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Radio Interview

                                     

Dave Ryerson

Program Director

WSMR

Sarasota

 

 

 

Dave's Career Capsule

Started in radio in 1996 after attending Brown Institute in Minneapolis. I got my first gig that summer doing Classic Rock in Ottumwa, IA (KKSI). Worked there as the morning guy and PD until I moved to Sioux Falls, SD in 1998. Worked as the PD and morning show host for KRRO until 2001 when I moved to South Bend, IN. Was the PD and morning show host for a short while at Classic Rock WAOR (it wasn’t a good fit). Moved to Burlington VT the next year where I programmed WZRT in Rutland, VT and launched WVTK in Burlington. I was in VT for 2 years until this August when I took the PD and morning show host gig in Sarasota, FL for WSMR.

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

There are technically 4 Christian stations in this market. You can’t just be a station Christians will listen to, you have to find a hole in the market and try and fill that void, because there’s a lot of options for Christian music.

 

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

There’s almost too much to mention, but I really love being able to share my faith on the air and being able to play music that praises God and not the desires of society.

 

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

Being on in the mornings, I have the opportunity to relate how God works in my life. Really though, the main focus of our station is going to be “serving” in the community. It’ll be a great way to get the message out there.

 

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

It has to fit the sound of the station, and if not, is it something that we know the audience wants to hear?

 

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

We have a lot of work to do in strengthening our P1 base, so any simply loyalty contests that allow us to build up that relationship. We had a great brainstorming session recently and really came up with some unique and fantastic ideas about what our listener want and how we can provide it for her.

Aside from the “contest” type of promotions, I’m a big believer in community events. You can not be out enough standing right along side people in the community and developing a relationship.

 

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

Call me! Seriously, I have yet to have one label call me, or to get any sort of service in any way…(941) 906-9767.

 

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

Stereotypes. Before I took this gig, I’d never even listened to Christian radio. I just always assumed it was organ music and a local pastor. There is some really good music in this format, are we out there enough letting people know about how good the format is?

 

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

We came up with what we call our “3 E’s”: Entertain, Empower and Encourage. If we can do at least one of those every time we open the mic, we’re doing our job. I’ve always challenged my jocks “what were you hoping to accomplish with that break?”. If it doesn’t have a purpose, why do it? You’re wasting their time and fueling the perception that “DJ’s talk to much”. If we engage the listener and give them one of those three E’s, we have made a connection.

 

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

I guess I’m too new to the format to really answer that.  Though I haven’t listened to them, I’m very impressed with how innovative our Des Moines station KNWI is, they’re really seeing some great growth for a new station. I also hear great things about  Z88.3 in Orlando, but I haven’t had a chance to listen to them yet.

 

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

Hopefully not obsolete. I don’t know where I see radio in 5 years. I think radio is on the verge of becoming obsolete. Is HD radio really the answer, or are cell phones the real focus? The growth of the format is really encouraging, so I know that when radio finds a way to advance with technology, there will still be people in need of what we have to offer.

 

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