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Radio Interview

                                     

Ben Birdsong

Station Manager

KWND

Springfield, MO

 

 

Ben's Career Capsule
Ben started doing radio in 1981 with a weekend shift on Full Gospel WDAL.in his hometown of Meridian, MS.  From there he moved to WQFL, Rockford where he served as PD…then to WHLO, Akron…and on to WMER, Meridian where he served as Station Manager.  In 1991 he joined Radio Training Network as morning show host and PD for WLFJ, Greenville.  In 1995 Ben transferred to Springfield, MO where he became station manager of 88.3 The Wind and did mornings for 10 years.   About a year ago he moved himself to afternoons and soon will move to middays.



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

That's pretty easy since we are part of a network that has ministry as the bottom line.  Our network president, Jim Campbell, holds me accountable for ministry just as much as he does for funding. So, each day our staff gathers for prayer.  In that time we always submit the station to God anew.  I often remind myself that when I stand before God and he asked me what I did with the radio station he gave me stewardship over, He won't be impressed with me quoting large Arbitron numbers, telling of great promotions, or how many songs we helped get to number one on the charts.  He looks at changes lives. 

 

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

I think we have simply become better radio.  If you are a plumber, you need to understand the principle that water runs down hill, it doesn't matter if you are a Christian plumber...it still runs down hill.  Sound radio practices and programming apply, even if you’re doing if for the Lord.  I think Christian radio has learned more about sound radio principles. 

 

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

First and foremost I would hope his goal is to glorify God.  He can do that through sound leadership practices, good planning, solid financial stewardship, and building a good team, but those are a means to the end not the end in themselves.

 

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

Different staff members are motivated in different ways.  A good manager must get to know each staff member and find out what motivates them personally.  One method does not work for all but a decent rate of pay is always a good start.

 

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

We try to do promotions that are relevant to our target audience, that are fun for those that don't participate as well as those who do, and have an positive impact on lives and/or our community.

 

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

We always want more but from my perspective, I think that they are doing a great job.  Let me say a big "Thank you" to the record companies in public.  We appreciate you.  Keep sending the great music.

 

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

The plethora of electronic media available and on the horizon.  We must find ways to be relevant and compelling to the next generation.

 

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

A Christian Radio personality should seek to develop a relationship with their audience and give relevant information that can entertain, inform, inspire or even impact the listeners 

 

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

If 88.3 The Wind is not an innovator, I need to resign and have a better leader come in and take over.  Every Christian station should seek to be innovators in their community.

 

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

My hope is that we will be stronger and better.  I hope we can improve as much in the next 5 years as we have in the last.

  

 

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