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Radio Interview

                                     

Bill Lurwick

Production Director

KJIL

Meade, KS

 

 

Bill's Career Capsule
Mom said that when we traveled on family trips in the car when I was young around the Philadelphia area, the whole way there, I would broadcast 'My' version of the Daytona 500 from the back seat. Mom was not surprised when I pursued a career later on in radio. Always a 'DJ' growing up at weddings, parties, and nightclubs, but never an 'Announcer' until I attended the venerable Minneapolis legend (celebrating their 60th anniversary this year!), the Brown Institute in 1989. First real radio 'gig' at KANO 1470 in Anoka, Minnesota, followed by stops at Country 95 in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, KEMB in Spencer, Iowa, and then on to 4 years in the US Army from 1992-96 serving in Public Affairs (radio, television, and newspaper work), at Ft Knox Kentucky. Also spent time in Kentucky at WULF Country in Radcliff, at WQXE Hit Radio in Elizabethtown, and some other country station in Hardinsburg that escapes me (?). Relocated back to Pennsylvania in 1996, and began at Contemporary Christian Radio WGRC in Lewisburg part time, and moved to full time shortly thereafter. In 2004, felt God's leading to head west to Kansas, and joined the team at Great Plains Christian Radio KJIL/KHYM in Meade. I am the afternoon guy and production dude, and I also produce and host the internationally distributed New Release Tuesday radio programs each week for www.newreleasetuesday.com

 

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

It's not about 'ME'. It's about 'YOU' , and your relationship with 'HIM'. To help me keep things in perspective, God has given opportunities for me to lead several short term mission teams to various parts of the world. Just recently, I returned from 2 weeks in Eastern Nicaragua ministering and rebuilding Radio VECA, a Christian station affiliated with HCJB World Missionary Fellowship Radio. When you see what God is doing through stations like these around the world, you realize very quickly that His business is totally and completely about His ministry, not ours, and whatever we contribute, from writing a spot to playing a certain song at just the right time, He will break it, and feed a multitude with it.

 

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

As recently as 5 years ago, your town may not have had 'Any' Christian radio. Today, our kids, and their kids, can grow up in a culture that offers them whatever they desire musically, in 'Any' Christian format, at any time. Whether it's online, or in their town, today's Christian radio dial offers more choices and styles than ever, and I can only imagine what the future holds, as these generations are positively influenced by listening to a message in the music that builds them up for their entire life.

 

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

I think today's successful Christian PD is the one who realizes that God is in control, despite all of our best efforts. People will let us down, always. God will not.

 

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

We examine whether it is going to minister to our entire listening audience. We are located in the Heartland of America, and serve 4 different states with our signal. We can't just focus on 'Becky'. She has a husband, kids, in-laws, brothers & sisters, and friends too. We look at the songs both lyrically and musically to see that they fit what is already successful for us, and also examine the lives of the artists to see that their 'walk' with God is where it should be too.

 

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

The promotions that work best for us are the ideas I have stolen from Melody Miller at KLRC in Siloam Springs! Really, the ones that create an emotional response from our listener family are our most successful.  

 

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

I think they're all doing a great job. I have to give a shout out to the folks at Provident for being my best label and distribution friends though.

 

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

We are our own biggest enemy, because we are human. We think we have all the answers, when in reality, God is in control. I also believe that technology is taking radio to places we never thought it would go. Are we ready for that?

 

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

One of my pet peeves as a listener is when I turn on the radio, and the announcer comes on and says "Hey everybody, How's it goin!" Tell me this, is 'Everybody' a person? No, 'You' are a person. Making radio a one to one conversation is a huge part of successful radio. I am also concerned about our talent pool. Are we developing the future radio hosts of tomorrow to the best of our abilities?

 

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

Z88.3 in Orlando, Way FM in Kalamazoo, KSBJ in Houston.

 

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

Listening to your local station through your Ipod or cellphone while your on vacation 2000 miles away. It will happen.

 

 

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