first job was overnights at WDIZ FM in Orlando while during the
daytime, I was a photographer in the USAF. Most of my career was in
Country radio, working at WYAY FM in Atlanta, WSOC FM in Charlotte,
WSUN in Tampa, KSON FM in San Deigo and KYNG/Young Country in
Dallas/Fort Worth. It took awhile, but I think God kind of slapped
me in the back of the head in 2000, telling me to use the talents He
gave me in Contemporary Christian Music. So I went to Chicago when
Salem launched The Fish 106.7 and did mornings. After a couple of
years, God again let me know that He wanted to use me in the New
York Metropolitan area, so I joined STAR 99.1 as morning guy and
Personally how do you keep the ministry in the ďbusinessĒ?
The best way to keep the ministry in the
business is to live it. Donít hide it, but donít shove it down
anyoneís throat either. If you are a believer, it just comes out
naturally. The Bible has lots of guidelines on how to conduct your
life, whether in business or privately.
2. Overall, how is Christian radio different today, from 5 years
Christian radio is
dramatically different now than five years ago. The production of
the music is on a par with the best produced mainstream music. The
imaging of Christian radio stations is getting better as well.
Having said that, I do hear stations with really poor imaging.
Imaging is the skeleton that the rest of your station is built on,
so it is important to work hard at it. Your Christian station should
sound as good if not better
than anything else on the radio dial. The air talent at Christian
stations is getting better as well, relating to the target audience.
3. What do you think are the main characteristics of todayís
Christian radio PD?
The Christian PD does more than one
job. Thatís just something thatís expected in the radio environment
today. Lead by example. Never ask your people to do something you
wouldnít do yourself. Keep up to date on whatís going on in your
market(s). Coach when needed, and know when you have people working
for you that donít need lots of hands on attention. Make sure you
have the right people on the bus, sitting in the right seats. If you
have someone on the bus that doesnít belong on it, you do more of a
disservice to them by keeping them instead of letting them go.
Laugh, encourage, pray, and stay on your game. You have to win in
the hallways before you can win on the airwaves
4. What criteria do you require for a song to be played on your
Keith Stevens, STAR
99.1ís Music Director and I meet once a week to listen to new music.
We also watch the Billboard charts, see what other stations are
playing through BDS Radio and use Troy Research to gauge how well a
song is accepted by our listeners. We do weekly testing of about 20
songs. The message of the song is also important.
5. What kind of promotions work best for Christian radio?
Give the audience
what they want while being entertaining to the people who would
NEVER call a radio station. Viral is best, causing people to talk
about your radio station to people who donít know you exist.
6. How do you think Christian Record labels can better serve
labels are great! They are doing a fantastic job of giving us what
we need. Plus, Iím really happy that the artists, for the most part,
are keeping their songs to three and a half minutes or less.
7. In your opinion what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian
Marketing. You can
have the best BBQ party in town, but if nobody knows about it,
youíre eating all that meat all by your lonesome! Lots of us donít
have the money to market. Thatís why viral marketing is so
important. Read the book ďThe Tipping PointĒ by Malcolm Gladwell.
Another big obstacle facing Christian stations is the ďsense of
entitlementĒ in Christian radio stations. Look at your staff. Is
there someone there just because they are a Christian and donít
provide anything to further the cause?
8. What do you believe is the primary role of the Christian radio
Be real, always
tell the truth and never be boring. Read Valerie Gellerís books and
implement them. Realize that you are not of this world, but for now,
you are living in it and should reflect it with the values taught by
Jesus. Do your show prep. Beth Bacall, who does middays at STAR 99.1
has a great prep sheet called SHE PREP. Check out
www.sheprep.com . Hey, if you are repeating the lyrics of the
song you just played, you need to work harder at show prep.
9. What (if any) Christian radio stations do you consider as
There are so many
that ďget itĒ that Iím kind of afraid of listing any, because the
second I push the send button, Iíll think of a couple I forgot to
mention. Letís just say that the ones that keep setting the bar
higher on themselves and keep working hard to get better.
10. Where do you see Christian radio in 5 years?
Content is king. So
are delivery systems like pod casting, internet radio and radio
listening via cell phone. With broadcast leaders like our Station
Manager, Scott Taylor, weíll see less voice tracking, more focus on
entertaining and a greater connection with the listener. I would
like to think that when you scan the radio dial, the best sounding,
best produced and best marketed radio stations are Christian radio
stations. Also, in five years, every Christian radio station will
air Looking Up to Number One!!