How did you wind up at New Life 1520?
This is one of those
“who would have ever believed it” stories. I had
been out of radio for several years, in ministry and
in business. When I decided a year ago to get back
in broadcasting, I took a job at WLGC-FM, a country
station, with hopes of getting my skills back up to
speed, and eventually getting back into contemporary
Christian radio. As I was being hired, the GM said
to me, “By the way, we have an AM that we are not
doing anything with. Do you know anyone who would
be interested in leasing it?” Sometimes when God
moves, you would have to be in a coma not to see
it. I went in looking for a part-time job, and
walked out with my own station. I formed New Life
Broadcasting, Inc., and signed an LMA on WLGC-AM,
which became New Life 1520.
2. What is the most fulfilling aspect to you
personally about Christian radio?
I just love it. I
fell in love with radio at age 15, when I got my
first job. As everyone who has ever worked in radio
knows, you never get it out of your system. To be
able to share the greatest message through the
greatest medium….It just doesn’t get any better than
that. Every time I sit in the production room and
record anything, it becomes an offering. I have
never considered radio to be work. It is one of the
joys of life.
3. How has God used you in your role at New Life
Actually, I would say
that God has used everything that has gone before to
prepare me for this: Bible
college, ministry, working in nearly every
aspect of radio, and owning my own business. All of
these have contributed to my preparation to jump
back into radio completely. He has allowed me to
take a station that was off the air and bring
something positive to the River Cities communities.
Much of the answer to this question is still in the
4. What is the
criteria that determines
if a song receives airplay on your station?
The first thing I did when planning the music
rotation was throw out all the “rules.” I wanted to
bypass all the wisdom of the “experts” and program
the station with a unique music mix. Our format is
called “Classic Christian Hits and Today’s Music”
for lack of a better term. It really can’t be
classified as any one of the current “Christian
radio formats.” The mix is about 50 % classic hits
from 1972 to 2002, 30 % current songs in an AC/CHR
mix (dropping out the lighter AC and the heaviest
CHR), 15 % very contemporary Praise and Worship
music, and 5 % recurrent. Our classic hits mix
leans toward CHR, including several songs off the
Rock charts in the early and mid 80s. I look for
songs with an unforgettable sound and a great
message. It is upbeat and positive. And yes, it is
5. What kind of promotions work best for your
We are less than a
year old, so we are still learning what is going to
work for us. We just promoted our first concert on
the Night In
Rocketown tour. We are
having success in sales by packaging an in-store
drawing for concert tickets and prizes from our
advertisers with a package of spots and promos for
6. How do you think Christian Record labels can
better serve Christian radio?
The labels do a great
job. A radio-only download area for new releases
from every company would be great. Praise Disc from
TM Century has been a nice aid. Some other labels
need to take advantage of it.
7. In your opinion what are the biggest obstacles
facing Christian radio today?
Being able to sell
major accounts has been an ongoing problem. Many
stations suffer from small signals and low ratings,
which makes it difficult to get the big sales, and
to reach the secular community in a significant
way. Getting church leaders to recognize the power
of Christian radio for their congregations is
8. What do you believe is the primary role of the
Christian radio air personality today?
We are always
representatives of Christ. I am currently giving a
lot of thought to the idea of truly loving sinners.
It is so easy to get comfortable with living life in
the church community. In radio, we are going out to
where the lost are, and living in their world. We
need to show incredible love to the lost.
Translating that to the unsaved listener who
stumbles across your station is so important. What
a great opportunity to spread the message of the
love of Christ!
9. What (if any) other Christian radio stations do
you consider as innovators today?
Anyone who is willing
to step outside the traditional guidelines of
Christian radio has an opportunity to make a serious
impact. Don’t be afraid to be different. Be
Biblical, be brave, and be bold. Out best days are
still ahead of us.
10. Where do you see Christian radio in 5 years?
The growth of
evangelical Christianity, particularly evident in
explosion, makes the future look bright for
Christian radio. Better ratings, increased revenue,
and greater ministry are coming. I believe we will
see growth in commercial Christian radio.