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Radio Interview

                                     

Jim Carter

Program Director

WFRN

South Bend

 

 

Jim's Career Capsule

My career began right out of Junior College in May of 1986.  Being full of the confidence built up over two years of broadcasting school, I applied for the Morning Personality/PD opening at WFRN, a radio station just a mile down the road from my house.  I was offered the overnight shift on Friday Night/Saturday Morning.  By the fall of 1986 I was the full-time overnight guy at WFRN.  Since then I have worked for LeSea Broadcasting in South Bend with their local FM and International Shortwave.  I also spent time at 89Q in Wausau, Wisconsin. 

 

1. Tell us about your market and how it is unique?

The South Bend Market has 6 Christian stations in the TSA so I believe there is more competition for listeners than other markets.  The major counties of the Market are different as Night & Day.  One county is predominantly white collar and spiritually cold, and the other is blue collar and spiritually warm. 

 

2. What is the most fulfilling aspect to you personally about Christian radio?

First, I am guilt free.  I don’t have to worry if the music I play is messing someone up.  Second,  as a teenager I came home from a youth “The Ministry”.  Silly me thought that meant working at a church and preaching on Sundays.  Christian radio is a ministry, and I thank God everyday for the way he is using me.

 

3. How do you personally keep the ministry in the business?

All I have to do is read the emails and letters from listeners and know it's so much more than just playing a good song.  Listeners share how a song was on the radio at just the right time, or I said something that impacted their life.  Listener response really helps me stay focused on ministry.

 

4. What kind of promotions work best for your station?

Promotions that give the listener a reason to respond work great.  For example:  sharing a story about their mother for a Mother’s Day contest.  Simple contests that do not require the listener to put a lot of work into winning also work great.  And I notice a good response when the prize is something they need rather than something they want (i.e. gas or cash compared something extravagant).

 

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

We need to sound alive, local and real.  As much as we strive to be “Seeker Friendly”, I hope we don’t become irrelevant.  Fish with a broad net, but make sure we give the listener something they won’t get from any other format – Jesus.

 

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

Be a real person.  Do not try to be a preacher – Leave that to Charles Swindoll.  Be interesting and talk to the listener not at them.

 

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

I’m still a fan of WCSG in Grand Rapids, and I’m in love with “The Song” out of Indianapolis, they’re the best Christian Station I have ever listened to.

 

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

If Christian radio continues to seek new listeners with great music and personality’s, that points listeners to Christ, God will continue bless the industry.

 

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