Following a 20-year military career and a few years as owner of an
independent marketing firm, Dan joined the broadcast group in 1999.
Serving our nation in positions around the globe, his career focused
on the design and integration of automated communication systems for
applications ranging from Special Operations to Disaster Response
Teams. Before assuming his current position in 2004, Dan was the
Production Director, as well as working on air and in sales.
Personally how do you keep the ministry in the “business”?
It's really not a matter of “how” for a believer, is
it? To answer the question, though - you simply keep your heart in
the ministry. Yes, we have payroll, FCC requirements, and electric
bills, but above any of that we have an obligation to honor God in
all we do. Being in a combined business/ministry doesn’t mean you
have to “over-spiritualize” every opportunity, nor does it mean
every ministry application has to produce a profit. What it does
mean is that the end result of every effort has to be in the best
interest of the ministry of your station.
2. Overall, how is Christian radio different today,
from 5 years ago?
From a competitive standpoint, we’re improving. In
large part, that's due to the quality of the music available.
3. What do you think are the main characteristics of
a Christian radio GM?
What GMs need to do most is lead.
I’ve never really liked the word “Manager” - it
implies someone who only meets expectations or stays the course.
Radio is too much a dynamic field to be left in the hands of
followers. There are always new areas to forge, and challenges we
can only hope to meet around every corner. There are future leaders
just a step behind every GM hoping for direction. Too often
direction is assumed instead of given.
So...characteristics of a Christian radio GM?
4. What ways or methods do you think work best to
keep your staff motivated?
People want to know they're important. Providing a
level field for everyone to learn and grown on is vital to producing
and maintaining a motivated staff. It's nice to be able to reward a
top performer with a gift every now and then, but you can ensure
regenerated motivation by allowing every individual the opportunity
to experience the weight of responsibility, the temporary regret of
“almost”, and the satisfying thrill of success.
5. What kind of promotions work best for Christian
Like anything else we do, a good promotion has to be
built at the intersection of research and creativity. In the end,
it's of little importance what the prize is – but what we did to
connect while we gave it away.
6. How do you think Christian Record labels can
better serve Christian radio?
I think the Christian record labels do a great job
now. They're finding and investing in talented musicians. There are
plenty of “one hit” artists in any genre, including all
subcategories of Christian music. When record labels take the risk
on an artist with a new sound or approach to music as a professional
ministry, they give radio the chance to become equally innovative
and create something that outshines our secular competitors.
7. In your opinion what are the biggest obstacles
facing Christian radio today?
Apathy will always be the biggest obstacle. Too may
people are content to hold on and hope for the best, compared to the
number who are brave enough to lead the way into tomorrow. Jesus –
our example – went to some great lengths to tell people about what
His Father's love was really about during His time as a man. He
didn't follow trends, but He capitalized on them to accomplish His
8. What do you believe is the primary role of the
Christian radio air personality?
Our primary goal is to connect. In a note to a
recently hired personality, I challenged him to never stop reminding
that he cares personally about our listeners and their world. I
encouraged him not to be a “voice on the radio”, but a friend – one
who understands what his listeners may be dealing with. The pain of
marriage problems, children at different stages of life, struggles
at work, joy over answered prayer – these are all part of everyday
life, and good opportunities to relate to the audience.
9. What (if any) Christian radio stations do you
consider as innovators today?
I don't know if it qualifies as innovation or not,
but I like the courageous transitions I've seen at WMIT in Black
Mountain, NC. With a signal that will take you almost from Nashville
to the coast, they've built an audience that followed them from a
largely Inspirational station to a s-s-s-s-smokin' AC mix, and even
into a CHR station on an HD channel.
10. Where do you see Christian radio in 5 years?
Assuming there will still be one or two Christian
stations that EMF doesn't operate (just joking – or am I?), I'd
guess Christian radio will continue to be among the most underrated
stations in their markets, while making the most genuine impact on
their respective communities.