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Radio Interview

                                     

Dave Arthur

Program Director

KFIS

Portland

 

 

Dave's Career Capsule

I’d start by saying thank you to Lee Schafer in Boise, Idaho for giving this kid his first job in radio in 1983.  He still owns and operates KSPD and KBXL in Boise and has survived and FLOURISHED amongst all the big guns in town.  I have much respect for him!  Having started at KSPD in high school, I later ended up at other CHR stations in Boise including KIYS-FM, KF95, and Magic 93.1.  We moved to eastern Washington to help put KTWY on the air in 1996 and stayed there for 2 years programming and doing morning drive before moving back to Boise in 1998 to program Lite 108 for Clear Channel.  We moved again two years later to the Portland area to take on the morning show for Air 1 for a short stint before coming to where I am now at 104.1 The Fish for afternoons and the programming hat once again.

 

1. Tell us about your market and how it is unique?

Portland is a very liberal area and one of the more un-churched areas of the country.  And with as much rain as we get here, I soon learned new weather terminology when I came here, like “look for sun-breaks today!” and also “LOOK OUTSIDE!  The mountains are out!”.  We don’t tan, we rust! 

 

2. What is the most fulfilling aspect to you personally about Christian radio?

Being able to have a career for 22 non-stop years in radio has fulfilled a desire I’ve had since I was 7 years old listening to Larry Lujack on WLS in Chicago.  Having a job that is another extension of my faith couldn’t be better! 

 

3. How do you personally keep the ministry in the business?

As we work to appeal to a broad audience, you don’t hear us doing things like giving “The Verse of the Day”, but I hear month after month from listeners that the music really touches them and encourages them.  Its great when we get the chance to connect one on one with our listeners either in person, on the phone, or through emails.  Many times I find I’m the one being ministered to. 

 

4. What is the criteria that determines if a song receives airplay on your station?

Like many stations, we do our best to research what our listeners WANT to hear.

 

5. What kind of promotions work best for your station?

As far as on-air promotions, the contest in and of itself needs to be entertaining for EVERYONE who’s listening, and the prize awarded needs to be valuable and desirable… not just the usual free CD.

 

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

Some labels have actually started doing some of this, but I’d love to see them do more music research.

 

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

We’re blessed to have a great marketing budget, but I know MANY don’t.  It’s hard to draw new listeners if they’re not aware you exist.  It’s hard to KEEP listeners if you’re not constantly reminding them to tune in. 

 

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

Obviously, we’ve heard time and time again that we need to be relatable and connect with our listeners.  Give her a name, make up a profile and get to know her.  That still holds true.  Know who your listeners are and what they’re doing.  Find what makes them smile and glad they took the time to listen… and don’t waste their time to take 45 seconds to tell them something when you could done it in 15 seconds!

 

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

Anytime I’m in Orlando (not often enough!) I love listening to WPOZ.  The last time I was there, they were in the middle of their share-a-thon, they made it SO entertaining to listen to!  Asking for financial support can be such a tune out, but the take-off of Extreme Home Make-Over they were doing made you want to keep listening!  I also have much respect for what the guys at WayFm are doing.  They really have a great product that gathers in some younger demo’s which as a whole in our industry are not being serviced as well.

 

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

In five years I still see us using our earth bound transmitters but I have a feeling some networks may try to utilize satellite as well.

 

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