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Radio Interview

                                     

Dave Conour

Program Director

KYWA

Wichita

 

 

Dave's Career Capsule
First day on the air – January 6th 1996 at WIBI in Carlinville, IL.  I think I might have gotten my name and the call letters right in that first sentence.  Maybe.  Have also spent time at WBGL in Champaign, IL and KTLI in Wichita, KS.  Started as a part-time DJ on the weekends and 10 years later I get to be the Program Director.  What were they thinking!?

 

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

Wichita is an amazing town.  I had the same reaction that most people have when they think of moving to Kansas.  Flat…windy…and you better like wheat.  However, the day I drove the U-Haul into town was the day I fell in love with this city.  I could think of no better place raise my 4 children.  The arts are very important…and of course Wichita State University.  GO SHOCKERS!!  We have a minor league baseball team…and 3 of the largest airplane manufacturers are here.  It still costs a fortune to fly out of here…so apparently making the planes doesn’t warrant us a discount.  McConnell Air Force Base also provides some very unique vibe in the city.

 

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

I am going to make this the only cliché answer I give…but it is 100% true.  It’s all about the changed lives.  Since coming to Wichita…I have seen coats and blankets put on the homeless…teen girls make commitments to purity…record blood donations to the American Red Cross…just to name a few.  Christ is at work here…and I am thankful that He has chosen us to be a bullhorn for His work.  It’s incredible!

 

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

I think if there was one thing I could offer as advice for keeping the ministry part of the business strong…is to make it real in your personal life.  2005 was a year of personal tragedy for me and my children…and the Bible was my lifeline.  I wish very much that it didn’t take such a hard time in my life to show me what I needed to do personally.  So I encourage you to spend time with God everyday.  Read the Word…pray…talk to Him as often as you can.  He will speak to you.  And we do talk for a living…so I would bet He will talk through you, too.  The results of this personal change will bring GREAT benefit to the “business.”

 

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

A song on my station has many criteria.  First of which is the heart of the artist.  I would rather pass on a song than to play one where I can’t verify the artists lifestyle.  Obviously the sound of WAY-FM is very distinct and very few songs vary from this style.  And once they hit the air…the music tests take it from there.

 

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

Any promotion that gives the listener (in our case, her) something she needs.  And, honestly, the best ones are the intangible needs.  For instance…instead of giving a CD, you give a free room organization session.  So instead of free music…you have just provided peace of mind…time…freedom from the mess…etc.  Every time I do a promotion…it has to at least try to provide one of those ethereal, intangible needs.  And the good thing about those things are…they are nearly limitless in number.  So the options are infinite!

 

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

In fear of stepping on a toe or two…I truly wish they would listen to radio stations more.  This has gotten tons better over the years…but I still think that many albums go by with singles that would of hit my target listener right between the eyes.  Lean on our research…and we can help you choose singles.  As we all know…it can be a guessing game…and I am very thankful that the record companies are working as hard as they are. 

 

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

OK, I lied.  Second cliché answer.  Obviously money is a factor.  We have to continue to be compelling and have an impact on the communities we serve…or they will send their money someplace that does.  LIVE the life of Christ…and care for those in need…the money will come.

 

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

To be real.  If I hear one more pukey DJ on the air who never talks about his kids…or that his wife and he had a fight…I’ll scream.  I think the only way to connect with our listeners is to show them the real us.  The good…and the bad.  The listener wants to be understood…and not feel alone in the World.  We can actually provide that by being the flawed, nutty people we are everyday.

 

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

I am a little biased to the other stations in the WAY-FM network.  Local radio done in a cooperative network effort.  In my short, 10 year career…I have seen no better model for doing Christian radio.

 

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

As long as people like John Frost and Tommy Kramer have their hand in it…I truly believe we will stay on the cutting edge.  But…I believe the definition of that remains to be seen.  As long as we stay completely and totally plugged in to the needs of our communities…we will always be on the cutting edge.  We all know most radio stations don’t get that.

 

 

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