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Radio Interview

                                     

Karen Sibilia

Promotions Manager

WAWZ

New York

 

 

Karen's Career Capsule
I began with WAWZ  "STAR 99.1" just after the format switch from Inspo/Talk to CCM in 2003. I was hired as a promotions assistant with a background in music on a professional level, by Promotions Director and Morning Show Co-Host, Stacey Stone. After a year I was promoted to Coordinator and recently promoted again to Promotions Manager. Under Stacey’s direction we have exploded with opportunities.

 

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

We try to remember it’s all about our listener and not about us.  We make ourselves available for all types of promotions that reach a very broad cross section of people but keep enough involvement with churches and Christian events to help point people to the truth.

 

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

The industry seems to have shifted to more emphasis on cross-over artists which actually helps to bring awareness to contemporary Christian music. I also see more opportunities for airplay of “alternative” type of music on CCM stations.

 

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

If flexibility is King, then spontaneity is Queen. Everything that can change probably will.  A great Promotions Director has to be ready to move to the next big thing in the event a promotion completely unravels. Stacey Stone, who also is the Morning Show Co-Host has an amazing ability to do just that since she wears two very large hats!!

 

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

The challenge in the NY Metro area is for recognition in the main stream.  Unlike other areas of the country that may be saturated with several Christian Stations, WAWZ STAR 99.1 is the only CCM station. What works best for us is a promotion giving many people a chance to participate, like our 99 Keys contest where 99 people will have a chance to try their key and win a new Jeep Liberty Sport.

 

5. What are some of the most memorable promotions you've been involved with?

By far, the best promotions are the ones where we endeavored to help our troops by working with a NY based organization to collect food and supplies for the Adopt A Solider program. Two thousand packages were donated by our listeners and mailed to Iraq as well as banners which were signed by thousands and sent to Camp Liberty and Camp Anaconda in Iraq with prayers and encouragement from our listeners. The highlight of our year was the Christmas Prayers program where needy families wrote in with their Christmas Prayers and STAR 99.1 helped to fulfill them from toys, clothes and a new car to a trip for a family to visit a dying grandparent.

 

6. What is the overall promotions procedure at Star 99.1?  (start to finish of a promotion)

Director of Promotions, Stacey Stone, along with her promotions staff, work through ideas and begin by contacting various artists and /or venues to pitch the promotion.  We also enlist the help of our sales department to locate potential sponsors which make the promotion that much larger.  On-air promotion begins a few weeks prior to the event, depending on the size and duration.  Our street teams are contacted and set in place and the promotions staff implements all the final details.

 

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

Stereo-typing has been of particular concern to us and we hope to dispel the myths of what CCM is and is not.  Another concern for listener supported stations is the rising cost of broadcasting.

 

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

I believe the air staff must be able to engage the listener in a way that touches their lives spiritually, emotionally and socially.  It is a delicate balance all the time.

 

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

I am particularly impressed with CrossRhythms Radio in the United Kingdom.  They are an interesting blend of the best of the industry as well as some innovative programming that appeals to a variety of listeners.  It seems to work well for them. State-side, I find His Radio very forward thinking.

 

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

I am a firm believer in the fact that Christians should set the example to follow and I hope and pray that we will be the innovators that the secular media will endeavor to emulate.  In any case, I believe we will finally gain the respect that we are long overdue as the industry continues to raise the bar with its level of artists.

 

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