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Ann Manion

Coordinator of Creative Services & Traffic Log Supervisor





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Ann's Career Capsule
I started my broadcasting career doing Sunday afternoons at the Country station in Janesville, WI. (Thank you Gary Edwards for taking a chance on me!) I was there about 7 months when an opening came at WNWC, the Christian radio station in Madison, WI. (Thank you Greg Walters for letting me bug you and getting me into Christian radio!) That was in 1993. As my kids got older, more shifts opened up at the station… funny how God does that, huh?! I went full-time in 1998 and in 2000 was asked to join the morning show. They soon brought in Brian Christopher as my morning partner and our “Heyday Years” started. I’ve worn all the hats over the years. By June of 2008 Brian and much of our staff had moved away with no replacements. We all took on more “hats”. Yes, it was crazy, but I learned how to do just about everything. My title now is Coordinator of Creative Services & Traffic Log Supervisor… which is a fancy way of saying I write the copy for our promotions, imaging and sponsorships; manage and coordinate our production; and I run our Natural Log program. Haha!


 1. How important is social networking to Christian Radio personalities?

Social networking has always been very important to radio. Listeners love having a connection with their friend on the radio. We now have several options for networking. Facebook and Twitter have become the listener’s way of staying connected. Our job is to use these great tools effectively; stay focused on our demographic, offer enough info to keep them from getting bored, and not so much that they’re overwhelmed by too much interaction.


2. What show topics seem to be hot right now?

It’s always about what is affecting the listener’s family right now… the strange weather… something happening to a teacher in the community. Hot this week has been the anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti… the stories of kid’s lives there. And (the now-not-homeless) Ted Williams, of course. What inspiration we can take from his story!

3. What can Christian Radio do to develop young talent?

I think we’d all say that developing the next generation is crucial. I believe a plan of mentorship would work the best. It’s understandable that PD’s hesitate to hire young talent… they want someone with a track record. Let’s give them that track record through mentoring… shadowing. Obviously we can’t do that every time.  But the goal should be to take the time to bring them in and gradually, over the span of a year or so, be a part of the show. The listeners love it too.


4. What kind of promotions work best for Christian morning shows?

The promotions that work are the ones that involve the whole family and tell a story. Moms and Dads are always looking for something to bring the family together… in the midst of chaos. By including things about and for kids - you are building the next generation of listeners. Give listeners an opportunity to do something for someone else and then they will have little Billy call and tell you about it (that makes Mom and Dad’s heart go pit-a-pat). Try ‘planned spontaneous’ things like, “Do a random act of kindness today. You’ll have to tell us how it went.”


5. Do you use any show prep services… tell why or why not?

I do use Beth Becall’s She Prep (thanks Beth!!). Real life is an awesome prep service. Take a peek at Facebook to find out what real life is like for your listeners… you see it all – Joys – Hurts – Successes – Failures. They are all put out there on Facebook.


6. Do you think there will be more or less syndication in the future of Christian radio?

I think there will be more syndication for a short time to come, but then the pendulum will swing the other way. Local radio will set itself apart and become important to the listener/consumer. We give them more than their iPod. Christian local radio can really set itself apart with the Spirit and the Hope inside of it.


7. Where do you see Christian morning radio in 5 years?

I’m excited when I think about the next 5 years. I see awesome current talent that keeps getting better. I see great young talent coming up. Christian radio mornings and Christian radio in general is “out-doing” secular radio in quality. And we already have what it takes to become the favorite radio format… HOPE

Most Important: Can I throw out some kudos to my fellow ‘radio-folk’? God has used this last year to encourage me, personally, in what I do. And I’d like to pass the encouragement on to you.

I have heard from dozens of total strangers and from long-lost friends about how God has used me to touch their lives. I’m not saying that to pat myself on the back… I want to pat YOU on the back. YOU are making a difference in the same way. You may never have that “unknown friend” come up to you and tell you how you helped her see her need for a Savior by how you talked about your Jesus on-air. But that’s what’s happening! You may not have an old friend tell you about her abusive marriage and how the words you spoke reminded her that God is always with her. You gave her hope!

Thank you for what you do in being the hands, feet and voice of Jesus to a world that so desperately needs that hope!



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