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!
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
Fellowship with believing friends.
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
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?
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
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?
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
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
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
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
9. What (if any) Christian radio stations do you consider as
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