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Matt Hahn

General Manager

WAY FM

Louisville

 

     

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Matt's Career Capsule
I began my radio career at WVMC in Mansfield, Ohio also working for Regent and Clear Channel stations in that market.  In 1992 I moved to Lynchburg, VA (Liberty University) working for five years in the Lynchburg/Roanoke market for WRVL and WYYD.  In 1997 I returned to Ohio to become the General Manager of WVMC.  I also taught college classes for upcoming broadcasters during that time.  In December of 2003 I was called to Clarksville, TN as Station Manager of 88.3, WAY-FM.  In 2005 I became the Station Manager for 95.1, The River, in Mid-Ohio and was promoted to VP of Operations for CVCO, Inc.  Currently I’m serving as General Manager of WAY-FM, Louisville.  Way-FM Media Group operates two commercial frequencies on 93.9 and 105.9 in the Louisville/Southern Indiana market.

 

1. Many changes have taken place at WAY-FM Louisville over the last few years…please bring us up to date.

WAY-FM launched its first commercial frequency (104.3) in the Louisville market in March of 2008. Since the sign-on, WAY-FM Media Group, Inc. has seen tremendous growth. In October of 2008, WAY-FM came to a mutual agreement with Salem Communications to purchase 105.9, The River. In just a short time WAY-FM Media Group had acquired two great commercial frequencies. In October 2010, WAY-FM was able to continue to grow in the Louisville market due to a LMA agreement with Cumulus (93.9). We now broadcast from the highest broadcast tower in downtown Louisville. We are very excited to see how God continues to bless this radio ministry in the Louisville and Southern Indiana market.

 

2. You’re selling commercial time on your stations, how is that working out?

WAY-FM Louisville is selling commercial time on both of our frequencies. This has been both very rewarding and challenging at the same time, especially in view of the current economic climate. One advantage we see is that it allows many options for our clients which they greatly appreciate. In dealing with the businesses in our area we find a majority of agencies like the fact that they can access a Christian music radio format on a commercial frequency. They also see this as an avenue to reach their clients with advertising creating a win-win situation for both.

 

3. How important are rating numbers to the success of WAY-FM Louisville?

We are thankful that WAY-FM Louisville continues to see growth in our ratings. This encourages major buyers in the market to consider WAY-FM. So, ratings are important for the commercial aspect of the business, but ratings aren't the only measure of success. Our listeners communicate the fulfillment of our vision in their testimonies of changed lives which is our true mission. It's also rewarding to see the rating increase as we plan for the future of WAY-FM Louisville.

 

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

I personally feel there are various ways and methods to keep your staff motivated, but you have to look at each staff member differently. Sometimes one thing may motivate one staff member but may not work well for another. I believe you need to pray for your staff and encourage them. The biggest thing is keeping an open line of communication. It is vital to keep the TEAM all on the same page. It is important that we are all striving for the same goal and understand our mission. I love to see our TEAM challenging each other for excellence which makes them motivated.

 

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

Promotions that shape and reinforce who the station is and promotions that hit the WAY-FM target listener. I personally like to develop promotions that are very unique and create a buzz on and off the air. Promotions that create viral marketing are a home run in my book.

 

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

I feel the labels are doing a good job serving Christian Radio. These are challenging times so it is key to keep the line of communication open. We need to be open to explore new ways that we can serve each other.

 

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

I think there are many obstacles facing Christian radio today. Probably the challenge that is most evident is the current economic situation. Listeners, many times on much tighter budgets, are trying to meet the needs of their families as well as support Christian radio. Even marketing budgets are stretched, especially for small local businesses. Can Christian radio do what it needs to do to weather the current economic storms? That may mean evaluating why we do what we do to accomplish great Christian programming. We must stay true to our mission and truly serve listeners. I am also concerned about the topic of Artist/Royalty/Performance Tax issues and how that will affect Christian radio.

 

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

Be real, honest and relating to your audience. Living their faith out on and off the air!

 

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

Dean O’ Neal and team at Z 88.3 in Orlando, KCMS in Seattle, Jason Sharp at KTIS Minneapolis and WAY-FM continues to be a great innovator in our industry—ALL are doing a great job!

 

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

Wow, now that’s a tough question, but I think Christian radio will have come through a very tough economic time in five years and stations that have been real, transparent and that have delivered compelling content will be on-top.
 

 

 

 

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