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Radio Interview

                                     

Jim McDermott

General Manager

KCVO (Spirit FM Radio Network)

Camdenton, MO

 

 

Jim's Career Capsule
After college and seminary,  I started in radio doing nights at a AM-FM at the Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri, KRMS, in 1978.  From there I went to Afternoons and News Director at KHYM, Gilmer, TX and was promoted to Station Manager of the group's new FM in Dubuque, Iowa, KLXL in 1980.  In 1983, I moved back to the Lake of the Ozarks to start my own station, KCVO, which went on the air in Sept. 1985. Since then, we've expanded to 7 full-power FM's and 5 translators that we call Spirit FM.

 

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

I think the best way is to read all of the letters and emails that come in from people who have been touched by the station.  Those changed lives are why we do what we do.

 

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

There is more competition and therefore listeners are more discriminating.  Stations cannot  put on programming that is merely OK.  Listeners will go elsewhere if you are not doing your best to superserve them all day long.

 

3. What do you think are the main characteristics of today’s Christian radio PD?

They have to be thick-skinned to handle all of the crusader, soft-hearted to understand how to             reach our target audience, and willing to work as long as it takes to get the right stuff on the air.

 

4. What criteria do you require for a song to be played on your station?

a) It needs to be musically of the right format  b) it should have "hit" potential  c) It needs to say something more than "the world is good and I am happy," or "I know I need something, but what?"  I want a song to tell my listeners that the answers they are searching for are found in Jesus (or at least God).  d) I choose to play songs by artists that are committed to the Christian music industry. 

 

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

For us, things that we can do on the air work best.  Using our airwaves to get our listeners to do something to help those in need is an awesome privilege.  Giving away, not only tickets to concerts, but also taking the winners to the concert in our van with our morning show team and giving them back stage access is something money can't buy.

 

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

I think they have already done it--using Promo Only.  They need to keep looking for new models of revenue and new singers who can really communicate our message.

 

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

Competition and the lack of great stations everywhere.  So many areas still have very sub par Christian radio and some areas have 3 good stations.  Competition is dividing the audience in some areas to where no one can get the revenue they need to prosper.

 

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

To be relatable, remarkable and consistent.  To be a friend listeners can count on.

 

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

That's tough because most of the innovations we have needed have been accomplished by a lot of stations.  KSBJ, KLTY, KXOJ, KTIS have all been leaders.

 

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

It depends on if HD radio catches on.  If it does, it could be a nightmare with hundreds of new CCM stations on HD2 channels.  If it doesn't, most CCM stations will stay analog and not be much different than we are now.

 

 

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