WFSJ / Indiana, PA.
Started on air in Christian Radio at the age of 13 in Union
City, PA. While attending college I programmed stations in
Erie, PA, then off to the winters in Buffalo, NY and
Pittsburgh, PA. Went into sales in Punxsutawney, PA and
purchased my first station in 1996 in Johnstown, PA.
Retired in 1998 and then returned to run WDAD/WQMU in
Indiana, PA. And then the Lord lead my wife and I to apply
for a new LPFM frequency in Indiana, PA. We put 103.7 WFSJ
on air on Feb. 22, 2003 and are off to a tremendous start.
During these years I also got to be a part of Groundhog Day
and have been interviewed on The Today Show, CNN, Good
Morning America, CBS This Morning,
AND was in the movie "Groundhog Day" starring Bill Murray.
1. How did you wind up at Fish FM?
When the FCC approved LPFM stations, I found the Lord
leading me to finally return to Christian radio and apply
for one of two open frequencies. My wife and I prayed,
planned and then both left our positions at the secular
stations we were working for. We've been blessed ever since
in how WFSJ
came together. We were already a part of a local Christian
music festival called Godstock and wanted to branch that
ministry into radio.
2. What is the most fulfilling aspect to you
personally about Christian radio?
I have never been more motivated in my life. The Lord gives
us gifts to use for him. And we are using all of them. In
only a month we have opened doors in local churches, the
large state campus located here and with our listeners who
share with us daily the impact the station is making on the
lives of their families. It is truly the most rewarding
radio I've ever been a part of.
3.How has God used you in your role at Fish FM?
Programming radio to me is an art form. I want FISH FM to
be the best radio station this community has ever heard
because its for the glory of God. You can work hard at it
or ignore it. I spend two to three hours a day just
tweaking our sound to keep it fresh. The incredible
programming offered by the Christian Hit Radio Satt. Network
based in Nashville, has made it easy. Their format, staff
and ministry are incredible. What I do is take the local
elements that are available to me and make them just as good
or better. Darren Marlar is our promo and station voice and
just makes us sound larger than life. I spend the rest of
my time helping my wife Karen with underwriting, daily
website updates and non-stop promotions. We have a listener
appreciation concert on April 27th and sold it out in only
three weeks. And we've only been on air for five weeks!!
4. What is the criteria that determines if a song
receives airplay on your station?
Working with the CHRSN network doesn't allow me to be a part
of that on a weekly basis. Programmer Doug Hannah does a
great job of song selection. I however base any criteria on
the message in the song, the artist and what appeal will it
have to our 18-34 demo. A perfect Christian song is "I Can
Only Imagine" by Mercy Me. This may be the best song in
Christian music of all time. It has the ultimate Christian
message, sounds great and in this time of war could be and
should be played on secular stations.
5. What kind of promotions work best for your station?
So far our promotions consist of ALL family oriented
prizes. A FISH family prize pack includes dinners, movie
tickets, baseball tickets and more for the family to enjoy a
night out together. A large part of our ministry is
concerts as we open this part of Pennsylvania to music they
heard. Our first concert as I mentioned sold out in three
weeks. Two lucky listeners who attend the concert will win
a Creation Survival Kit including tickets to the Creation
Festival in June, a tent, suntan lotion, soap, sunglasses, a
cooler and much more. We also are producing a once a
magazine called "The Fish Wrapper" featuring news, and
articles about the announcers, the artists we play and
more. This summer we will be doing "License to Swim" where
our listeners displaying our car window static stickers will
win tickets to Sandcastle Water Park for their family and a
grand prize of a swimming pool for their back yard.
6. How do you think Christian Record labels can better
serve Christian radio?
Give us little stations service. The labels have always had
this as their weakness. I shouldn't have to buy the cd's
from Columbia House to play on air. The artists should push
harder to get their music out to a broader audience
including every Christian station that plays music in any
7. In your opinion what are the biggest obstacles
facing Christian radio today?
Getting past the perception that Christian radio is old and
boring. Our community has been shocked and overjoyed by
what they've heard on our station. They really had NO idea
how we would sound, because they believe that all Christian
radio is about teaching and programming. Those stations are
very important! However to reach a younger demo for Christ,
you have to be non-traditional. If we don't try to reach a
younger audience with this type of Christian radio, they
will be forced to go to secular stations because our
alternative is not there. I hope more Christian stations
sign on or change to this format in the near future. But
when they do I hope they really work on making them sound
better than any secular station in the market. Remember we
are seeking both Christians and non-Christians, and people
can have short attentions spans. Get their attention and
make the IMPACT!!
8. What do you believe is the primary role of the
Christian radio air personailty today?
This has certainly changed since the war began. I think
being that friend reassuring the audience that God is in
control of everything certainly is primary. At the same
time entertaining, informing the audience on the music we're
playing, and letting us hear about their lives, their
families, their walk in faith and what the Lord has done in
their lives. Anything relatable to the audience is very
9. What other Christian radio stations do you consider
as inovators today?
Top of the list is WAY FM! Incredible ministry! KLTY in
Dallas is still setting the mark and the Salem formats also
do an incredible job.
10. Where do you see Christian radio in 5 years?
I see Christian radio stations that play HIT music and stay
the course ending up being NUMBER 1 in ratings in their
markets. I'm already saying that WFSJ will be the highest
rated station in Indiana, PA in two years. We need to
market ourselves as much as possible. In all my years in
sales, we always told clients how and why they need to
advertise, yet we as radio stations don't do it
ourselves. Those that do will be #1.
© Copyright 2002