Mike "TheSchloMan" Schlote
Worked part time
overnights at 88.3 KCCK "Your Jazz Connection" in Cedar
Rapids, IA in 1992-1993.
Hired by 101QFL
part time in 1993.
Became full time
in June 1994 as overnighter.
drive host a month later.
Director in 1995.
Moved to morning
show in 1996.
Director in 2000 and still host of "Mike at the Mic in the
All of these
dates are subject to error because I am very tired as I
write this and my memory stinks
1. How did you wind up at WQFL?
One of the coolest things that
ever happened to me was being hired at the station that
carried me through some pretty rough teenage years. I sent
a resume and tape to QFL with the hopes of something opening
up. Next thing you know, after moving back to the area, I
hear an announcement that QFL was looking for weekend
part-timers. I was on it like stink on...well, you know.
This all happened back in 1993.
2. What is the most fulfilling aspect to you personally
about Christian radio?
Nothing beats being used by God
to impact somebody. To reach people with the timeless,
relevant message of hope and eternal life is the deepest joy
in this job.
How has God used you in your role at WQFL?
To be honest with you, that is
one of the things I look most forward to in Heaven. To find
out what God was able to do through me during my lifetime
and my position at 101QFL. I don't think I will truly know
4. What is the
criteria that determines if a song receives airplay on your
As we all know, the first thing
that impacts you is the way a song sounds. If it passes the
initial audio test, we can move ahead to check the lyric and
the message it carries. Obviously, it must adhere to
Biblical truth and principles whether it is a 'horizontal'
relationship song or a 'vertical' praise tune. We believe
that a song can be 'of God' even if it doesn't give the step
by step plan of salvation. As I look at the ministry of
Jesus I notice that Jesus Himself didn't just talk about
Jesus Himself. However, everything He said pointed people
in the direction of His eternal truth...redeeming truth.
The song then has to go head to head with everything else on
the playlist or in the stack. It needs to sound like it
could go to number one on the charts. Otherwise, why add
it? (I am talking about the Top40 hits that we add. Of
course, there can be a novelty tune that can get some fun
listener attention.) I also want to note the we try to find
out as much about the artist/band as we can. We want to
know that they are not ashamed of the Gospel and live lives
5. What kind of
promotions work best for your station?
We found that our promotion
that "Pampered" the woman was wildly successful. In fact,
it was so successful that we did it again the next rating
period but modified it by adding her family to the mix.
Finding ways to fill the gaps in her life. Putting time
back into her busy day by taking care of things that can be
a hassle or expensive (like groceries, car washes, trips to
the salon, time away with family...etc). Aside from these
larger promotions, we have found amazing success in the form
of our 101QFL Breakfast Bus. I take the morning show on the
road each and every Thursday (along with our Promotions
Director) and 150-200 people show up each week during the
show. They come simply to say hi and to get their Breakfast
Bus Buddy Card punched. (This is a card that gets punched
for every visit to our remote broadcasts and offers you a
10% discount at participating clients. Once the card is
fully punched, they bring it to another live remote and
redeem it for free music, shirt, hat, whatever we have that
day.) Add to that our weekly Tuesday mid-day remotes as we
head to a different community in the listening area on our
"World Tour." I know remotes can be a pain for stations,
especially with a small staff, but the reward is HUGE. That
is why we will do apporximately 150 remotes this year. This
type of on-going promotion works very well for us.
6. How do you think Christian
Record labels can better serve Christian radio?
It's all about large screen
plasma televisions. Man, I tell ya, I think the labels are
doing a heck of a job. From timely releases and delivery of
product, to their willingness to work with stations on
specific promotions...it's all good. I do like the trend in
promotional concerts and listener appreciation events. That
serves both radio and labels wonderfully well.
7. In your opinion what are the
biggest obstacles facing Christian radio today?
Christians. I'm pretty
serious about this. If we, as believers, would get
ourselves out of the way of what God could do, just think of
the impact. This requires ZERO compromise of Biblical
principle or moral. Actually, it requires a greater
understanding of Biblical principle. Like Jesus, we need to
have an understanding of what reaches people. This requires
an understanding of the pop culture, or at the very least,
an understanding of the specific needs of the listener. It
bums me out to hear a station sound the way secular society
would EXPECT a Christian station to sound. One of the best
things about watching the life of Christ in the Gospels is
that He was NOT what people were expecting and He knew how
to reach people where they were.
8. What do you believe is the
primary role of the Christian radio air personality today?
Be relevant, be relevant, be
relevant. Again I say, be relevant. I once had a lady call
me up in the studio mad at me for talking about Michael
Jordan's birthday. She said, "Do you know what he stands
for?! Do you know what type of lifestyle he has?! Why are
you mentioning HIS birthday?!" I simply asked her, "Do you
know who Michael Jordan is?" She said, "Yes." I said,
"THAT is why." It's quite simple, really. I put signs in
the studios at QFL that say, "Be relevant or be quiet."
That sums it up for me. Of course, that is a very
simplistic philosophy, but let's face it, this isn't rocket
science. I mean no insult to the intellect needed to get
the job done effectively, but bottom-lining it, if you can
be relevant, thereby connecting with your listener, your
listener will stay. They will feel a desire to return
because the dj understands them. It is this very relevance
which affords the best opportunity to impact people with the
Truth of the Gospel. I am also convinced that the primary
role of the Christian radio air personality should NOT be to
NOT offend anyone (did you follow my double negative?). If
that is our primary focus or role we just become a flower on
paisley wallpaper. People won't even notice you. I don't
mind offending people. Certainly, not for the purpose of
horking them off, but rather for the purpose of speaking
Biblical truth in love. There is something offensive about
9. What (if any) other
Christian radio stations do you consider as innovators
Because most of what I know
about other radio stations is not from listening to them,
but rather from heresay and reading, it makes this difficult
to answer. I am such a fan of stations whose deepest desire
is to do the best radio possible...not the best 'Christian'
radio possible. Those who understand this know exactly what
I mean. I hope all of us can find a way to be innovators in
10. Where do you see Christian radio
in 5 years?
I'm pulling for the Rapture. I
would love to see dead air all across America! Let's hope
none of our employees are still here to run the dump.
Seriously, I wish I knew. All I am hoping for is relevant,
connectable radio whether it is 5, 10, or 100 years from
now. For Christian radio to be taken seriously, its methods
must change as society changes. Not the message, but the
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