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Radio Interview

                                     

Darrell Reimer

Music Director

WTGN

Lima, OH

 

 

Darrell's Career Capsule
I started my radio career in Fargo, North Dakota as a weekend part-timer for Christian radio station KFNW AM/FM in 1988.  I moved from there to News Anchor/Reporter for Minnesota Public Radio for six years, then returned to KFNW from 1996 until 2001.  I began as the Afternoon Drive announcer, and ended my time there as Program Director for the AM station.  I took a break from radio to pastor a church for five years, but God called me back to Christian radio in 2005.  My "official title" here is Music Director, but I am also Morning Drive Host and Webmaster. 

 

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

The first thing for me is to make sure the "ministry" aspect is in my LIFE.  That is, I must make sure that everything thing I do is empowered by the Holy Spirit, promoting the cause of CHRIST (and not MINE), and from a heart of gratitude for what Christ has done for me.  I think if I start with my own heart, keeping ministry in the business will flow...at least that's my prayer!

 

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

I think the NUMBER of stations is different...there seem to be a lot more of us in so many markets.  Along with that, the proliferation of Network-type stations has changed the way local stations define themselves.  The "market share" pie is cut into smaller and smaller pieces, so stations who are locally owned and operated have to think even harder about how to gain and maintain listeners.  The other thing I think has been changing for quite some time is how music genres are defined.  WTGN is an INSPO station, but what DEFINES INSPO has become less and less clear.  So many artists are cutting songs which cross several genres and styles.  That issue I think is the biggest change I've seen.

 

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

Hmm....well, I believe number one they need to be committed to the cause of Christ through radio.  I also believe they need to be solidly committed to the stations Mission and Vision...and if the station doesn't' HAVE one, work to create one.  Thirdly, I believe they need to have flexibility to work with listener trends, but the stability to maintain their mission, working together as a team inside the building.

 

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

Number One, it must be understandable...words must be clear and not overpowered by the instruments; Second, the message must be at least in some way connected to the Christian message; Third, the flow of the song has to be able to be understood by someone driving in their car or getting ready for the day, in other words it shouldn't be complicated; Fourth, to be in our regular rotation, we require that the artist's material be nationally released.  We do have a special program for local artists who have recorded material, but for a song to get daypart airtime, they must be a "national" artist....not necessarily be with any particular label, however.

 

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

I think the best types of promotions for the station are when the staff can get out into the mainstream of the public.  Its great to be involved at Christian events, but when a station appears at events that are not necessarily "Christian" (such as Coat Collections or Food Pantry or a High School Football game), we expand our audience immediately.

 

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

I think they can help us by not trying to force artists to be someone they are not.  Rather than PUSH a style or artist, I'd like to have them call me and find out what our listeners are like...then really LISTEN!

 

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

Well, obviously, video games and TV options are one area.  There are just so many options for people now.  But I also wonder if more and more Christians are becoming complacent...or are finding it hard to know what it really means to BE a Christian...that impacts Christian radio, because one of our goals is to encourage them in their faith.  I don't see the Internet or other delivery forms being as much of an obstacle as others might...because I think radio will always be here....we just need to adapt to listening trends without compromising our mission, goals and values.

 

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

His/her primary role is to ENCOURAGE the listener...pure and simple.  We are to encourage them to faith in Christ, encourage them in their growth, encourage them in their daily life. 

 

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

 

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

I believe the format of Christian radio will not be significantly different...but it appears to me that individual radio stations will more and more adopt a singular ministry.  They will have to narrow their focus as more and more stations enter the markets.  I also see more and more stations being bought out by larger networks, which reduces the local focus for many stations

 

 

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