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Radio Interview

                                     

Danielle Hedges

Music Director

WYLV

Knoxville

 

 

Danielle's Career Capsule
I was born in West Virginia and ended up in Knoxville, Tennessee to attend college. I went to a bible college where I heard Love 89 for the first time. Back then Love 89 was a satellite station but I knew I wanted to work at a station like it. I spend the breaks of my senior year of college working at a small country station in WV. Then after graduation and getting married, I was hired part time at Love 89ís sister Christian talk station WRJZ. Later that year in 1999, Love 89 went ďLive and LocalĒ and I was moved over to be Mid-day host where I have been ever since. In 2003 I also took over the role as Music Director.

1. Tell us about your market and how it is unique?

Love 89 is a CHR reporter station. We have a very strong secular AC station and the #1 Arbitron rated Country station in the Country in our market. We share the same audience with these stations, so we look at the overall shared market for inspiration in programming. For example, we play Christian AC artists like Avalon, FFH and Scott Krippayne in with our CHR music and also mix in some Golds in an hour. We play Christian Hits, songs that have been at the top of the charts to help breed familiarity with our audience.

 

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

Being able to talk and pray with our listeners on a daily basis.

 

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

Everything we do at Love 89 is to please God. We are a family who has a common goal.

God has provided so much for this radio station. The best thing of all is that we have great relationships with our listeners. I have had people come up to me and ask if I would pray with them at concerts. That to me is a very intiment thing. To be a part of that is God using this radio station in ways that we could never imagine.

 

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

My Program Director, Jonathan Unthank, and I sit down and listen to every song we receive. Of course there are the obvious things that we look at like content and format, but I try to look at the over all play list to see the best time to add the song. In the last year, we have tried to focus a lot more on our local indie talent in the area. We have put together a listener panel that rates that artist against the criteria that we provide to determine whether they will get played as either a special night feature once a week or as our Indie Artist of the week. The Indie Artist of the Week will receive airplay at all the different day parts during the week.

 

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

The promotions that work best are anything that involves our actual interaction with our listeners. Whether it is a huge contest or to help out a good cause, our listeners always come through.

 

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

In the last year and a half as music director, I have enjoyed working with all of the record companies. They have been easy to work with. Communication between labels and the radio stations are so important. Every concern that I have ever voiced has been taken care of quickly.

 

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

Defining musical formats. I believe their needs to be a Hot AC format. It is so interesting to see songs that are going for adds at all formats with 5 different mixes on the cd. When you play a song with guitars up or guitar down on the air, sometimes when the listener goes to buy the cd at the store, the song sounds completely different. If we had defined formats we could avoid this problem.

 

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

To be a voice of confort and a friend to the listener. We donít need to talk down to them. We need to share our real life experiences with our listeners to let them know we are real.

 

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

I believe at this time Christian stations are competing with our secular counter parts more than ever. Christian stations are starting to share an audience with these other stations. With secular success from artists like Switchfoot and Stacie Orrico, we have been given a chance to use this to gain bigger audiences for our positive message. I think itís so cool to be going through the dial and hearing a Christian radio stationís personalities and programming elements sound as good or better than the other mainstream stations in the market.

 

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

Iím really not sure but I pray that Christian radio impacts more people than ever before for Christ.


 

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