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Radio Interview

                                     

Ed Franklin

Program Director

WNPQ

Canton

 

 

Ed's Career Capsule
Went to broadcasting school and didn't get my first break in radio until 10 years later.  Oh, the jobs in-between!  Got my start six years ago at this same station.  Was hired as a part time weekend overnighter (voice tracking, no less!)  Jumped around to just about all the dayparts finally landing in the PM drive time slot.  Hosted "Ed in the Afternoon" for five years.  Have been station PD for three years.  Still can't believe I get paid to do this!  (Don't tell the boss that!)

 

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

Focus, focus, focus.  We are in the world but not of the world.  You personally have to let your moral compass be your guide.

 

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

The overall sound quality of the stations from positioners, liners, promos, air talent is so much more superior to even a few years ago.  We can't forget about the music either.  Today's Christian artists are producing music of a quality that is on par if not exceeding that of their secular counterparts, which, of course, makes our job that much easier.

 

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

Glazed look over eyes, missing clumps of hair, nervous twitches.  No seriously, it's a great gig.  I always said, "if I had to get a real job, I wouldn't know what to do."    Today's Christian radio PD is personally invested in his station and it's employees.  If it's just a job to you, it's time to look for something else.  We do a little of everything.  I don't know how it is at secular stations, but I do a little production, vocal work, music programming, copy writing, and an occasional air shift.  Could be I'm just obsessive or we're understaffed.  Or both.

 

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

We use about a fifty/fifty "sound quality" to "message" ratio.  You really can't have one without the other.  A song may have a fantastic lyrical content, but without the right "ear feel", it's gonna be a tune out factor.  Likewise, it may be new, hip, now... but if it lacks the anointing of God, it's not gonna make it.

 

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

Boy I wish I knew!  We're still working on that one...  Creativity is key.  You really shouldn't try to do what the other station down the street is doing.  Our promotions department is getting better on that (see, we do pay attention to what you're doing...)  This Mother's Day we're sending listeners to a spa and then dinner, flowers, chocolates, etc... 

Since we never do contests that embarrass the listener, that alone sets us apart right there!  When I'm on the air I never try to do a "caller number x".  That so tired.

 

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

You know what, I think they're doing SO much better versus even a few years ago.  When I first started here six years ago the relationship with the labels was very good, very personal.  We're a relatively small market station so that was really impressive.  Then as the years went on communication was less, servicing was even lesser so.  No blame on anyone, it was a transitional time for the record companies, downsizing of staff, merging of labels... a number of reasons.  Then in the past few years...(drum roll)  servicing through electronic means!  It was salvation the smaller stations were looking for.  Now the small and large market stations get the new releases at the same time and it's much easier and cost effective for the labels as well, I'm sure.

 

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

Identity.  We're in a transitional period in Christian radio (don't we always seem to be...)  Our format (and I hesitate to even call it that) is still relatively new and is unique in that we have several sub-formats.  On secular stations, country is country, jazz is jazz, rock is, well,  you get the picture.  They're all represented well on individual stations.  On some Christian stations, ours included, is seems to be an amalgamation of styles.  We can't be all things to all people.  In the future, I see stations focusing more on a particular format and to an extent, it's happening now.  There are some great Christian rock , Christian P&W stations, and so on.  How 'bout a Christian oldies station?

 

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

To relate to the listener.  It may be "Becky", but what if "John" is in the car with her today?  Relate to the listener whoever they may be and it's a sure win!

 

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

Star 99.1 in New York, Johnny Stone and the gang do a great job.  Got to give a shout out to the guys in Ohio at RadioU.  Talk about perfecting a format.  KTLY and KTSY are always fresh and exciting.  I love Darren Marlar over at 101QFL in Rockford, IL.  He's able to blend funny and faith on air together seamlessly. He "gets it".  (Darren, I take cash, checks or credit cards...) I'm sure I'll look back and say, oh yeah, I forgot so and so.  There's so many.  I'm a fan.

 

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

See question #7.  Also the sub-formats of Christian radio will get a broader audience with the advent of the multi-casting capabilities of HD radio.  Get your new receivers now!

 

 

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