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Radio Interview

                                     

Allen Henderson

General Manager

His Radio® Network

Greenville, SC.

 


 

Allen's Career Capsule
A native of Sikeston, Missouri, Allen’s first radio job was right out of High School in 1972 at KYMO in East Prairie, Mo., doing a hot AOR (Album Orientated Rock) afternoon drive shift. As PD he left KYMO for college in 1975, where he worked at a new Christian station, KLFJ, in Springfield, Mo while attending Central Bible College.  Allen continued at KLFJ as News Director four years after graduation before coming to A/C Christian WLFJ in Greenville, SC in 1983.  WLFJ/His Radio is part of the Radio Training Network of stations. In addition to Greenville/Spartanburg, SC, His Radio is heard in Raleigh/Durham, Fayetteville, Asheville and Charlotte NC, Myrtle Beach, Charleston and Hilton Head SC, Savannah, GA and Dothan, AL.  In Greenville/Spartanburg His Radio broadcast in HD with two sub channels. HD comes to His Radio Savannah this fall. His Radio also programs a 50,000-watt AM station, Christian Talk 660 in Greenville. Allen has been General Manager since 1990 after previously serving as Music/Program Director and Operations Director.  He currently hosts “His Radio Praise” Sunday mornings from 7 am to 11 am. Allen and his wife Nell have one daughter, Amber. Allen has also served as an adjunct instructor at North Greenville University in the Mass Communications dept. for the past 7 years.



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

Identifying your purpose and focusing on the vision of what God has called you to do gives you the proper perspective. The business side exists to serve and provide the funds for the ministry. You have to keep that in the right order. As a staff we pray for each other and for listeners. We distribute a listener prayer list to staff by email and pray for them every day. We also have prayer times on the air three times a day.  As we read the emails and hear the prayer requests it really brings home the real reason we do what we do.

 

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

There is certainly more competition today from a lot of sources. Not only is Christian radio changing, the way people consume all media is changing. Digital music is more portable and the Internet has changed the way it is delivered. Consolidation and networks have affected Christian radio much the same as mainstream broadcasters. From a percentage of total radio listeners, Christian stations are getting more market share than ever and programming has improved and become more consistent across the country. However, network morning television and people in cars on their cell phones continue to take time away from radio listening.

 

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

First and foremost is a sense of calling from God. I believe God calls people into radio ministry for specific times and purposes. Without that sense of calling you will not have the passion to share the Gospel and allow the Holy Spirit to use your station to change lives. You must have a vision that allows you to see a bigger, better, stronger ministry in the future…while never taking your eyes off of who you are and what you are doing today. Achieving excellence becomes a reality when you set high expectations, humbly face and correct your mistakes, stay optimistic, and void the quicksand of complacency. As GM’s we must realize that we are stewards of the ministries God has placed us in and that stewardship carries a tremendous responsibility. The focus should be on doing what pleases God in everything we do.

 

4. What ways or methods do you think work best to keep your staff motivated?

To build a great team, you must create a culture where everyone shares the same values, purposes, and expectations of success. True success is achieved in direct proportion to the degree that you treat your staff with respect and dignity…and believe in them enough to help them grow.

 

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

Viral promotions that spread from listener to listener are powerful tools to create loyal listening and committed fans.  They should encourage listeners to tell your story to family and friends. My favorite promotions are ones that relate to a cause that helps others. That is the ultimate win win when you can have fun, promote the station and meet the needs of people and ministries.

 

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

Our friends at the labels have a challenging task and I appreciate all that they do. It’s a partnership that is best served with open and honest communications between the labels and broadcasters.  

 

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

In today’s economy funding and monetizing station operations is one of the biggest challenges, as is finding and keeping good talent.

There’s also the natural tension between entertainment and ministry. Finding the right balance takes skill and patience. 

 

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

Our job, as messengers of the Gospel, is to bring hope and encouragement and speak with the same language the culture is speaking. This requires air personalities to be real and natural. The most important and difficult job of any air personality is to be transparent and talk to people as close personal friends about things that are important to the listener. When you love people and what you do it really connects with the listener.

 

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

I’m privileged to be a part of a network of creative, innovative team members across the Radio Training Network of stations. There are other great broadcast friends I highly respect, in fact, too many to mention in this small space.

 

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

As long as broadcasters stay focused on meeting the needs of the listener by providing relevant compelling content there will be an audience. The listener will follow the programming whether it is on over the air terrestrial signals, satellite, iPods or other forms of media. The funding will follow the audience. I think we will find broadcasters focusing more on local and customized content. Listeners want to control and share their media and pictures with family and friends through Internet sites like YouTube, MySpace and Facebook.  Broadcasters who find ways to accommodate this desire will be the most successful in the future. It’s pretty clear to see that video and the Internet will play an increasing role in broadcast operations and promotions. Generational shifts will force broadcasters to constantly evaluate and adjust to keep up with the rapidly changing demographics.

  

 

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