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Radio Interview

                                     

Steve Dealy

Program Director

WMUZ

Detroit

 

 

Steve's Career Capsule
I was saved at age 30 in 1991 and began working in Christian radio in 1992.  I was a Board Operator at  WEXL-AM1340 through the summer of 1997.  WEXL Sparks Broadcasting, Royal Oak / Detroit, had a proud heritage of three Christian generations of the Sparks family.  It was one of the first stations on-air in the Detroit area in the early 1930's.  Garnet Sparks, Jr provided me the opportunity to add ministry to the "time / temp" between local &  national programming.  In the Summer of '97 Crawford Broadcasting purchased WEXL, along with Greater Media's AM560, now WRDT.  I too was acquired, graciously by WMUZ GM Frank Franciosi, as Operations Director for the CBC Detroit Cluster.  WMUZ-FM is the flagship in Detroit & the first station owned by Percy Crawford, the father of CBC President Don Crawford, Sr.  With great foresight, Percy Crawford purchased a 50,000 watt FM station in 1957 --- when FM receivers were about as common as HD Radios are today!  It has been my great privilege to serve as an occasional fill-in FM music host over the past seven years.  Most recently, the departure of our morning drive host has kept my alarm clock set to 3:45am since November.  While I am anxious for the establishment of a new permanent morning host, I will sincerely miss the wonderful music, ministry & listener input that this air time has provided.  Mr. Franciosi also misses me providing my full attention to Operations!
 
 
1. Tell us about the Detroit market and how it is unique?

Detroit, as a city, has had it's ups & downs, but a solid Church community has been a constant.  Known for its legacy of Gospel music, WEXL provides the only full time Gospel presence on the dial.  WMUZ-FM is the only Christian FM in the Market (#10).  For over 40 years WMUZ has provided a mix of music (AC), local talk, & programs. We also reach a Canadian listenership in SW Ontario.  As a commercial broadcaster, WMUZ has some advertisers that have been with us for nearly twenty years.

 

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

 

The work of the Holy Spirit in choosing exactly who is listening & when.  It is a ministry that God chooses to use, through his Providence, to reach anyone in a car, at home or at work to hear just exactly what they need at that moment.  Someone who would never imagine setting foot in a Church or talking to an Evangelist may find himself at "that" spot on the dial hearing just what GOD wants him to hear, in word or music.  I am always open to the lead of His Spirit to offer whatever message of encouragement He speaks through the music. 

 

3. Here is your chance to testify on behalf of your station...How has God used WMUZ?
 

God has blessed so many over the last forty years of WMUZ Christian Radio in Detroit.  I am so honored to be a small part of it. 

 

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

Our MD, DaveWhiteaker, has an awesome ear for Christian AC.  I don't know --- I'm the Operations Director!

 

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

 

We generally focus on concert ticket giveaways.  Our two big events are a Blood Drive in June in conjunction with one of our star auto dealers.  We've been able to generate 250 - 300 pints each year.  We also have a "Hope For The Holidays" event near Christmas that involves an all day remote at our well established Chiropractic advertising partner.  We generate donations to our "ministry advertisers" through a silent auction & donation bin.  There is also a "Warmth For The Holidays" coat drive at our auto dealerships in conjunction with the main event. 

 

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

I think more access to artists for on-air phoners with new releases would rev up the listeners.   Then there's the promotional product...... more please.

 

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

 

The increase in listening options.  CDs, Satellite, & internet all take their bite out of traditional broadcast listening.  The conversion to HD Radio will be very interesting, especially the revitalization of the AM Band with the elimination of static & addition of "FM quality" audio. 

 

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

I believe the music host is there to provide their own unique personality to uplift & encourage the listener.  Listeners really want to hear "the music",  & the host has to find the right balance to provide the "locality" of the station, a recognizable personality, & to know when to "get out of the way" for the music --- oh, & did I mention: convey the "call to action" for the advertiser!  

 

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

Again, I plead the "I'm the Operations Director" defense.

 

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

 

Focusing on the "localization" of it's market.  With the multitude of listening & entertainment options, that will only increase in the future, Christian Radio needs to create a unique & indispensable experience to keep the listener coming back.

 

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