I got started in radio 26 years ago and
I’ve been in and out of radio ever since. I’ve worked in the
mainstream as the PD at KISS-FM in Fargo, and also worked for
Z-103.3 in the Lakes Region of Minnesota. I’ve also worked part
time at stations in Seattle and New Haven, CT. Most of my
experience has been in Christian radio working at WSOR/Ft. Myers,
Power 92/Fargo and I’ve managed WAY-FM in Ft. Myers for more than 10
years now. I’ve served in full-time youth ministry and a few years
ago I authored the book LIFE SUPPORT: A Prescription For
Prolonging The Life Of Your Youth Worker. I’m one of those rare
GM’s who actually does a morning show and I love finding ways to
connect with real people. Lord willing, I’ll grow old working for
the best company in Christian radio, the WAY-FM Media Group, Inc.
Personally how do you keep the ministry in the “business”?
Keeping the ministry in what we do is
dependent on a clear mission and vision. At WAY-FM, our mission has
nothing to do with stocks or shareholders or some political agenda.
Rather, we seek to encourage youth and young adults in their
Christian walk and introduce non-believers to Christ. All of the
business that must take place in order for our station to operate
does not replace or supersede the mission, it feeds it and, of
course, funds it. When I make my annual presentation to the WAY-FM
Board of Directors, I focus solely on the ministry what God is doing
through our radio station. Ultimately, that’s what all of us care
2. Overall, how is Christian radio different today, from 5 years
Christian radio has changed significantly
in the last several years. We as radio pros are thinking more
strategically than ever! Rather than throwing a lot of tactics
against the wall, we are operating with a strategy that enables us
to clearly fulfill our mission. My dear friend, Matt Austin says,
“It’s about the power of laser-focus!” Additionally, the use of
voicetracking has enabled many stations to now operate with less
overhead, while maintaining a high-quality on-air sound. That’s
good, I think.
3. What do you think are the main characteristics of a Christian
A good GM must be able to lead people!
This is my passion. The former president of USC was giving a speech
on leadership and said, “My leadership philosophy is simple: Be the
best assistant to my lieutenants that I can be. They are the ones
who run this place.” I have made this philosophy my own. If you
can motivate and encourage your people GENUINELY, you will have
their allegiance and loyalty and as I often say, “They will put
their heads through the wall for you!” Multitasking is pretty
important, too, as is the ability to network and oh yeah – be
4. What ways or methods do you think work best to keep a staff
I’m not sure that I know much about
motivation methods. You have to live your leadership life as a
motivator and you can’t fake it or put it on sometimes. Cheer your
people on and buy them lunch once in a while…and maybe have them in
your home sometimes. I treat my staff like they are my best
friends…and they are. As a result, we have some of the
longest-tenured employees in all of WAY-FM-land!
5. What kind of promotions work best for Christian radio?
I have the best
promotions/marketing director on the planet. He’s led us into
promotions that are unusual for Christian radio – like Speed
Dating! This was huge for us and of the 200+ people who registered,
we had one couple meet and ultimately get married! We also like to
create service-oriented promotions that involve partnerships with
other organizations that do things well. Recently, our listeners
donated more than 15 tons of diapers and wipes for Hurricane Ike
victims. Our partnership with Convoy of Hope allowed us to collect
the diapers, while letting Convoy transport and distribute them to
the folks in the heart of the disaster-stricken region. We’re a
small staff, but these partnerships enable us to do big things.
6. How do you think Christian Record labels can better serve
As a GM, I have little to do with record
labels – not really sure how their world works, to be honest. I do
like the fact that Michael Johnson from Top 5 Promotions sends me an
e-mail once in a while. He’s a really good guy.
7. What do you believe is the primary role of the Christian radio
Connect with one listener by being
honest, real and fully transparent. No preaching allowed! Just a
collection of conversations that sound like ones I’d have with a
friend at Starbucks…my friend who knows my triumphs, my flaws, my
concerns and my family. The greatest compliment a caller can give
me is to speak to me like we’re already friends.
8. What (if any) Christian radio stations do you consider as
I could list lots of stations and
companies, but can I tell you about one particular person? She is
one of my best radio friends. Her name is Lara Scott and she is an
amazing person who sees radio the way I want to. She allows her
on-air at presence at The Fish in LA as to serve as something that
gives her a platform to go into her community and the world and make
a difference. She is more than just the voice of in-flight
programming on Air Force One and Delta Airlines, she is a humble,
servant-hearted friend – not just to me, but to her community and
the world. I want to be just like her. Christian radio is better
because Lara is teaching some of us by her example.
9. Where do you see Christian radio in 5 years?
I have no idea and it scares me a
little. Technology is changing fast. Let’s stay light on our feet
and pray that God will keep us relevant.