I began in Radio in
1970... Worked my way up from small market radio through
the ranks to Major market...
I've had the privilege
thru my career to work with some legendary
personalities, PDs and consultants... Bill Young, Ken
Gaines, Jim Dunlap, Hudson and Harrigan, Tommy Kramer,
Barry Kaye, Bo Weaver, Jon Rivers, John Young, Buddy
Holiday, Mark Rider, John Lund, Brad Burkhart, this list
goes on... and some great radio stations... KILT,
Houston - KAYC, Tulsa - Y100, Florida - KSBJ, Houston -
KCBI, Dallas - KSWP, Lufkin/Nacogdoches...
I found the Lord, in
1979. While still in secular radio and programming a
secular station Z103 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, we
began a Christian music show on Sunday morning from 6a
to noon... called "Life Song." We played the likes of
Keith Green, Degarmo and Key, Farrell & Farrell, Sandi
Patti, etc. By 1984, I just couldn't do secular any
more... and the 6 hour show just wasn't enough... So, I
moved to Houston where I found, accidentally, a full
time Christian station KSBJ (7 years)... then, KCBI -
Dallas, Marlin Maddoux, POV, USA Radio Network (5
years) and for the last 8 years at KSWP/KAVX in
Lufkin/Nacogdoches. I'm the Station Ops Manager/PD/AM
co-host and webmaster. Very involved with CMB, NCRS
planning committee (Co-chair with Jeff MacFarlane on the
Non-com and Underwriting committees) Consult KZKZ in
Fort Smith, Arkansas.
1. Tell us about your market and how it is
-- Lufkin &
Nacogdoches are in the "Heart of East Texas."
surrounded by the Pineywoods and rolling hills of
Deep East Texas, Lufkin & Nacogdoches, only 12 miles
apart, are conveniently located between major cities
like Dallas, Houston, and Tyler, Texas
plus Shreveport, La. Nacogdoches and Angelina
County's combined population of 122,000 people.
KSWP reaches into 12 counties though...
-- Nacogdoches, the
oldest town in Texas, is the home of Stephen F
-- Lufkin is the
home of Angelina College.
-- Home of Crown
Colony constantly rated as one of the top 5 golf
courses in Texas and top 50 in the nation...
2. What is the most fulfilling aspect to
you personally about Christian radio?
On air work, I
love entertaining and informing our listener
(profile name "Judy") and her family within an
atmosphere of ministry. Radio is such a personal
medium. I love talking to her about things that
affect her life. I love encouraging her and
offering her hope and life for tomorrow... in what
can sometimes be a very troubling world... I love to
make her laugh and help her start her day. I co-host
the morning show with Michelle...
Operations Manager and PD, I love leading a staff of
committed professionals. A staff who has the same
goals to reach as many as possible for Christ.
3. Here is your chance to testify on behalf
of your station...How has God used KSWP?
Wow... So many
ways... We pray with over 3000 individuals every
year... God has sustained us for 19 years and the
ministry has grown every year... Starting at 383
watts in 1985 to 30,000 by in the early 90's to
100,000 watts five years ago. So we now serve 12
counties. KSWP, Christian AC, has been runner up for
the GMA station of the year for the last 3 years. In
1998, we added a second signal, KAVX which was
recognized as the 2004 NRB Station of the year -
Talk format. For a small market God has blessed us
financially with an operating budget of over
$650,000 a year. We are very involved in the
community helping families... through a summer
event fan drives for the elderly, at Christmas the
Manger Network helping over 3000 families and 2000
children with toys and needs, Fall Family Fest, a
Christian Entertainment showcase at the Texas State
Forest Festival in front of up to 50,000 people... I
could go on and on...
4. What is the criteria that determines if
a song receives airplay on your station?
How much money
they send us... lol... just kidding...
--Does it fit "the Sound" of KSWP (AC radio)?
--level of artist - whether it a core artist or
--PD, MD and Consultants opinion,
5. What kind of promotions work best for
family oriented... Focusing on what our listener
finds appealing... Example... Partnering with other
community organizations with a similar vision...
(Manger Network - Five organizations including us
coming together to meet needs at Christmas time for
needy families... As I mentioned earlier... we touch
thousands of lives...) Another successful idea...
Coloring contests! They are great!
6. How do you think Christian Record labels
can better serve Christian radio?
We have not
found many problems when working with our label
friends... We have a good working relationship
with them. In fact we have found labels forwarding
ideas that help us promote music while providing us
with great promotional ideas... I.E. Bebo Norman
Brown Bag lunch, Win it before you can buy it, etc.
Our Music Director says one of the few areas
to improve is "better bio info on artist" but
overall the labels work hard and do a great job for
7. In your opinion what are the biggest
obstacles facing Christian radio today?
The idea that we
are only a niche format.
The idea that
internet music research works.
The idea that we
can't be number one in our respected markets.
The idea that ...
AC Christian radio doesn't need to sound consistent
across the nation... when someone travels across
America by car or internet... We all sound very
different... where as if you litsen to a secular AC
station... They are consistent... different but
similar... We are all over the place...
8. What do you believe is the primary role
of the Christian radio air personality today?
Be real! Not
phony! Relate and touch our listener (Judy, Becky or
whatever her name is). Christian radio attracts the
Church body and the unchurched or unsaved. According
to research up to almost 40% of our Christian
audience doesn't go to Church or know Christ. What
an incredible opportunity. A major obstacle that
every programmer must answer... "How do I relate and
appeal to both?"
Some say you can't,
I believe you can. It's a tall order. But if a
station PD, Manager and/or personality believe we
can reach the listener with the Good News without
cramming it down there throats. We can garner a
very large audience. Which give us more to serve.
It's like the idea... Everyone loves food but it's
the spice that make the food taste great. The Good
News is the spice!
9. What (if any) other Christian radio
stations do you consider as innovators today?
How do I answer
this question... I can't think of a name of a person
that I've met in Christian radio leadership or
management that isn't a pioneer in our field... an
So I will mention a
few stations that influence how I do Christian
- KSBJ, Houston, TX
- Z88.3, Orlando,
- WBLJ, Champaign,
- KJIL, Meade,
10. Where do you see Christian radio in 5
response to is... to see what's coming in the
future... we must look at the past...
There are so many great resources for watching
trends... here's one... Trendwatching.com... But
there are many more...
continue to improve... which will continue to help
us do our job...
will make life easier... faster... more
convenient.... or will it?
Radio is an art form, so we must continue to find
ways to be more creative in this techno world...
As programmers, we can let time catch up to us...
In which case we will be 5 years to late...
We must constantly ask the question... Does this
relate to Judy, Becky, or whatever her name is...
How does it relate to her and her family...
© Copyright 2002