Started out 20-something years ago just getting on the radio
whenever I could. Since then, at various places, I have been the
college student studying broadcasting, the fill-in weekend DJ, The
Morning Show guy, the Music Director, The Program Director, The
General Manager, the IT guy, and the engineer in a pinch. Today I am
Operations Manager at Christian Family Radio in my adopted hometown
of Bowling Green, KY. We have stations in Bowling Green and
Owensboro and are looking to add several more.
Personally how do you keep the ministry in the “business”?
I remember "back in the day" an argument
among our staff as to whether we were a ministry or a business. Our
board president said the answer was "yes."
business, alright. But the business of our business is ministry.
I love Christian
Radio, but I also see it as a means unto an end. Our "product" is
Jesus. Our mission statement uses the equation M=CE2, a knockoff of
the famous Einstein equation. Basically our mission (m) is to
connect (c) people to Jesus, encourage them to grow in their faith
and to encourage them to go forth in His Name. (e2).
2. Overall, how
is Christian radio different today, from 5 years ago?
We've come a
long way, baby! The numbers prove it. We're doing a better job
competing with all the other stations on the dial. Considering the
filth that is on some of those stations, they NEED the competition.
And with more "competing" Christian stations in many markets, we
tend tend to make each other better.
3. What do you
think are the main characteristics of today’s Christian radio PD?
Today's PD is
more like a PhD. You have to be proficient in so many areas ranging
from managing staff to number crunching to being up on the latest
current events. Having a few pastoral genes locked somewhere in your
DNA also helps.
4. What criteria
do you require for a song to be played on your station?
At CFR, our
music committee has to be in agreement that a song is a good fit
formatically and lyrically. Will listeners like it and will it at
least loosely point them to Jesus? Clean and family-friendly is
good, but not necessarily good enough. This is Christian music. It's
OK to mention Jesus. Really.
5. What kind of
promotions work best for Christian radio?
We try to keep
things simple. We like to make prize winning easy. We like to make
participation easy but relevant in relation to what people care
summer, we did a campaign with "Soles 4 Souls" and collected over
4000 pairs of shoes for people in Darfur, Sudan. Almost everyone
knows the about the terrible things happening there and here was an
easy way to help. Almost everyone has several pairs of shoes that
are still quite good that would be a blessing for someone. So we
collected the shoes at several convenient drop-off points and we
were overwhelmed! The 4000 pairs our listeners gave more than
doubled our highest expectations!
6. How do you
think Christian Record labels can better serve Christian radio?
Help us 86 this
whole Performance Rights Tax thing! If radio airplay is so valueless
to the music industry today, why does the music industry spend
millions of dollars every year trying to get their music on the air?
We all want artists to be fairly compensated. That won't happen if
they lose airplay!
7. In your
opinion what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian radio today?
Rights Tax could be the most major obstacle we have faced in the
history of Christian Radio. The big conglomerates might be able to
weather it, but this has the potential of bankrupting small and
non-profit broadcasters. Just ask any small webcaster.
8. What do you
believe is the primary role of the Christian radio air personality?
have to make a connection with our listeners. Connect them with
Jesus. Connect them to the artists. Connect them to your station.
Connect them to each other. Connect them to yourself. When someone
I've never met treats me like they've known me for years, I know I
am doing something right. That's because if someone listens to me or
anyone else on CFR for very long, they really do know us.
9. What (if any)
Christian radio stations do you consider as innovators today?
I think we've
held our own reasonably well in that department, especially for a
small-market station. But when I grow up, I want to work for Z88.3
in Orlando! They do it right!
do you see Christian radio in 5 years?
The sky is the
limit. I'm an HD radio
optimist. I believe it will catch on sooner or later and when it
does, there can be 3 Christian stations for every one when taking
multicasting into account. There will be more competition as Wi-Fi
and Wi-Max becomes more commonplace, but that can also be good for
us. I for one look forward to listening to our webstream in my car
while on vacation 1000 miles away!