I am a radio geek. I’m one that would rather listen to the radio
than watch Television, enjoying all sorts of radio from the lowly
Citizen Band transceiver up through the newest HD and everything in
between. I am an eleven-year Husband of one and Stay-at-home
Dad of 4 (6 and under). Jesus rescued me in 1996 not long
after placing a Beautiful, Strong-willed, Spirit-filled young lady
in my life. (Story goes, Cale rescued her from his then “best”
friends evil grip, but who’s got the time for that debate?)
I’ve been a music fan for as long as I can remember…as a child it
was Chet Atkins, Boots Randolph, or Floyd Cramer, youth brought on
Huey Lewis, Van-Hagar, and Tower of Power, then a short stint into
the realm of Country and Western. Hard-Core rap and Heavy
Metal finished out my young adulthood, finally deciding that I
really did like it “all” with a small bias towards Rock and
into my lap one day in early 2004 while touring the then “very new”
WHRZ Studios. Britt Dillard, the GM, asked me off the cuff, if
I’d be interested in “doing some radio?” I presented my list
of excuses; my Wife, our toddling son, and our start-up small
business, but promised to pray it over. We did and in a few
weeks I began hosting a weekly “Hard Music” show. The
Zrevolution still airs each week, with my former co-host Phoenix
carrying on the mantel. As time progressed the Z Music
Director position opened up. Britt again asked if I’d be
interested, and here I am.
How was WHRZ launched….when , by who etc?
launched by First Baptist Spartanburg SC as an extension of its
ministry to students and parents of students. In April of 2003 FBS
opened their newly constructed Youth Center called The Hangar
across the street from the church. The central “Z” studios
are located in the Hangar facility. It was an intentional
decision to create an independent structure and that embodied a
passion for all the youth of The Upstate… not just the
students that attend First Baptist.
The minister of
Media at FBS, Britt Dillard, is no stranger to youth and media
ministry focus. Minister of Media since 1983, Britt also founded the
Sound of Light radio show in 1977 and later partnered with
WLFJ 89.3 His Radio to reach out to teens and young adults with a
weekly Christian Hit Radio show. As an advisory board member at His
Radio, Britt continued to be host of the Sound of Light until he
donated that brand to Crossover Ministries. On Thanksgiving Day
2004, Hangar Radio Z, 104.1FM went on the air as a single low power
FM and began streaming online at
WHRZ made any changes due to economic situation, been affected in
Yes, the entire staff took pay decreases
to keep the station solid and to insure that NO ONE from the staff
was let go! Station giving is down 19% but the church giving is up
6% from last year and is providing some additional support.
is your coverage area a unique Christian market?
The Z targets
listeners thirteen to thirty-three years old. Since its inception
the relationship with His Radio has broadened to include a network
partnership mirroring Hangar Radio Z; know as HIS Radio Z
. The Music programming is identical, the ZJ’s are the
same, the sweepers, Liners, Jingles and Spots all tailor the
stations to HisRadioZ and HangarRadioZ respectively. There are 12 FM
translators and 3 HD signals that rebroadcast THE Z, which allows
listeners from all over the state of SC to enjoy our programming.
In a market that tells us students don’t
listen to the radio …we see hundreds respond daily to the station
and to the “Z Care-line”, a 24/7 prayer ministry. 1-877-443-CARE …
Last month (august 09) taking over 700 calls from students and young
4. What criteria do you require for a song to be played on your
Listed in no particular order:
Is it Relevant
to our listening audience?
The Artists background (Faith, Walk, Lifestyle, Dedication)
The Message of the song (what is the artist trying to convey).
Does the “Sound” work for our station/listener?
Does the song have “Hit Potential”?
No Label Required!
5. What kind of promotions work best for Christian radio?
Around here simple “call ins” work as well as elaborate schemes and
big give-aways. We had a blast with a few “go to the movies
with the Z-team” contests a while back. Most anything you can
do to get out from “behind the Mic” and connect, one on one, with
the public will return rich rewards!
6. How do you think Christian Record labels can better serve
I believe they
are working really hard to keep us in radio-land happy. We
really enjoy the in-studio visits from artists. The marketing
folks seem to have a plethora of available promotional ideas and a
desire to share them. Like any relationship Open
Communications are Key. In addition, continue to search out
and provide Radio with “Solid” artist.
And to remember
the “little guy”-not everyone reports to the charts! Before
gaining reporting status, it was really tough to connect with the
labels and share our vision with them. I must add; a few
labels and promoters were so very gracious and generous prior to our
7. In your opinion what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian
We’ve gone so far forward/backward so quickly; I think we’ve
forgotten where we came from. Righteous in most of the world
is Old-speak. The demise of the family, slipping morals and
the stagnation of the Church have allowed our enemy to gain much
ground in this battle.
Ourselves: Labeling ourselves as “positive” in my opinion
won’t cut it much longer. Could you imagine Jesus just
being “Positive”? It’s my opinion that we, as believers must
become Intentional and Deliberate with the Gospel, take up our
cross and follow Him. With radio, He has given us the
platform; sadly (in some cases) I believe we may fail to utilize
it’s full potential.
8. What do you believe is the primary role of the Christian radio
All believers are called to be salt and light. We are
instructed to go out and bring others into the Kingdom.
Utilizing the gifts we’ve received to share the Good News of Jesus
with the listener should be our primary goal. Engaging folks
where they are in life and sharing how Christ can meet them there
and carry them forward should always be at the forefront of what we
do. Just the other day a friend reminded me that we are the
“information arteries” for our listeners in regards to the artist
and the stories of their songs, as well as serving the artist in the
same manner; keeping them abreast of what the audience is saying in
relation to the product offered, providing each side with valid
opinions, wants, needs and desires (a position we may sometimes take
for granted). Everything else could be considered nonsense and just
makes for entertaining radio, which can be found anywhere on the
9. What (if any) Christian radio stations do you consider as
RadioU… WPRJ “the Fuse”
10. Where do you see Christian radio in 5 years?
shining vestige of hope! The “Fairness Doctrine” could really
put a damper on things if we allow it. HD-I’ve no idea-but
hoping for the best? Wireless devices will continue to boom!
Free Public Wi-Fi service will probably be available throughout most
major metropolitan areas and that will lead to even more streaming
and additional competing outlets. Finally, I’d venture to say
that there would always be radio geeks like me, who want to listen
to a real radio, and don’t own an Ipod.