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Feature Interview

Todd Stach

Chief Creative Officer

WCVO

Columbus

To contact Todd click here

 


Todd's Career Capsule

After starting his career in Cincinnati, Todd spent time at WAY-FM Fort Myers, The Fish in Cleveland and now has served almost 10 years at 104.9 the River in Columbus, Ohio.  He has served as Chief Creative Officer since 2011 helping to bridge and fuse The River brand across sales and listener-support while helping to grow the work culture through serving and fun.

 

1. Tell us any recent changes (news) at WCVO...

We really strive to meet our teamís needs especially when life changes.  In 2014, our on-air team (Eric Faulds, Josh Hooper, Greg Hansberry and Mary OíBrien) did some switching around which allowed them to serve and grow in their off air responsibilities and passions.  Then, when Mary had a little boy last December she opted for middays which left a crucial opening for a female voice in the morning.  Just to add a footnote here: our team is filled with compassionate, hard-working and flexible individuals.  Finally, weíre excited that God has opened the door for Laura Chase to join The River Morning Show this month!  She starts on the air the week of June 22nd.  Other than that, during the past year weíve established relationships with DMR Interactive and Sharemedia.  Theyíve taught us so much!

 

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

Thatís a very difficult question to answer (actual elapsed time of me thinking = 1 hour).  Probably the best advice is THE BEST because itís so foundational, and it came from working with John Frost (which probably came from Alan Mason because I still hear him say that to this day) back in the late 1990s: Your station is not the center of your listenerís world.  Think of the planets and how everything revolves around the sun.  Thatís the center of your listenerís life, so your station should be like the moon and reflect the sun.  Thereís a great spiritual analogy there too with our lives reflecting THE SON!  This concept that John shared really stuck with me after hearing this song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1JW0Ck6CBI

The worst piece of advice came from a higher-up (at a station that will remain unnamed) who flew into town and conducted an air check with my PD.  He told me that every single time I opened the mic that fifteen seconds was the new maximum time we had to talk.  The ironic thing is that I had the best ratings for that day part in the that stationís history at the time.  I no longer work there.

 

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

I despise the words ďproud ofĒ because for much of my life Iíve struggled with seeking affirmation from others.  I hope youíll allow me to change the words ďproud ofĒ to ďgrateful forĒ.  Iím grateful for God and teammates whoíve allowed me to grow from failing.  Thatís a key core value at 104.9 the River and we strive to live it every day.

 

4. What is the ONE thing you must have every day to do your job?

I asked my team to choose  three words to filter their job through this year.  Every decision.  Every tough conversation.  Mine begins with courage.  I must have courage every day to listen more and serve more. 

 

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

Great question.  I work closely with the Communications Department at Cedarville University and kids arenít flocking to declare broadcasting as their major anymore because all they hear is that radio is dying.  So, we must be proactive with the students who have a passion for everything about the radio/audio world and embrace them.  Iíve not yet done this, but have thought about it several times.  Get to know those social media friends who stand out because of their funny life posts or their unique life perspectives.  Why canít they become our next great on-air personalities?  The kind of talent we need is all around us: at church, making your coffee drink, being authentic on Facebook.  Side note:  I love that Women in Christian Radio is growing because we need more of them in leadership positions too!

 

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

Compelling content is the best thing for Christian radio and if itís syndicated so be it.  My job and your job is to invest in our talent and product so that it COULD be syndicated.  Thatís how good we must be.

 

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

Money.  Money to invest in people, changing technology and growth of our brands.

 

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

Jim Leightenheimer invested patience and time into this rough around the edges college student.  He is truly a level five leader.  Vern Baldwin gave this inexperienced, opinionated kid a job right out of college and tolerated me for four years.  Vern was a very smart businessman who had a huge heart!  Bob Augsburg gave the keys to an over confident 25 year old and sent him to the original WAY-FM in Fort Myers, Florida.  I can never thank Bob enough for seeing my potential and taking a chance on me.  John Frost, Tommy Kramer and Alan Mason have left their impressions on my life.  Theyíve taught me so much about strategy, break structure and thinking of others first.  Finally, my current boss, Dan Baughman has become such a trusted employer and friend.  He is such a visionary person who can almost predict the future (insert theme music here).  I only hope to pass down those same qualities and characteristics to those who cross paths with me.

 

 

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