dream was to either play in a rock band or to be involved with film
production, but it was radio that caught me in college. I began at
WCSG in 1980 as a volunteer, working my way "up the food chain" on
and off air in various capacities, and eventually was hired full
time in December of '84.
Over the next 7-8 years, I covered every shift there is to cover,
landing as PD by ‘91 and Ops Manager in ’93. In ‘95, I added
“Adjunct Instructor” at Cornerstone University, teaching basic media
for five years. At the same time, I also began an Internet forum
(eventually called GoodRadio.net) designed to discuss what I thought
to be the “deeper” questions not necessarily addressed by the
Since the fall of 2004, I now serve as WCSG’s GM and PD. WCSG
continues to receive God’s blessing in sustaining a top-five market
share for P12+, and a top-three market share for W35-54, financial
stability and national recognition, but most importantly as
evidenced in the thousands of changed lives in the people we reach
every day. I’m actively involved (planning and sometimes speaking)
at radio conferences (NRB, GMA, Conclave) and assist other Christian
stations with short and long term planning, most notably KGCB/Radio
Shine in Prescott, AZ where I serve as consultant and board member.
Personally how do you keep the ministry in the “business”?
practicing good ministry is also good business. That sounds a bit
cliche'-ish and oversimplified, but it's true more times than not.
Ministry is about service, and for business to have the edge on its
competitor, it appears that customer service provides that edge.
Seems to me if we do that right, the "business" side of "business"
almost takes care of itself.
Overall, how is Christian radio different today, from 5 years ago?
It's become more
interactive and interpersonal - at least the good stations are. It's
engaging the listener to become more involved as opposed to
remaining passive. And more and more stations are asking for help,
and listening to good counsel. The good ones are making better
choices about investing in the future - not just in technology, but
in personnel - the hiring and training of staff (on and off air) to
develop compelling content.
3. What do
you think are the main characteristics of a Christian radio GM?
I wish I were
better at it, but a GM must, imho be the team's top server,
encourager, empowerer, visionary. Service in all things thru
humility; it truly is amazing when a GM diverts the credit from
himself to his team.
timely and appropriate encouragement and affirmation is huge; be
your team's biggest cheerleader. Delegation and trust of your team
is essential if the team is ever going to move past where any one
person could take the station. And helping the team see what the
future could provides hope and fuels passion for the station's
mission to be fulfilled.
ways or methods do you think work best to keep your staff motivated?
I try and talk
with each person every day - even for five minutes - talk about
something other than work. And when I say "talking," I really mean
it's as much about listening as talking; truly being interested in
each team member goes a long way. That, and finding ways to
appreciate each staff person to let her know how much I, the other
staff and listeners value her contributions (hand-written notes
really go a long way in saying, "thank you.")
kind of promotions work best for Christian radio?
I think the best
ones are ones that validate your target's shared values. We've
recently done a couple of times "the Drive Thru Difference,"
inviting listeners going thru a fast-food drive thru to pay for the
person behind them. There's more to it than that (station tie-in
that I won't take time to explain), but it's things like that.
Things like S.O.A.P. for your neighbor (Step Out And Pray) for your
neighbor; World's Biggest Baby Showers (for pregnancy care centers),
"Class Act BackPack drives" (collecting backpacks and school
supplies for needy kids, the "Cool Crew" (your staff goes out and
gives away free bottled water in a very busy public area. In other
words, polarizing your listeners (and their shared values) to do
things like this that are not only inexpensive but create an
incredible amount of community buzz (and curiousity) about your
6. How do
you think Christian Record labels can better serve Christian radio?
appreciate the service we get from the labels. I know many don't get
what we do, but we also give the labels a sizeable audience. I
appreciate the comradery and shared perspectives, even with somewhat
differing agendas. Keeping the artists real and available is a huge
plus for us, as is the willingness to work together on creating
shared plans that mutually benefit both the station and label.
7. In your
opinion what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian radio today?
relevant, especially when it seems more and more stations struggle
with the ability to service the listener not only with what she
wants but when and how she wants it delivered. Add to that the
understanding that it's not just about keeping pace with technology,
it's keeping pace with her expectation for instant gratification and
your ability to provide it. More than anyone else, especially
because we represent *the* customer Servant, need to excel in this.
8. What do
you believe is the primary role of the Christian radio air
over-simplified, but really, it's offering compelling communication
that connects in a way that engages the listener to a deeper
relationship with Christ. That doesn't happen every break, but, with
initiative and intention, it can happen every shift.
(if any) Christian radio stations do you consider as innovators
know they get a lot of kudos, and rightfully so. Their service to
the community is unparalleled, especially when it comes to what
counts for the community. KSBJ/Houston... same story. I've always
been impressed with KTSY in Boise as well. Amazing what you can do
with such a small staff. The same is true of our sister station,
WaYG/WaYK. I love the mission and the heart with which this staff
reaches kids, and just as cool is the way they do it.
do you see Christian radio in 5 years?
(I hope) much
more involved with if not hand-in-hand with the internet. I think
WiFi and cellphone integration is where our minds are setting, and
how we can best involve ourselves in making the most out of these
means of delivery. I'm also hoping and believing that more stations
will tap into the greatest resource we have - people. Not
necessarily employees, but people involved with the station: donors,
street teams, congregations, business professionals. Radio was once
passive, and may still be, but I sense it has the potential to be
much more a presence and part of every day life than ever.