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Radio Interview


Faron Dice

GM 

WAY FM / CHRSN

Colorado Springs

To contact Faron click here
 

 

Faron's "Beautiful History"
I’m a Missouri boy!  After attending Evangel College in Springfield MO in the late 80s, and getting hooked on Christian Music Radio, I went home and started working at my hometown Christian radio station in St Joseph MO.   (Hey, we all got into this because we wanted to be a DJ, right?)   My first full-time on-air gig was with Jim McDermott, (Spirit FM in Camdenton MO), then later with the Word In Music Satellite Network, which is how I ended up in Colorado Springs.  I’ve spent the last 15 years in Colorado Springs, working in radio, for Focus on the Family, and for the past 7 years with the WAY-FM Media Group.

 


1. How has WAY-FM/ CHRSN evolved over the last few years?

When I accepted this job with WAY-FM, I asked the bosses, “What makes WAY-FM unique from other Christian radio?”  The answer in 2002 was…”We target a younger audience than most Christian radio stations, and we do more music research than anyone else, and play only the songs that our listeners tell us they want to hear…”    Today, I would have a different answer to that question.  My answer would be… “We target a younger audience than most Christian radio stations, we follow the music research, and our on-air and on-line personalities are completely outside of the box compared to other Christian radio.”  Our on-air personalities are so compelling.  They are now as important as the songs we play!  They are the reason why we feel good about the next 10 years!

 

2. Has WAY-FM/ CHRSN made any changes due to economic situation, been affected in any way?

2009 was a tough year.  Our listener support stayed strong, but business support fell dramatically.   We made a few cuts, but kept our key air talent team in place… and we are now feeling cautiously optimistic about 2010. 

 

3. How does WAY-FM/ CHRSN connect locally with markets?

This is where I insert my plug!  We do believe strongly in local radio.  CHRSN programming is available to any local radio station.  Our DJs can be your DJs, and you can still be a powerful, local radio station.  We have the model. We use the model at our own local WAY-FM radio stations all over the country.  Each local WAY-FM station uses our compelling national air talent  (I.E.  Mornings with Brant, The Midday Cruz, Total Axxess), but it’s all very localized to each market.  We believe this is this can work for anybody.  Talk to me if you want to know more.    (faron@chrsn.com)

 

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

I think most of us see how much radio is threatened by all of the new media options.  A few years ago, radio lost the battle for in-home listening… Now, in-car listening is being threatened by other new media choices.  With our younger demo, it’s happening even faster than for other more traditional Christian stations.  However, every challenge can also be an opportunity.  WAY-FM is more than just a radio station ministry.  We are proactively forming a digital strategy and feel like we have the potential to have even greater influence in “The Connected Movement.”  Think about it…It’s possible that with the right content, we (radio groups) might even find our way back into homes!  (By the way, I stole that phrase “connected movement” from Chris Nielsen who operates CSNGlobal) 

 

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

I use to think Christian radio announcers were just the “icing on the cake” and the cake was the music that we played.  However, that is not the way we think anymore.  In many cases, our personalities are the cake that our listeners are coming to us to find.  Our personalities are out “unique content creators.”  After working with Brant, Nikki, Pablo, Donna, Wally, Zach, Jeff Connell, and others, I will never be the same again.  These people know how to connect in a raw, authentic, and real level.  I’ve never heard anything like it in my previous 20+ years of radio.  The more “real” they get, the more amazing ministry is happening.   They also understand and value new media and social media and utilize it as part of their job. 

 

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

I’m proud of WAY-FM leadership right now.  I think we are innovating.   I know there are many others.  I have great respect for John Frost and the stations that he works with.  I am especially fond of the Christian radio stations that keep a ministry focus.  That’s not always easy to do.

 

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

We’ll be here.  (Some people say we won’t, I don’t believe them.)  The real question to me is not “will we be here…”  But, “will we be successfully operating as part of the connected movement…”  If we are hoping to just keep our radio station on the air and to keep doing what we have always done, then I think we’ll fade in terms of importance in our communities.

 

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