1. Tell us about your market (Nashville) and how
it is unique?
Nashville is unique in the
sense that virtually the entire Christian Music
Industry is all around us, so our relationships with
the makers of the music we play is important in
unusual ways. That dynamic has been instrumental in
growing our Christian Hit Radio Satellite Network, as
shows such as Total Axxess give listeners the inside
of the CCM world in our backyard.
2. What is the most fulfilling aspect to you
personally about Christian radio?
Seeing the changed lives among so many youth and
young adults that WAY-FM is called to minister to. My
years in general market radio were rewarding, but not
nearly as much so as in this format, where an
emotional connection can be made that may ultimately
result in a life-change experience with God among our
listeners. There's nothing like it in any other kind
of radio experience. I also am blessed to work with
the most talented people in all of my career. Bob
Augsburg's vision for WAY-FM is strongly compelling
and has inspired me, and great leaders such as Dusty
Rhodes, John Frost, Curt Swindoll, Tommy Kramer and
our newest Network Program Director, Dave Senes to
sign up for the ride of our lives!
3. Here is your chance to testify on behalf
of your station...How has God used WAYM?
I read letters almost daily from young people who
tell me that WAY-FM was used of God to end their drug
habit, restore a failing marriage, choose friends more
wisely, and even to begin a relationship with Christ.
What's more exciting than that???
4. What advice could you give to a young
person starting out in Christian radio?
Learn as much as you can! Go beyond your personal
biases and do everything you can to get inside of your
listener's head. The radio station is not about you.
It's ONLY about the listener. I've adopted Tommy
Kramer's philosophy of winning radio; Play her
favorite song...NOW! And, when you open the mic, say
something she cares about.
5. What are some advantages/disadvantages of
There are no disadvantages to non-commercial
radio. There are many advantages. The greatest being
total control of the on-air content. For example, in
my general market experience, a sales manager once
wanted to give away lamps as an hourly prize. I
protested, but when my general manager learned that a
$50,000 buy was at stake, we gave away lamps. In
non-commercial radio, we have no competing interests
to the strategy that is developed. While business
supporters are extremely important to us and we work
hard to insure their success in partnership with
WAY-FM, there's never a message that usurps our
strategy simply because of an 'ad buy.' The
businesses we work with already support our vision and
mission. That's a great place to be.
6. How do you think Christian Record labels
can better serve Christian radio?
Remember the small stations. If they're playing
your songs and impacting their communities, help them
with giveaways, concerts and anything else you can to
enhance your product across America. We have so fewer
outlets to expose our music compared to secular music
that almost all stations playing CCM should be
embraced and supported.
7. In your opinion what are the biggest
obstacles facing Christian radio today?
Finding great talent. More people with real
knowledge and experience are entering our world every
month, but the talent pool of great strategists and
powerful communicators is limited at this time. I'm
blessed that we have both at WAY-FM.
8. What do you believe is the primary role of
the Christian radio air personality today?
Make an emotional connection based on what the
listener is already interested in. Reflect her needs,
wants, dreams, desires, fears and passions. Empathize
with your listener's hardships, struggles and lack of
faith. If you are super-spiritual, you will not
connect, because you won't seem real. Don't
preach--EVER. There are only a handful of pulpit
preachers in the entire country who are gifted enough
to communicate on the radio at a highly theological
level. What makes us think air personalities can pull
that off? Be the listeners friend, not her mentor.
9. What (if any) other Christian radio
stations do you consider as innovators today?
The most impactful Christian station in America
right now is Z88.3 in Orlando. Jim Hoge and Dean
O'Neal have assembled a great strategy, a compelling
roster of amazing air talents, and a passion for that
community that can't be missed. Their outdoor
campaign is also an example of how non-commercial
radio should never limit its ability to compete on the
same level as the large commercial clusters. I also
love the work Allen Power and Kevin Avery have done at
The Fish in Atlanta. That's a station that reaches
it's target with radical, laser-beamed focus.
10. Where do you see Christian radio in 5
Top ten in most rated markets. The future is