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Radio Interview

                                     

Bill Ainsworth

General Manager

WSHO

New Orleans

 

 

Bill's Career Capsule
In my other life B.C. I worked at various stations and formats including but not limited to easy listening, talk, country, AC and rock.

 

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

With a lot of Prayer!  Following hurricane Katrina two years ago our listeners were scattered and in many cases suddenly homeless.  They woke up after the storm to find their churches destroyed and their pastors living in new cities.  In the aftermath where most communications were slow to return, radio became the only link with the rest of the world.  It doesn't matter what talents you possess or may not have, if you are seeking Gods will in your entire life and putting others before yourself, this will result in ministry on air and off. 

 

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

Technology is unrelenting and keeping up with the new improvements is challenging.  But the result is that the overall quality of ministry programs and the music Christian stations air has become greatly improved. 

 

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

Having  a Face for Radio helps but knowing the top 20 You Must Be in Radio jokes is critical!

 

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

WSHO is a commercial AM operation, so we consider the music we play as an important part of our on- air ministry.  You wont hear the same 10 songs being repeated every hour.  Our play list ranges from light AC to Praise and Worship and even includes independent artists.    Recently we have begun to air the best music from the days of the early Jesus movement of the 70s and 80s.  Its the music you remember  that's the ministry. 

 

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

Those that include lots of money and lots of food!  Just kidding about the food! WSHO has been fortunate enough to have two billboard in two high traffic locations, one being on the access road to the New Orleans airport. This on-going off-air promotion has proved highly successful.

WSHO has also sponsored some of the most successful concerts at six flags New Orleans bringing in todays top artists and bands.  Our monthly Christian music event, Christian Songwriters Night, brings together our audience with local Christian artists their original material acoustically. 

This month we are partnering with The Bible League which provides our audience an opportunity to become part of a world wide effort to spread Gods Word.

But our greatest on-air promotion is a prepaid life insurance policy called Eternal Life!

 

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

Stop hanging up on us when we call!  And please stop sending those 45s  weve tried, but small as they are they simply dont fit into our CD players! 

 

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

Christian radio is it's own worst enemy.  Instead of recognizing the unique experience Christian music and programming can provide we often just try to achieve success by imitating our secular counterparts.  While piggy-backing on what the rest of the radio industry is doing might at first glance seem the way to higher cumes, it is important to remember why Christian radio is called CHRISTIAN RADIO. Our goals are not the same as the rest of the industry so our various formats must reflect our mission.

 

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

The radio personality must relate to the listener on a one-on-one basis.  Consistency in the message is also important.  

 

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

Christian radio stations on the whole are doing a great job of serving their individual markets. One example would be the Moody owned stations and their affiliates around the country, where ministry is a top priority. Innovation usually arises out of challenge.  One of my favorite stations is Premier radio in London which I listen to regularly on line.  Another is 103.2 in Sydney Australia, that country's first Christian radio station.  Both of these stations have to follow difficult government constraints on what they can broadcast.  103.2 is forced to air mainstream and Christian music together. They have managed to create an appealing blend that serves their core Christian listeners while meeting regulatory requirements. Everyday is a challenge for them walking a thin line of compliance.  Here we have unlimited freedom, yet there is much to learn from our encumbered counterparts. 

 

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

God willing and the creek don't rise again, well be right here doing what we love and serving our Lord as best we can. 

 

 

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