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Bryan O'Neal

Program Director

KSGN

Riverside

 

     

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Bryan's Career Capsule
1972-1994  mainstream Top40 and AC radio, Portland Oregon  KPAM-FM - 62KGW - KCNR-FM , 1994-1998 K-Love Network, Sacramento - Afternoons/production, 1998-2001 KPAM-AM Portland-Program Director, 2001 -2005 Air1  Network Program Director, 2005-06 KTSL- Spokane, Program Director, AM Drive,  2006 to Present 89.7 KSGN - San Bernardino-Riverside, Program Director, PM drive.  (As a teen I listened to both Dick Jenkins on KISN, and KPAM-FM,  and Alan Mason (aka: Mike Rivers) on 62 KGW, in Portland.

 

1. Recently you have undergone heart bypass surgery and a are recovering at home, tell us about this experience?

First, I had 3 new stents placed in March (the first was placed in 2000)  I expected to go back to the Catheter lab and see if I needed new stents or if there was a problem with the newest ones.  It turns out, the recent stents were failing and I had to do a quadruple bypass.  I'm too impatient to rest and do nothing... but in this case, after they open your chest and sew in 4 arteries and veins you don't have much choice. I am grateful to God for about the 3rd or 4th chance to keep living. I have known for 10 years that I have a hereditary issue with the arteries, the internal walls get damaged and that attracts calcium and plaque. The surgeon says my heart is "healthy and strong" and after recovery from surgery I should be better than I have been in years. If we get these "free radicals" in the arteries managed, I could have a lot less problem in the future. 

 

2. How has this time “off” affected your perspective on life in general?

It has again reinforced the truth that none of us know how many days we have on this earth and we need to make the most of them. I remember more than one person at Momentum saying, "I't would drive me crazy knowing I had blockage and had to have surgery." I don't want to sound super spiritual, but I have learned not to worry, and God tells us not to worry about tomorrow. Sometime my response to people would leave them thoughtful.. I said, "the only difference between me and a lot of people is I know exactly what going on in my arteries.... most will be surprised by a problem and only some of those will survive."

 

3. How has this time off affected your perspective on Christian Radio?

Well, I was in the hospital for 6 days before surgery. I had to get Plavix out of my system before they would operate, it took that long. I was at first calling Brandi and changing sweepers, and asking her to do other stuff... ya, programming from the hospital bed. Loma Linda Hospital has KSGN as a listening option on their TV system and I switched from PD to a guy needing lifesaving surgery.  To borrow from a Charlie Peacock lyric. I was "A man in need of a savior". A Savior/Comforter, a Savior/Healer. I was experiencing first hand what our listeners have told us for years... The songs, written to convey God's love were helping me through a very serious time in my life. God, through the music was letting me know He was in charge, he was comforting my fears and helping me to he was there and in charge.  Like a lot of people, my spirit focused on one particular song which I call my "comfort" song.  Chris Tomlin's , "Our God"  --- "Our God is healer, Awesome in Power".  Thanks for writing that Chris!

 

4. What advice do you have for Christian Radio programmers in regards dealing to daily pressures of “getting the job done”?

Even with as much pressure as we have, You and your health are more important than the job. I walk away from stuff that I prefer to have done now, all the time. It's not easy but you have to do it. I have a family that needs me and of course my health to consider.  

 

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

We find that best ones are promotions that involve the listener is some way, perhaps we can motivate people to come with us to buils a play ground  for a school that needs it, or give coats to keep people warm (yes, even in Southern California), or with on air giveaways, they get to be interactive with the jock, I love the kind where we have them share their stories and then we share CD's or concert tickets with them. 

 

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

I think they are doing a pretty good job as it is... I'm happy to see that more and more of them are visiting the west coast with artists. My door is always open.

 

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

From what I see, it's not enough personel, and that comes from low budgets and our economy. It's funny, John Frost calls us the "cut and paste" station because Brandi Lanai and I are the only live full time staff here.

 

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

To make friends with the listeners and always  be relevant to what the listener's interests are. To reflect their life, engage them and not talk at them , but with them as if there we sitting across the console from you. I have great people who do exactly that, and via voice tracks too!

 

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

I always like to keep in touch with Scott Valentine at KCMS, and also Sarah Taylor for music feedback.  Z88 in Orlando is another favorite watch what Dean O'Neal has been doing there for years.  I'm also impressed with the innovation coming out of  KTIS- St. Paul-Minneapolis, under Jason Sharp, and now I'm excited to see what my friend Keith Stevens will do to continue to build a great radio station.

 

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

Despite what you hear.. still on the air... but what will that look like? I don't know. More and more content driven I hope, listening to the listeners is key, but the way technology changes, I'm as curious as anyone on how we will have to adapt over time, but adapt we must.


 

 

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