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Radio Interview

                                     

Lloyd Parker

Chief Operating Officer

WAY FM Media

Colorado Springs

 

 

Lloyd's Career Capsule
Lloyd dove into Christian music radio in 1972 while at Evangel University in Springfield, MO. In 1974, while station manager of the campus radio station KECC, he became the program director of a new commercial Christian station in town, KLFJ. The next year he was hired at Springfield’s Top 40 station KICK as news announcer.

He resigned 4 months later to return home to Long Island, NY. There he joined a new gospel station WNYG, becoming program director. 3 years later he was asked by Joe Battaglia to become the program director of WLIX. Joe had just become part-owner of this new Christian station on Long Island serving 6.5 million people in the New York metro area.

Over the next 17 years, WLIX grew to be one of the pioneer Christian music stations in the country. Lloyd eventually became VP/GM and part owner before the station was sold in 1995. Concurrently from 1988 to 1993, Lloyd was VP/GM of WLVX in Hartford, CT.

In 1996 Lloyd joined EMF Broadcasting (K-LOVE Radio Network) in Sacramento as General Manager. In 1999 he added GM of Air 1 Radio Network to his title when it merged with K-LOVE. In 2002 he founded Christian Music Planet magazine and served as its Editor-In-Chief.

In 2005, Lloyd left EMF and moved to Colorado Springs where he currently serves WAY-FM Media Group as Chief Operating Officer.

 

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

I only have to read the emails we get from listeners to help me keep focused on why we do what we do. We also have weekly devotions and daily prayer times in the corporate office.

 

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

The music continues to get better. The overall numbers for Christian radio has grown, so we are reaching more people. It seems more stations are doing more research which is impacting the on-air product in a positive way.

 

3. What do you think are the main characteristics of a Christian radio GM?

Besides having a passion to touch people with the message of Christ, I would say that a GM has to have a good handle on raising revenue. Whether that is the ability to cultivate relationships with donors / advertisers or to raise funds through major donors, revenue generation is important. Besides knowing FCC regulations, they need to have an understanding of what it takes to produce a good on-air product. People management, understanding HR issues, marketing/PR, keeping up with the culture and the Internet and being a good communicator all help round out the skills needed.

 

4. What ways or methods do you think work best to keep your staff motivated?

I am not a micro-manager and I like giving my GMs as much autonomy as possible. I think giving a person control over their operations, with accountability, motivates them to do a good job. The person can take a lot of ownership that way. Holding routine meetings to review progress on goals is important. Of course there are other things like giving a staff member public recognition for a job well done and having some fun activities together.  

 

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

Ones that engage in a way that is unique and compelling even for those listeners who have no desire to participate in the actual promotion. There should be a “WOW” factor involved with a prize that perhaps the listener can not get anywhere else.

 

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

Considering the shifting paradigm that they are working under, I think they are doing a good job of serving the needs of radio. I am not in the day-to-day trenches working with the labels but everything I hear is that they are cooperative and pro-active in doing what they can to help us do our jobs better. I give them extra credit just for working with Wally on Total Axxess!

 

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

One obvious one is the changing listening habits of Millennials in our audience. Increased competition from other delivery systems like the Internet, iPods, etc. has made radio just another way to hear music and find out about new songs. Statistics show that we will continue to lose listeners in this key demo. Radio is going to have to deal with this issue one way or the other and I think many Christian stations/groups are trying to do that. Using the web more creatively will be a big part of the solution.

 

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

With the music available all over the place, the role of the personality is even more crucial than ever. It is what will make a radio station stand out. A great communicator who is authentic, compelling, culturally relevant and creative will make all the difference for a station. I may be biased, but to me Brant Hansen, Donna Cruz and Wally are all good examples of Christian radio air personalities who do a great job.

 

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

Not stations, but people….Dave Senes here at WAY-FM, Dean O’Neal at WPOZ in Orlando, Ty McFarland at KTFY in Idaho, Jason Sharp at KTIS – all very smart radio guys! 

 

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

Gee, I wish I knew for sure, but I’ll bet the winners will have successfully transitioned their websites to more than just brochures for their stations. They will have made their sites listener-centric instead of station-centric. They’ll offer unique streaming besides their on-air signals. They’ll super-serve their listeners with local information. Following the thoughts offered in the book “Unchristian”, I wonder in order to reach more listeners outside the Christian bubble if we’ll be playing more music from mainstream artists who make music with good, positive messages and less music from Christian-label CCM artists.   

 

 

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