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Jim Kirkland

 

Director of Radio

 

Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Blue Ridge Broadcasting


Black Mountain, NC

 

     

To contact Jim click here

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jim's Career Capsule
In the fall of 2001, Blue Ridge Broadcastings’ WMIT/Black Mountain, NC began an evolution into a regionally-focused contemporary radio ministry known as 106.9 the Light. Jim Kirkland joined the station as the PD to lead the charge. He became General Manager four years later. Then, in 2008, Jim assumed direction of all radio efforts of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, including BRB. He racks up plenty of windshield time as he splits his time between Charlotte and Asheville.

Before BRB, Jim logged twelve years as a programmer, OM and Regional PD with experience in seven formats ranging from Oldies to Urban to News/Talk at stations in Richmond, Memphis, Greenville, SC, and Greensboro.

          

1 Personally how do you keep the ministry in the “business”

It’s not enough to simply put ministry first. It’s vital we remember it’s ministry…period. A good rule of thumb is if the work begins to feel more like “business”, it’s time to do some prayerful heart-searching with the team. I gotta make a confession: I squirm every time I hear the words “Christian radio industry”. What we do each day is far, far more significant than what any industry does. Maybe it was all the years in secular radio that adds perspective to what a completely awesome privilege it is to be a part of what God does through radio. Some tactical things to help keep ministry first: pray daily as a team, for the listeners and each other. Actively invite the listener to share their prayer requests, and be sure to share listener comments with all the team of how God used the station to impact their lives. The development folks can share those, in turn, with those that provide for the ministry.

 

2. Overall, how is Christian radio different today, from 5 years ago?

The improved “eye contact” of programming content. Also the better grasp of truly building relationships with donors as investors versus simply asking for money. Of course, the upward trajectory of internet and social media’s ability to touch lives is a huge hallmark of the past few years.

 

3. What do you think are the main characteristics of a Christian radio GM?

Integrity, discernment, curiosity, humility, a healthy measure of restlessness, a deliberate desire to lead in the manner the Bible teaches, and above all, a commitment to pray continuously for God’s leading.

 

4. What ways or methods do you think work best to keep your staff motivated?

Regular communication, genuine concern from them as individuals and their goals, regular communication, transparency, regular communication, helping them maximize their talents and skills, and…did I mention, regular communication.  

 

5. What kind of promotions work best for Christian radio?

The same that work for any radio station: ones that connect with what’s important or of value to the listener, and are consistent with the brand. Adding to that, ones that encourage people of their potential to be the hands and feet of Christ to this world. Then deliver all that with an ample dash of good ol’ Theater of the Mind.

 

6. How do you think Christian Record labels can better serve Christian radio?

Our GM, Alice Knighten and OM and MD, Tom Greene and Matt Stockman, are in better position to speak to this.  But I do hope the label folks always remind their powers-that-be of the elegantly simple and powerfully beneficial relationship that exists between radio and the recording industry. It would be tragic to see that jeopardized by some desperate revenue model.

 

7. In your opinion what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian radio today?

The speed with which we must stay attuned to the change of tastes and preferences. That’s not so much an obstacle as a reality.

 

8. What do you believe is the primary role of the Christian radio air personality?

To let their real self shine through, warts and all, so to forge a bond through common experiences with the listener. And to always have that “something different” evident. And that difference being a relationship with Christ. The disc jockey is dead. The listener is the star. Long live the real communicators!

 

9. What (if any) Christian radio stations do you consider as innovators today?

There’s some really innovative things emanating from all kinds of stations, large and small. I’m consistently impressed by KSBJ and the WAY FM crews.

 

10. Where do you see Christian radio in 5 years?

Personally, I’ve not been much of a crystal-ball gazer. Focus today on your ministry’s calling and execute that with passion. Do that consistently, and the next five years will likely take care of themselves.   

 

 

 

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