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Radio Interview

                                     

Andy Napier

Program Director

WMBW

Chattanooga, TN

 

 

Andy's Career Capsule
B.S. Mass Communication from Trevecca Nazarene College, 1986

Worked at WNAZ-FM 89.1 in Nashville (owned & operated by Trevecca) during my 4 years of college

Worked for brief periods at WMOC-AM in Chattanooga as a morning announcer and at Dove Ministries (Chattanooga) in concert promotion

For the last 17+ years, I have worked full-time at WMBW-FM 88.9 in Chattanooga (Moody O & O).  For the last 5 years, I have served as Program Director and morning drive host.

 

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

I think it starts by focusing on the station as a ministry rather than a job or business.  It might be easier for us in that we are non-commercial.  Still, it helps to start the day on my knees.  Each morning before my shift, I ask God to use me, guide me, and empower me by His Spirit.  How can we stay ministry-focused if we are not God-focused?  We must keep The Lord at the center of everything--even the "business" tasks. 

 

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

Christian radio is not only different, radio in general has changed quite a bit over the last few years.  With the technology of computer automation, and with the growth of networks and media giants, stations have been consolidated and staff positions have been eliminated.  It has forced all of us to wear multiple hats.

 

3. What do you think are the main characteristics of today s Christian radio PD?


I see the role and responsibilities of today's PD varying greatly from one station to another.  A few years back, when the average staff size was larger, many Program Director's weren't on the air every day.  These days, I would say that most PDs have an air shift.  In the past, a PD might have served as a "supervisor" of the announcers.  Today, for stations that only have a couple of announcers (sometimes including the PD), it's probably best not to "manage" a subordinate but rather to come along side of him/her as a teammate.  Throw the ego away; you're just a member of the team.  Today's PD might handle everything from music selection to spot production to promotions to voice-tracking for automation.  We need to be willing to do anything and everything to keep the station on the air and broadcasting at a high level of excellence.   

 

4. What criteria do you require for a song to be played on your station?

Decisions concerning our music library are made on a network level in the National Program Director's office--Thankfully!  (It's tough to win with music, isn't it?)

 

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

As with most stations, we give away a lot of books and cds, but the promotions that I like best are the ones that encourage time together for couples or families.  We've given away marriage conference tickets, bed and breakfast getaways, and even vacations for families to destinations within driving distance.

 

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

Since our National PD handles most of the music decisions, I have very limited contact with the labels.

 

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

I would say that most of today's broadcasters in Christian radio are reasonably well-trained in broadcasting, but many of them are not well-trained or studied in The Bible.  I'm not advocating that all Christian radio announcers should be preachers or even sound like preachers, but since God has placed us in the field of communication, I think that we need to have a good grasp of scripture so that we can share a biblical thought as comfortably, concisely, and accurately as we do when we tell our listeners about the weather or an upcoming concert. I like what D.L. Moody had to say about ministry work:

"I believe the reason why God makes use of so few in the Church, is because there is not in them the power that God can use.  He is not going to use our ideas, but we must have the Word of God hid in our hearts, and then, the Holy Spirit inflaming us, we will have the testimony which will be rich, and sweet, and fresh, and the Lord's Word will vindicate itself in blessed results.  God wants to use us; God wants to make us channels of blessing; but we are in such a condition He does not use us." (from D.L. MOODY ON SPIRITUAL LEADERSHIP by Steve Miller)

 

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

I believe my main role in Christian radio is to be a real, transparent, broken yet repaired, weak but made strong person who is willing to come along side the listener, one-on-one, and be a conduit for God to use in that individual's life.     

 

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

Honestly, I haven't listened to that many stations outside of our market.

 

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

Because of satellite radio, Internet streaming, and iPods (and whatever else is around the next corner), I see the need for radio stations to stay very connected to their markets.  We will need to focus on local programming, local promotions, and local personalities.  Isn't that where radio started?
 

 

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