Coppelia's "Beautiful History"
I grew up in
Puerto Rico and when I was 14, my church youth group
participated in a local radio show for youth "Studio 1190" (wow,
memories!) It was so much FUN! (Note: Puerto Rico has over 120
radio stations on the island, and this was one of the only 2
that had English/bilingual programming. You could already start
to see God’s plan for my life starting to unfold….little did I
I remember asking
the co-host (Chuck Newby) that I wanted to “learn what all those
buttons did”. He probably thought I was crazy! But a few years
later, my freshman year in college, he told me they were hiring
part-time weekend board ops. Little did I know, that was step #1
in a long staircase to where I am today. I thank God that He
opened that door for me. The Luttrell family (especially Janet)
and their radio staff mentored me and helped me go from weekend
board op to office manager, traffic, music, sharathons,
underwriting, promotions, production, copywriting, on-air and
eventually programming director! After almost 10 years at The
Rock Radio Network, I had the privilege of meeting David Pierce
and Mike Novak at an NRB convention. God opened the door for me
to come work at EMF Broadcasting (K-LOVE and Air 1 radio
networks) as National Promotions Director. Shortly after, I had
my first child, and transitioned to evening host on Air 1. A
year later, I did mornings with Eric Allen, then middays,
afternoons and evenings again. I've done it all! And it's been
fantastic! It’s really been a journey that only God could’ve
designed and I thank Him for leading me every step of the way.
I'm so excited about what the future holds!
1. How has your show evolved
or changed over the last few years?
I have done
pretty much every day part, so my show has not stopped evolving.
The most fun I had was working with Eric Allen on the Air 1
Morning Show. I'd put together a run down of hourly topics that
we'd go thru, keeping it fun and upbeat in the mornings. I aimed
to have a blend of current news, entertainment & lifestyle, and
personal stories/funny stuff.
of the day part I’m doing, I still enjoy browsing websites,
especially the Air 1 news page and msn.com. I also like checking
out what listeners and artists have been posting on their blogs,
facebook and twitter, and picking the most interesting material
to feature on air. I think that's what has changed the most.
It's easier to connect (literally) now that so many share their
lives through social networking sites. I love how technology
lets us connect with listeners better than we ever had before.
Although there's nothing like riding roller coasters together
(like we did with listeners at Great America in Santa Clara, CA
at an Air 1 event!!)
important is social networking to Christian Radio personalities?
another wonderful way to stay connected with listeners. I'll
give you an example: before social networking, let's say you'd
go to an event and meet a lot of people. Maybe some took
pictures. They probably were not going to develop those
pictures, write a letter and mail it to you (some would, but it
would arrive a few weeks after the event.)
I was at an
Air 1 event in Oklahoma City with Tenth Avenue North. Listeners
took pictures and video, posted them on facebook, sent me a
link, and we were able to connect immediately after the event!
It was awesome to be able to stay in touch, and still go back
and leave comments for each other, etc... Can you tell I love
What show topics seem to be hot right now?
recently had listener feedback about tweets! For example, Matt
Papa likes to share though-provoking quotes via Twitter. I share
that on the air, and the following day people are e-mailing,
wanting to know where they could get that quote. On a more
serious note, just this week, I heard from a 30 year old mom of
3 kids who is overwhelmed and said God is using Air 1 to remind
her she's not alone. We share people's life stories on-air, and
it's encouraging to others to know someone is facing a similar
struggle and making it through with God's help. I'd say the more
we can focus the spotlight on the listeners, we'll find all the
hot topics our shows will ever need!
What can Christian Radio do to develop young talent?
reading about this in a book recently (The Powerful Radio
Workbook by Valerie Geller). Look around the office for the
person who is always the center of attention. Instead of looking
for "jocks", look for normal people who have potential and try
them out! You never know that a receptionist, board op or
volunteer might be the next star! I'm very grateful that the
Luttrells at The Rock Radio Network saw potential in me as a
college student, invested in me and mentored me. And I'm
grateful that David and Mike also believed in me enough to
invite me to be a part of an amazing ministry like EMF
(K-LOVE/Air 1). Look for potential, bring it in, coach & polish.
I think the more we do that, the more we'll be pleasantly
What kind of promotions work best for Christian air
promotions that connect the listener with the artist, and are
entertaining, not just for the caller & the jock, but for
everyone listening. We did a promotion on Air 1 where we played
audio clips of John and Korey Cooper of Skillet doing a "He
Said/She Said" bit about marriage and family life. It was super
entertaining for both the people listening and the caller that
was guessing the answer to the questions; it was a win-win!
you use any show prep services… tell why or why not?
(K-LOVE) introduced me to ShePrep and I used to work with Eric
Allen as a co-host, who used to write Positive Prep. I also
receive Randy Lane's show prep ideas newsletter, which is great.
But to be honest, although these are very helpful, I mostly get
show prep on websites, magazines, TV and real life. My friends,
and especially my hubby, know that whatever happens could end up
on the air!
What are the biggest obstacles facing Christian air
I would say
lack of coaching, mis-communication, and the ever-increasing
need to be relevant without "watering down the Gospel". Perhaps
station managers and PD's appreciate their talent, but don't
quite know how to express the love. There is also no clear
definition of how to grow in terms of a career path, so we may
feel like we excel in what we do, but where do we grow from
here? How can talent avoid being pigeonholed? And we want to
reach out to the world and draw them in to hear the message, but
how can we do that without sounding "too christian-y" or "too
worldly"? Let's talk amongst ourselves (feel free to engage in
firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd love to hear your thoughts!)
you think there will be more or less syndication in the future
of Christian radio?
I would hope
there would be less. We can probably benefit from a more
personal, local feel. People can choose to program their iPods
and play CD's in their cars. If we don't have a connection with
them, we might lose them to the technology that best serves
them. But if they know their "friend" is on the air, and we'll
serve them better than any technology could, they'll want to
connect with us every day. That's my hope.
What (if any) Christian radio shows do you consider as
definition of innovation is introducing something new, better
than what exists, and I'm looking for that! I have to say that I
like what Scott and Kelli are doing on afternoons on K-LOVE.
They have a really great blend of crazy-fun with teary-eyed
stories, and they make you feel like you're a friend when you
listen. But as far as something new, I'd love to see more shows
with diversity. I'm Latina, born and raised in Puerto Rico, and
I believe Christian radio has diverse listeners. I'd love to see
a more accurate view of the current culture, a better mirror of
the communities we serve. And by culture & community, I mean
let's share our traditions, stories, celebrations, etc ... Our
belief in God is still centered in the Bible and we still
proclaim Jesus' sacrifice and victory over sin and death! I just
think we could add some flavor to the way we celebrate that
Truth (and flavor comes in all shapes and sizes!! Think "red and
yellow, black and white, all our precious in His sight..."!)
Where do you see Christian morning radio in 5 years?
I'd love to
see Christian morning radio connecting more in the
community--really making a big enough splash that non-Christians
can't help but to want to listen! There is a station in Puerto
Rico, Nueva Vida FM, that has been giving secular stations a run
for their money. If I'm not mistaken, they are still among the
top 10 stations on the island (and Puerto Rico has around 120
radio stations on one small island!
think we'll see more and more Christian stations ruling the
ratings, as we strive to connect with our listeners, look them
in the eye, and blow their minds with amazing radio they can
enjoy and be blessed by every day!