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Radio Interview

                                     

Greg Cassidy

Program Director

KHZR

St. Louis

 

 

Gregs' Career Capsule
I've been in radio since the age of 16.  I worked at a couple of small market stations during high school.  In about 1981 I moved back to St. Louis to work for WCBW and stayed for 4 years.  I spent several years in secular radio plus a short stint at WBFJ in Winston-Salem, NC.  Eventually I found myself back at WCBW in '92.  It eventually became known as The Bridge, the first station in the states to use this handle.  It was sold in '97 and was gone two weeks after Rich Mullins death, both stories making CCM's event of the year list.  It took a bit over three years, but we're back on the air as JOY-FM at both 97.7 and 94.1.  We just celebrated our third birthday February 19th. 
 
 
1. Tell us about your market and how it is unique?

St. Louis is a very diverse city, from an ethnic perspective and from a denominational view.  Unlike some markets that enjoy being in the "buckle" of the bible belt, St. Louis is all over the road!  One of the great things that we have seen with JOY-FM, and it being a listener supported station, is that members of all those many groups consider it "their" station.  It has been a great source of unity for the body of Christ in St. Louis. 

 

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

There is nothing greater for us as a staff at JOY-FM than to hear from listeners what the station really means to them.  It is easy for all of us in the industry to take our particular lifestyles and day to day duties for granted.  But when we realize how much inpact the station can have personally in the lives of our listeners, that is truely fulfilling. 

 

3. How has God used you in your role at KHZR?

Touching lives...that's what it's all about for us.  I know (and remember) what it's like working for stations where every decision regarding events, promotions, whatever are questioned with, "can we sell it?"  Our focus is, "what is the benefit to our listeners". 

 

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

Sure, the ususal....production quality, lyrical content for sure.  Does it fit the sound of what JOY-FM is expected to be? 

 

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

For us, a promotion is a real winner when it makes a connection to our listeners on more than the "prize" level.  Our Prayer Band promotion of last year is a prime example.  Before war in Iraq began, we decided that our prayer bands would include military personel and their branch.  We expected to distribute (and budgeted for...) 6,000 bands.  When all was said and done, over 60,000 had been ordered.  Did "that" connect?  Do the math. 

 

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

Besides really cool promotional gifts for the PD?   Great artists...produced well.  Simple, huh?

 

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

I see two areas in general.  For many stations, budgets are there biggest problem.....or a lack of meeting their financial goals.  Thankfully, this has not been an issue for us in St. Louis.  We simply put the need before our supporters and GOD manage to meet that need.  What a concept!  Another obstacle I would see is image.  Changing the image in the minds of what Christian radio really is...or can be. 

 

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

Communicate.....communicate...communicate.  We compete with a lot of voices and influences affecting listeners on a daily basis.  You've really got to make a connection with them to get through all the junk. 

 

 

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

Overall, I've always had some partiality to KSBJ in Houston.  Just over 20 years ago (whoa!) I was visting family there and stopped in to meet the staff.  I found out it was there first day on the air! 

 

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

Obviously we'll continue to see the technology  progress...how we reach listeners will certainly continue to evolve.  From a formatic perspective, look at the past few years.  Remember when Steven Curtis Chapman had the NEWSBOYS open for him on tour?  Quite surprising at the time.  Now they're a core artist.  Funny how things change.

 

        

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