always wanted to work at a Christian station, but the
right opportunity had not presented itself. The first
three and a half years of my radio career were spent at
two small market Hot AC stations in Michigan. I found
out about the opening here, and applied. A few weeks
later, Coy Sawyer, our GM, called and said that I was
the guy for the job. My wife and I came to visit Wausau
and after lots of thought and prayer on the ten hour
ride home, we decided to make the move.
2. What is the most fulfilling
aspect to you personally about Christian radio?
being able to share music and words that aren't just
fluff. The product that we put on the air on a daily
basis can impact listeners for eternity. That's
something that most stations can't say.
3. How has God used you in your role at 89Q?
that God is teaching me is I need to be open to the
"distractions" that come up during the day. It's very
easy for me to become involved in the day-to-day
business of running a radio station (which is very
important) and not be open to the Holy Spirit's
leading in a given situation. Taking ten minutes with
a listener or even a staff member can make a huge
difference in their day. I think God is using me to
be an encouragement to those around me.
4. What is the criteria that
determines if a song receives airplay on your station?
Our situation is a little
different than some stations. We are an affiliate of
CHRSN (WAY-FM's satellite network), so we add whatever
they add. We also have a small category of our own
songs that we spin locally. When I look at a song, I
want it to be charting well, which makes us a little
slower to add. I'm also looking for songs that sound
like they would be played on CHRSN. I don't want 89Q
to sound like we're one station when we're with the
network and another when we're live here. It's a
tricky balance, but I think we make it work well.
5. What kind of
promotions work best for your station?
The promotions that
work best for us are simple ones that are zeroed in on
our target demo. If we can do something that will
effect Jenny (our target listener) in a positive way,
it will be a big success. One example is the
Valentine's contest we ran earlier this year. We
asked listeners to share the funny or interesting
circumstances that led to them meeting their spouse.
We had hundreds of entries and some great stories were
shared. The grand prize was a weekend away in a
suite, with meals and flowers thrown in.
6. How do you
think Christian Record labels can better serve
think the labels are doing an awesome job. The only
(small) thing I'm not a big fan of is sending a new
single out in a sleeve instead of a jewel case. Give
me a case to go with that CD and it makes me a happy
7. In your opinion what are the
biggest obstacles facing Christian radio today?
radio needs to decide to be the best station on the
dial, not just an alternative. Even if your station
is "safe," listenership will not grow until you make
the effort to become the very best station in your
8. What do you believe is the
primary role of the Christian radio air personality
I think the
most important thing a Christian radio personality can
do is to share the love of Christ in a way that is
relateable to people who are unchurched. It's easy to
start talking in Christianese, not realizing that
someone who is not a Christian has no idea what you're
talking about. Jesus spoke in parables to make the
things of God relateable to everyday life. We need to
be following His example if we are going to reach the
9. What (if any)
other Christian radio stations do you consider as
Nashville is doing an awesome job of focusing in on
exactly what their target demo is looking for, and
giving it to them. We're very happy to be a part of
their Satellite network.
10. Where do you see
Christian radio in 5 years?
Christian radio could be
quite different five years from now. I think it's
great so many artists are crossing to mainstream and
getting the credit they deserve. I can see Christian
music becoming more mainstream as well, with more
Christian artists being nominated for mainstream
Grammys and AMA's, and opening (and maybe headlining)
major tours across the country. I think this is a
great opportunity for Christian radio to grow as
well. I think we need to continue to support (and
pray for) these artists and see this as an opportunity
to reach more people for Jesus Christ.