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Radio Interview

                                     

Bob Crittenden

Director of Special Projects & Host of "The Meeting House"

Faith Radio Network

Montgomery, AL

 


 

Bob's Career Capsule
Faith Radio is a regional network of 3 Christian FM's and 6 translators headquartered in Montgomery, Alabama, and I have been a part of this ministry for over 17 years now.  I have also worked in Christian radio in Birmingham, including WDJC, as well as in Smyrna, GA and Knoxville, TN, where I began my broadcast career.  I host "The Meeting House", featuring music and conversation from a Christian worldview perspective, weekday afternoons from 4 until 6 Central Time and am actively involved in programming and promotions here at our ministry.



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

Faith Radio is a listener-supported, non-commercial ministry, so that helps to keep us recognizing that God is our provider.  Personally, my desire is to glorify God in my words and actions, including what I relate on the air, including my conversations with various guests.  If I'm attempting to bring Christ glory, that gives me an incredible sense of focus.

 

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

Oh, wow, it is amazing what has taken place in Christian radio, and radio in general. Technology has enabled us to use the internet in practical, as well as creative ways - from the music we download to the information we share.  Expanding our ministries through live streaming and the advent of podcasting gives us new opportunities to connect with listeners.    Through my show's website, www.meetinghouseonline.info, I have been able to post audio for download and subscribe people to my weekly podcasting.  

 

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

A person in leadership in Christian radio has to keep the main thing in mind - to have a sense of mission in the approach to ministry.  Servant-leadership is critical to the cause, first of all submitted to Christ and then encouraging and adding value to the people around you. 

 

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

I am motivated by the desire to make a difference, to know that what I do is glorifying to God and reaching people.  Building community inside and outside the building is also important.

 

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

We are very actively involved in community events, and the personal touch is very important.  When we participate in a concert, or partner with a church in a special event or presentation, these are ways in which people can see our station logo and materials, but also they have the chance to meet us personally.  It sends a strong message that we are involved in and concerned about the Christian community.

From a technical standpoint, we have begun to use the digital billboards that rotate various messages every 8 seconds or so. This saves the cost of having paper produced and gives us flexibility of our message.

Finding new and innovative ways to use the Internet is important, too - we have redesigned our website several times over the last 10 years, and are looking for fresh ways to use it.  We are currently inviting listeners to honor their pastors and church staff members using a web form.  As part of that promotion, we are awarding luncheons for church staff members, which gives us the opportunity to visit with the winners and make that personal contact.

 

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

I think digital delivery has enhanced the quality of service from the labels. I think that the availability of independent music and independent-label artists has given us more to choose from, and makes our job a bit more challenging.  Since I do an interview-oriented program, I would like to integrate more artist interviews into my show.  I realize promotional budgets are tight, but reporters and non-reporters should be able to share opportunities to participate in certain promotions, wherever possible.

 

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

In these economic times, there may be some hard decisions to make with respect to the financial aspects of our operations.  This may force the delay of an equipment purchase or the addition of another staff member who could lighten the load.  But there are ways to do quality broadcasting even with budget challenges - we just have to be committed and work diligently. 

I do think that quality is a concern - we must not think that just because we are a Christian station that somehow we are exempted from doing good radio. We are in a time where more and more religious stations are going on the air, but these stations need to compete effectively with other stations in their respective markets.  And, quite frankly, perhaps there is the need for the development of some sort of knowledge base to help owners and operators who are in need of some assistance.

 

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

The air personality is the center of the universe, the high and exalted...oops, let's try that again - I view the Christian radio air personality as a friend to the audience, someone who is caring toward his or her listeners, and someone that is concerned about the content that is being presented.  I don't care for the term, "DJ", because I don't think it is our primary ambition to announce tunes, but we are, in a sense, worship leaders...that will take different forms depending on the mission of the station, but nevertheless, our delivery and on-air approach should attract people to us and ultimately to our Savior.

 

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

As you can probably tell, content is very important to me.  I think the direction that Moody Radio has taken over the last few months is encouraging.  Community involvement has been a cornerstone of my tenure here at Faith Radio, and I appreciate how Family Life Communications is attempting to balance community involvement with a regional or national focus...it is no doubt a challenge for them, as it is for us as we grow.   I like K-Love's music format and promotional efforts. But, you know, there are many local stations and regional networks, like the one with which I'm associated, that are committed to making an impact on their communities.

 

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

I hope that we can find new ways to connect with our audience - we have added new facilities to our operation, and the challenge is to offer these communities some sort of local connection while bringing them the quality of a regional signal. New media is going to be an increasing emphasis, I believe, as we attempt to use the Internet creatively, plus as we integrate cell phone technology with what we do. I am not sure yet how many Christian stations will be digital in 5 years, but the use of HD channels does have the potential to help us increase our reach. I think we will also get to the place where Internet technology will help us cost-efficiently operate for on-location broadcasts.

 

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