium sized station that canít afford great talent, then syndication can make a lot of sense.  If youíre in a larger market, Iíd like to think you should be developing the major market talent that has the potential to be syndicated.

 

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

We are the biggest obstacle facing Christian radio.  I think too often we get in our own way.  We make all sorts of excuses.  ďMy market is too small.  I donít have enough listeners.  We donít have the budget.  Weíve always done it this way.  Weíve never done that before.Ē  Itís time to take on the attitude of who we serve.  Paul told us that with God ďAll things are possible.Ē  Is this just a cute bumper sticker, or do we believe it?  Some of the biggest lessons I learned were in one of the smallest stations I worked at in Boise, Idaho.  The team at KTSY never said, ďWe canít do it becauseÖĒ  They always focused on finding new and innovative ways to reach people and finding other people to help pay for it.   To this day some of the biggest impacting promotions Iíve worked on came out of market 100.

 

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

My radio influences are too many to name.  Iím blessed to call so many people friends who have changed my life both on and off the air.  My first and current boss, Kevin Krueger continues to teach me how to look out for people.  88.3 The Journey GM Mike Agee gave me the confidence to try anything.  My best friend Don Godman at Life 88.5 in KC constantly challenges to be my best self.  My team in DC today, especially my co-host Blanca Vega and producer Spencer White, are two of my favorite people in radio because theyíre talented and so very open, honest and fun to be on the air with.   John Frost and Tommy Kramer get credit for convincing a 20-something, punk kid that he didnít know everything.  Dean OíNeal from the Z and Lisa Williams from all over the place arenít afraid to share from some of the most personal places in their lives and that encourages me to use my challenges to encourage someone else who might be going through the same thing.  My wife, who has learned how to speak radio and is willing to share this crazy radio life without complaining about long hours, crazy moves and last minute schedule changes.  She is a great confidant and content filter.   There are so many more and I donít want to leave anyone out, but Iím a morning show host and itís about time for a nap. J

 

8.    


 

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