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Radio Interview

Dan Raymond
 

Program Director

 

KNWS

 

Waterloo/Cedar Falls
 

To contact Dan click here
 

Dan's Career Capsule
I started on radio while I was 7 years old, voicing commercials into a Radio Shack cassette tape recorder my dad got for me.  I studied under the finest personalities – John Hines and Bob Berglund at 99 ½ WLOL, Minneapolis.  In addition to commercials, I sang and made other strange sounds onto cassettes.  Later, and slightly older, while in high school, I worked for KVSC/ St. Cloud, MN.  Having no other conceivable option for my life, with radio in my blood, I did what any good Twin Cities boy would do – I proceeded through the “degree” program at Brown Institute.  After Brown, I moved on to KNAB, KFJB, KXIA, and now am part of the team at Life 101.9.

 

1. How has KNWS evolved over the last few years?

It really wasn’t that long ago that KNWS was a blend of Inspo and AC in different dayparts, taking a satellite service for part of the day’s programming.  Since 2005, when I started, Life 101.9 has been completely live and local.  We’ve continued to strive for a more consistent programming lineup.  It’s been an amazing 4 years, working with a great team of people with differing strengths, passions, and gifts.  We’ve been blessed with increased opportunities to engage our eastern Iowa communities on the streets, giving our listeners opportunities to have fun, enjoy time together, and at times – to do something bigger than themselves and have an opportunity to see God at work.

 

2. Has KNWS made any changes due to the economic situation, been affected in any way?

Life 101.9, and our parent organization, Northwestern Media, have had to make varying adjustments to compensate for an overall decrease in listener support.  Fortunately, here in eastern Iowa, the economy has been relatively stable, and our listeners have continued to respond financially to help us continue our mission.

 

3. How is your coverage area a unique Christian market?

Life 101.9 covers 2 markets, Waterloo/Cedar Falls, & Cedar Rapids, which to some degree blend enough, because we’re all eastern Iowa together.  (But, there are subtle differences we remain aware of.)  So for the most part, we try to program in such a way that we don’t tip our hand one way or another with regard to the 2 cities (we try to acknowledge local in both communities - we have toll-free numbers to serve listeners in 4 different area codes) but, one thing we don’t do is attempt to hide that our studios are based in Waterloo.

 

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

A given song has to help us achieve our mission and purpose.  It has to – simply –  be positive and uplifting.  I consider production value, whether it fits our format, and I have to believe that it will be a favorite for our target listener after a year of spins.

 

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

We focus on and try to develop promotions that are relevant to the life and lifestyle of our target listener.  She likes to have fun, to experience freedom, to get together with those she loves, and she appreciates the opportunity to help someone else.

 

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

I’m starting to come into the opinion, and I hope it doesn’t mean my ears are getting “old”, that some songs (pre-air chain) sound like they have some unpleasant distortive properties (I have 1 recent example in mind).  Other than that, the friends I’ve made thus far on the label side have done an exemplary job at serving us – delivering great songs from wonderful artists, and providing valuable assistance in promotions.

 

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

Media choice – we need to continue to work the communication channels our target listeners are using, and just keep trying to intersect her life there.  Our complacency – we know we need to change various aspects of what we do, but either fear change or avoid it some other way. 

 

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

Be a friend – be all about what our target listener is thinking/ feeling/ wondering about, and reflect that.  A friend listens – so we need to listen to what she has to say, and let her say it in our shows.

 

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

There are probably many.  As one example, I recently heard Fish LA, and their frequent song outros.  I don’t know how long they’ve been doing that, but it was new and different to me as a facet of programming – it definitely stimulated my thinking process.  

 

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

Hopefully continuing to make the message of love and hope available to people as the number of communications channels seem to be continually multiplying.  In 5 years, we should be on every iPhone, Pre, and Storm (and their successors) with integrated ways for our listeners to be engaged with each other and us as we engage with them, somehow tying together existing, and yet to be invented, web products.  My new media guy says html 5 is going to eat everything alive and make the web amazingly awesome and new.  So let’s put our amazing geeks like him to work on that now to invent “what’s next” .

 

 

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