St Cloud, MN.
Three years as the Music
Director and Production Manager at Christian AC
KBVM/Portland, one year as a News Anchor/Reporter at
KPAM/Portland, seven months at Christian CHR WCLQ/Wausau
as MD/Mornings, and four months as the Interim PD at
Christian AC WQCK/Baton Rouge. Now the PD at Christian AC
KKJM/St. Cloud, MN. Previous part-time experience includes
Broadcasting, Crawford Broadcasting Portland, Sabin News
Network, KXL-AM, KUIK-AM, and Marathon Media Oregon.
You recently arrived at Spirit 93.....how did
you wind up there in your current position?
It's been a journey of learning life, love and radio.
Every position I've worked has given me something to
prepare me for the next, and not just in broadcasting.
God's been good in bringing people to teach me things
I needed to know...even if I didn't realize it at
first. Some of the people I credit for being great
role models or teachers include Coy Sawyer & Matt
Deane at WCLQ and Darren Ryder at WQCK. Our GM here in
St. Cloud, Andy Hilger and I spoke a few months back
and had a real positive conversation. Our programming
philosophies match and when it came time to make a
between a couple offers, KKJM and Minnesota seemed
like a great fit for a variety of reasons.
2. What is the most fulfilling aspect to you
personally about being a part of Christian radio?
I'd say being involved in the current growth of our
format is pretty neat. I think Christian radio, and AC
in particular, will continue to see amazing success
when executed well. If we continue to "push the
envelope" and be creative in our presentation and
promotions, I think we'll start to see many
3. How is your market unique?
St. Cloud is very unique because of it's close
proximity to Minneapolis. Although we're Arbitroned as
market #222, we have to sound like market #17. Many of
our P2's listen to WLTE out of the Twin Cities
primarily, and expect us to sound just as good. Of
course we have to do that with a market 222
4. What is the criteria that determines if a
song receives airplay on your station?
Right now we're a part of the TCM Network out of
Nashville so I don't deviate from their playlist much.
I'm a big believer in research, both Auditorium and
Callout. In the past I've even been involved in
running possible new adds by focus groups. Obviously
the usual key factors in selecting music are used,
artist appeal, overall sound, and how it fits into the
rest of the station's musical rotation.
5. What kind of promotions work best for your
Historically we haven't been real active
promotionally, but I plan to change that! I'm a big
fan of "Guerilla Marketing" and promotions that make a
connection with our demo, but don't cost a lot. Right
now we're working on providing area families and
churches with candy to give out on Halloween.
The catch is that each piece of candy has a card with
our logo and positioner attached. The goal isn't to
reach the kids, but the parents who (should) inspect
each piece before their kids eat it. We're targeting
key zip codes in our market and hope to have at least
2000 pieces of candy given out. Total cost is going to
be less than 10 cents per piece and it's a great way
to brand us with young families.
7. In your opinion what are the biggest
obstacles facing Christian radio today?
There are too many Christian stations out there that
don't understand how to be "mass appeal". There are
even some that don't care about being a ratings
success. I can think of two great frequencies in top
five markets that barely, if ever, show up in
Arbitrons because of dismal programming. And both of
these markets have a great need for a "seeker
friendly" Christian AC station. Owners of christian
radio stations need to understand that their station
is not a church, and program with that realization.
8. What do you believe is the primary role of
the Christian radio air personality today?
To be a "friend" to the target demo and thus, increase
ratings and revenue for their station.
9. What (if any) other Christian radio stations
do you consider as innovators today?
Two different groups, all of Salem's music
properties and the Way FM Media group. Both of these
companies know how to make their stations sound just
as good as their mainstream counterparts and (in most
cases) have the ratings to back it up. As I work on a
three year vision plan for us here at Spirit 93, I
look at these stations and think of how we can
duplicate their success here.
10. Where do you see Christian radio headed to
in 5 years?
Especially in the top 50 markets I think there will be
two types of Christian radio stations. Those that are
successful in ratings and revenue...and those that
aren't. Salem has shown that Christian AC can be a
profitable format, and I think it's likely that other
large broadcasters will begin experimenting with the
format. The other Christian stations that refuse to
become listener friendly will probably find it harder
and harder to survive. I think a bog wave is moving
across our industry right now, and stations can either
see it coming and ride it to success, or have it wash
them over and under.
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