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Radio Interview

                                     

Ace McKay

Morning show co-host

WLAB

Ft Wayne

 


 

Ace's Career Capsule
I just celebrated 17 years in radio this month. The first 6 were in mainstream radio ranging in Oldies, AC, Country, Top 40 and News Talk in the Birmingham and Huntsville Markets. After 10 years with WAY-FM Media Group ranging from Nights in Nashville, Mornings in Huntsville and starting the WAY FM in Tallahassee, I am the new half to the morning show on Star 88.3.



1. Personally how do you keep the ministry in the “business”? 

I’ve had to learn the hard way to really stop hiding my time and passion for what I do behind the word  ‘ministry’. I no longer work long hours for the sake of ministry and I strive to lead by example to my staff, by being very transparent to the listeners. We all know that God uses broken people to create or be a part of ministries and I want to show how broken I am so the listeners know they are not alone in their struggles.

 

2. Overall, how is Christian radio different today, from 5 years ago?

I think it’s musically amazing. It’s full of artists that want to connect heart to heart. By in large, Christian Radio is too automated and generic. There are leader stations and personalities breaking that mold. They are living life with the listeners but it’s few and far between. Vision and budget have replaced mission. I’ve also seen the entry level jobs disappear. How are we gonna find the great talents of tomorrow if they are working at Toyota?

 

3. What do you think are the main characteristics of a Christian radio Promotion Director?

It has to be someone who gets who the listener is and what ‘her’ needs are. They have to understand that ‘her’ life doesn’t revolve around the radio and planning ahead is key. They have to have their finger on the pulse of what things are coming up and planning to make them a thread of the station. We have to get away from last minute promotions that are half done with little to know results in the end.

 

4. What criteria do you require for a promotion to air on your station?

It has to be compelling and put points on the board. We’ve heard it said before but it’s true, find ‘parades’ and get in front of them. Investing into the community and the listeners lives impacts our community and make it a better place to live.

 

5. What kind of promotions work best for Christian radio?

The kind that involve little work on the listeners and give great results on the back side. Promotions that build a relationship with a listener or potential new listener, like the Family Name Game. These promotions help us get away from ‘contesting’ and show our faith and values though extending a hand to community. Also, making any prizes something the listeners canNOT buy.

 

6. How do you think Christian Record labels can better serve Christian radio?

Return phone calls and follow through with request. Don't tell me you'll do whatever it takes and then 3 months later you dropped the ball. Also, build in a budget that partners with radio stations to pull off promotional ideas that may come up much later in the fiscal year. I’m all for planning ahead but last minute, great promotions can birth and the labels could help make that happen.

 

7. In your opinion what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian radio today?

Too many cut back/downsize and are causing people to lose focus. We can juggle multiple hats to a point but if pulled in too many directions, something will get dropped. It’s just a matter of what part of the stations product suffers. Also, No entry level positions for people who want to get into radio. We have to have an open door and make a commitment to invest in those coming in behind us that are teachable and show promise.

 

8. What do you believe is the primary role of the Christian radio air personality?

To relate to the listener! Nothing else! Don't tell the listener what to think, feel or do, invite them to spend time with you and talk about what they care about.

 

9. What (if any) Christian radio stations do you consider as innovators today?

Stations that are playing the local card and have live bodies on the air always excite me. Z88 in Orlando has lead the way for Christian radio. Hands down, they are THE station to mirror your plan after if you want to WIN without losing connection to the ministry we are called to do!

 

10. Where do you see Christian radio in 5 years?

More local and mission driven.

 

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