Started radio career in Dec.1972 while a Senior in High School.
My first job was running Sunday morning Public Affairs
programming at 97.1 KPAM FM/AM in Portland Oregon. (The very early
days of Top 40 on FM. We had promotions to install FM converters in
cars because so few of them had FM.) Moved to Top-40 Giant 62KGW in
1977 (Where I met Alan Mason). In 1983 I went back, to 97.1
(changed to KCNR -AC) then back to 62KGW in 1986 with Alan as
General Manager. Also I 1986 I started a company called The Hook
Factory making research tapes for Mainstream stations across the
country until 1997. That was before digital editing. 1992 I helped
Bob Anthony start Spirit FM in Portland area, 1994 I went to
Sacramento to KLOVE network when they had only 8 stations. 1998,
back to Portland to be PD of KPAM 860AM.
2001, Air1 Network as production guy, then Program Director in 2002
until 2005. June 2005, KTSL Spokane, WA. June 2006, Afternoons at
89.7 KSGN Riverside-San Bernardino, becoming PD in July 2006.
Personally how do you keep the ministry in the “business”?
have adopted a policy of getting involved in the community in a big
way every month. We look for opportunities to bring our listeners to
events that benefit the cities that we serve, from a playground
rebuild at school, to supporting camps for abused children, and
collecting items to send to our military guys. It's exciting, for
back to school we are going to giveaway around 6,000 backpacks to
kids in need. We will do that working through about 20 different
churches. We also have plans to do global mission work, I will be
going back to Cambodia this fall with the Bible League as we get
ready to work with our listeners to fund the distribution of
thousands of Bibles in the Khmer language.
2. Overall, how is Christian radio different today,
from 5 years ago?
think one of the major differences is that Christian radio has begun
to understand that we need to find out what the listeners want and
then give it to them. Coming from a mainstream background we were
doing music research in the 70's at 62KGW in Portland. My PD at the
time Mike Phillips was one of the early programming pioneers in that
area. What we ended up with was ratings where we had twice as many
listeners as the #2 station in town. It was a 15.1 share against a
6.8 or something like that. This was also the company where Alan
Mason was the Corporate Research Director, and the audience and
music research going on today is a product of those early days. We
are tightening our playlist to make sure that we only play what
people tell us are their favorite songs. We are also doing a better
job of relating to people on the air, talking to them as their
friend, building relationships, not announcing stuff at them.
3. What do you think are the main characteristics of
today’s Christian radio PD?
Honesty and Integrity! A PD has to know how to relate to the
airstaff and to remember the golden rule: to treat them the way you
would want to be treated. You can have all the programming knowledge
in the world but if you don't gain the respect and confidence of
your people, if you try and rule by intimidation, you'll get
4. What criteria do you require for a song to be
played on your station?
it's not like there is a check list like, how many Jesus mentions
are in it. We want to know that the artist has professed a
relationship with Christ. It has to sound like a mass appeal song,
of course the message needs to be there. When I get that question
from listeners I ask them "how do you decide which performance you
like on American Idol? They can't always explain it. They just know
that at that moment one song spoke to them more than the others.
That's a bit like the process that happens when we add a song, after
that the audience will let us know if they feel it too.
5. What kind of promotions work best for Christian
opinion, it's the ones that give back in some form, or encourage
listeners to team up and show God's love to the unchurched
community, like the playground rebuild at the public school in the
poorest at risk neighborhood that I mentioned earlier. When people
see that Christians came out of their churches and rallies to get
their hands dirty with hard work that benefits others, they begin to
soften in their skepticism towards Christians and relationships can
begin to form. The doors are then opened for further discussion of
6. How do you think Christian Record labels can
better serve Christian radio?
know, I really don't have any advice for them. I find them pretty
7. In your opinion what are the biggest obstacles
facing Christian radio today?
You mean besides the fact that we are
understaffed and stretched for cash? One obstacle is that a lot of
people still think of Christian radio as "my grandmas music". I'm
amazed how many Church people are unfamiliar with what we've been
doing for years. I met someone just this week, a mom, mid 30's, 2
kids, Christian all her life and she just left secular radio
listening a few months ago when she discovered KSGN. To her ALL our
music is new. We need to get the word out even more.
8. What do you believe is the primary role of the
Christian radio air personality?
guess a good term can be: relationship facilitator. By that I mean,
as they relate to the listener, that person feels that they begin to
know the air-talent. It's that connection which allows the
air-talent to introduce the listener to the beauty of another
relationship, the one with Jesus Christ. This happens through both
the music and the content of the air-talents breaks. I'm not talking
about preaching at them, I'm talking about sharing in a personal
9. What (if any) Christian radio stations do you
consider as innovators today?
really pay attention to what's going on in Seattle at KCMS. I have
even borrowed some things from them (Thanks Scott). It's fun to
exchange ideas with Scott Valentine.
WPOZ in Orlando, Dean O'Neal (no relation) is doing a great job in
that market too.
10. Where do you see Christian radio in 5 years?
to see us continue to serve our customers, The listeners. We need to
keep our eyes and ears on the expectations of people who listen to
the radio, and be ready to address the changes in those expectations
as time goes by.