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Radio Interview
 

 

 

Denny Brownlee

 

Executive Producer

 

Family Life Network

 

Bath, NY
 

 

     

To contact Denny click here

 

 

 

 

 

 

Denny's Career Capsule
I co-hosted the morning show on FLN for about 12 years.  Last April I came off the air and made the switch to executive producer. My only previous radio experience was in the 1980’s when I wrote and performed some occasional bits and characters for the John-Boy and Billy show – a syndicated classic rock morning show based in Charlotte, NC.  Prior to working with Family Life, my Christian entertainment background was focused on writing and performing comedy and drama for stage and television.

 

1. How does a Christian radio morning show set itself apart from mainstream competitors?

Certainly content is the major difference.  Our music points people to the Lord and His presence in our lives, something that rarely happens in other formats.  But it’s what we do between songs that matters.  Our content should be just as relatable, entertaining and downright funny as anything else across the dial.  Family Life doesn’t need a filter either.  The material is clean and wholesome. That makes the biggest difference. Kids and adults can safely listen to us any time of day or night. There’s nothing to take your mind places it shouldn’t be going.

 

2. How has your morning show evolved or changed over the last few years?

We’ve undergone a number of personnel changes over the past couple years. Obviously different people bring many different perspectives, opinions, and styles to the show.  The challenge has been to build the show into a cohesive unit while still allowing the co-hosts to be themselves.  Partnership in radio – like anything else – takes a great deal of compromise and generosity, a desire to let your partner(s) shine, and a willingness to adopt a “servant’s heart.”  With that mindset – cohesiveness can and will happen.  And when it does, it’s a beautiful thing. 

 

3. What morning show topics seem to be hot right now?

Frankly, I don’t focus on the “what’s hot right now” because it’ll be cold next week.  Hot topics come and go.  Strike while the iron is hot and then move on.  We approach “hot topics” from the perspective of how well they fit into the show. Every show out there has the same stuff to pull from.  It’s what we do with that material that makes it truly “ours.”

 

4. What is the advantage of being live and local such as your show is?

Being live makes it possible for the listener to take an active part in the show. It gives them a measure of ownership. However, for Family Life, staying “local” is tricky.  We’re not nationally syndicated, but we’re not “local” in the traditional sense either. Our signals reach into large portions of New York and Pennsylvania, so remaining local is a big challenge.  From a logistical standpoint, we accomplish this by splitting our news, weather, spots and PSA’s into several regions.  From a programming perspective, it’s accomplished by 1) speaking to the individual listener, regardless of their address 2) taking part in regional events 3) tying local events into a regional mindset. (Ex:  “Here’s what they’re doing in Buffalo, NY – what’s happening in your town?”) and 4) having a strong website that can link us all together on the same page.

 

5. What kind of promotions work best for Christian morning shows?

We do promotions to strengthen the family.  God created the concept of family, so, of course, the Enemy wants to tear it down from every angle.  I love giving away tickets to marriage building seminars, family oriented films - anything that pulls the family together.  Family Life also has several other outreaches to cross promote, including a performing arts department, adult and kids ministries, family counseling and more.  It’s pretty special to have radio station - a promotional medium in itself - literally down the hall.

 

6. Do you use any show prep services… tell why or why not?

We use them sporadically, but with so much on the Web today, resources are readily available.  Again, it goes back to, “what can we do to make this ours?” We’ll take a show prep story and give it a new punch line, or create a character bit or discussion topic out of it. There’s always something more creative to do than a “rip-n-read.” 

 

7. What are the biggest obstacles facing Christian morning radio today?

One of the biggest challenges is to keep from becoming boring and predictable.  Then there’s that tendency of being hyper-afraid of offending someone, whatever the topic may be.  Never be ashamed of saying the Name above all Names:  Jesus.

 

8. Do you think there will be more or less morning syndication in the future of Christian radio?

I’m not an expert on this topic, but more syndication wouldn’t surprise me.  Most of all, I think we’ll start seeing more cross-pollination between radio, Web, and mobile devices.  People are already “building their own radio stations” with sites like Pandora, so I think things will continue in that direction – i.e., finding ways to create more flexibility and accessibility with our listening habits.  People look to morning radio to bring the fun as well as the music to get their days started right.  I don’t think that will change; however, the ways in which we access the content will.

 

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

Hopefully our show! There seems to be a lot of cookie-cutter mentality out there today. For example, I don’t buy the thinking that suggests there’s a certain person in our demo who somehow encapsulates everything we say and do. That’s the last thing I want from our morning show. I want our listeners to feel like they might miss something cool if they stop listening. 

 

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

I see Christian radio embracing technology in new, creative ways, and hopefully not falling behind the times. (This is an ironic statement coming from a real techno-stooge like me. However, I do understand “the times, they-are-a-changin’” mentality).  In relation to the morning show, we have a choice of continuing to preach to the choir or to start reaching out to a culture that doesn’t even know if God exists, and then loving them with Jesus’ love.  This is my heart.  We want our show to be relevant to people who aren’t Christians, too. Give them something better than the rest, break down the barriers with fun, relevant topics with plenty of comedy. Then we’ve earned the right to say, “Now that I have your attention, I’d like to introduce my real BFF – Jesus.”

 

 


 

 

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