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Radio Interview

                                     

Dan Raymond

Program Director

KNWS

Waterloo

 

 

Dan's Career Capsule
Started doing radio while in high school in 1993.  Volunteered at a college owned community station in St. Cloud, MN, (88.1 KVSC) playing, anything I wanted.  Did the Brown Institute thing for 2 years.  First paying radio job was at KNAB in Burlington, CO… wrote and produced all spots and spent lots of time staring out at the endlessly huge horizon.  That lasted a year; then I went to Marshalltown, IA to be a full-time DJ at Oldies AM 1230 KFJB.  Got promoted there in 1999 to continuity director – wrote all the station’s spots and directed the production staff.  Also did weekend shifts on sister station KIX-101.1… yup – country music.  I actually like country music!  2004 rolls around… family is growing… recently re-ignited faith is growing… couldn’t in my own conscience continue to write ads for and lead the public to places for which I was doing ads (bars, state lottery, casinos, payday and car title loan places.)  I started to look around for jobs in Christian radio… It took well over a year of searching – in spring 2005, I see on their web site, the Christian station I listen to everyday (Life 101.9 in Waterloo) was looking for a PD, so I applied… waited about 4 months through the interview process, and in August 2005 got hired on!

 

1. Personally how do you keep the ministry in the “business”? 

Personally – it starts with keeping a constant connection to Jesus.  Pouring his Word into me everyday (well, almost every day J).  Fellowship with believing friends.   A connection to a vibrant body of believers.  That’s what I do to try to keep a perspective that what I do in my life with others is ministry.  Having that in my personal life helps reinforce the connection through the work I do at the station.  Sometimes it’s hard to imagine that sweating out hand-scheduling overly tight portions of a play list is ministry, but when the calls and emails come in, and they come in regularly, it really reminds me that God is using everything we do at the station, even the small things, to impact lives of listeners.

 

2. Overall, how is Christian radio different today, from 5 years ago?

I don’t have first-hand knowledge.  I wasn’t listening to or working in Christian radio 5 years ago.  But, from what I’ve heard… Music – better, tighter selection for air, and better production value than ever before.  Focus – targeting one demo with one format on one signal and serving that target like crazy.  Quality – stepping up production value of imaging, promos, etc.

 

3. What do you think are the main characteristics of today’s Christian radio PD?

Number one – a servant’s heart and a constant striving to lead like Jesus led.  Others in no particular order: A passion for excellence – to let no small detail go unscrutinized.  Humility – to be able to stand before those with more experience and ask, Please teach me, or Please give me advice on how I can improve.  Confidence, but not cockiness – an ability to make a decision and stand by the decision… then to let the team take credit for the score, or to take the brunt of the stuff when it hits the fan after a bad move.  An ability to keep work at work, and go home to your family on time whenever possible.  I’m sure there are more, but I’m using a lot of screen space…. And to be sure, I haven’t mastered any of these things.  Still working on them all.

 

4. What criteria do you require for a song to be played on your station?

It has to have a message that points a listener in some way to Jesus.  It has to be, to our target listener, Positive and Uplifting.  It has to be one that between myself and my network MD, we feel will have a chance at being a favorite for our listener in the next year.  It has to be an artist that has credible national distribution.  It has to be THE slam dunk of the week when a slot opens on my playlist.

 

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

For Life 101.9, concerts have done very well.  In the year-and-a-half I’ve been here, we’ve had a bunch of concerts with 3,000 to 5,000 folks showing up.  We’re striving to develop more promotions that really connect with “Barb” where she’s at, and to develop more promotions that have a positive impact in our area communities.  

 

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

Well, I’m not a reporting station – yet… coming very soon as I understand it (Whoo hoooo!).  Up til now, I’ve been served pretty well when I’ve requested it.  Just keep the awesome artists and their songs coming our way!

 

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

Money seems to be a big one.  A lot of time seems to be invested in determining how and where to find it.  Talent is another one… during two recent openings, I was surprised by how few qualified applicants came across my desk.

 

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

Relate.  Don’t preach at her.  Don’t talk at her.  Don’t tell her what to do.  Get to know her, spend time with her, and then be her friend. 

 

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

KNWI – Des Moines // Z-88.3 – Orlando // KSBJ – Houston

 

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

Hopefully, serving many more listeners – in other words, with higher cumes.  Plus, it’ll be interesting to see where we’ll find our place in the digital neighborhood.  Hopefully, we’ll find our appropriate place in digital, whether it be HD or web streams serving consumers through Wi-Max “radios”.  We need to figure out how to make the best use of the technology to further our reach and not just get lost in the clutter.

 

 

 

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