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Radio Interview

                                     

Mike Carrier

APD/MD/Promotions

KAFC

Anchorage

 

 

Mike's Career Capsule
1986-1987 Intern / PT with WCCC-FM (ROCK) in Hartford, CT,  1988-1990 Air Personality for WLVX-AM Hartford, CT, 1986-1992 Air Personality for WTCC-FM Springfield, MA, 1992-1993 MD/Air Personality for KHRT, Minot, ND, 1993-2001 MD/Production/Promotions/Air Personality for WNCB (Refuge Radio) Duluth, MN , 2003-NOW APD/MD/Promotions/Production/Sales/On Air Personality KAFC, Anchorage, AK

 

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

It’s a matter of remembering who is over all of this, and that is Jesus. Without Him, I have no job, without Him, we have no Christian Radio, without Him… nothing. The scriptures say “Seek first the Kingdom and all of His righteousness, and everything else will be added unto you.”

 

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

There seems to be no real clarity between the formats of AC and CHR. It seems like everyone is still trying to reach the same audience. Why have two different formats if there is really no difference? The main audience seems to be 25+ these days, a typical AC demographic. There are however a few successful ones out there doing traditional CHR targeting of 12-24, and doing it VERY well.

 

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

Seriously? One who is a major multi-tasker. It seems that a lot is put into the hands of most PD’s in a typical 10 hour day. That amount of time just doesn’t seem to be enough to get things done. But one thing I think should be a major priority is training up others to do what we do, in essence duplicating ourselves. We have a serious lack of talent available in the pool, and if we could train up and mentor those who would want to progress in this biz, we could start a new generation of talent that would be ready to take over when the rest of us retire. Voice trackers are cool, and they save money, but local talent that can be a part of the community will set us apart from the networks that continue to grow.

 

4. What criteria do you require for a song to be played on your station?

For me, this is changing. I am growing tired of the same ol’ cookie cutter formula being employed by most of the songs I hear. Same guitar structure, same safe ‘it’s worked before, so it will continue to work’ mentality. Place most of these songs together in a half hour segment, and ask the listeners if they could tell that 5 – 6 different songs were played, and they will tell you “no”. So now I am looking out for anything that is different and CREATIVE. Songs that come to mind recently include ANYTHING by Newsboys (thanks for keeping those creative juices flowing after all these years), Justin Unger, Mikeschair, Grey Holiday, Rocket Summer, Eleventyseven, Kirk Franklin, Toby Mac, Shawn McDonald, and others. Lyrics do play a major factor, obviously, and how do the lyrics match with our target demographic? I am looking for something that will encourage Christians towards living a holy life for God, and encourage them where they are at on a daily basis. It must speak to their heart, and into their life as a Christian, and in the things they are actively engaged in.

 

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

Trips to far away places! Seriously, if that isn’t possible, I like the creative ideas that come up to get our listeners connected with the artists. CD giveaways are good, and we do those EVERY week on KAFC, but to take that further into a specific theme by adding unique prizes along with that is very beneficial as well.

 

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

If you are really behind a song, please let us know that. We have TONS of songs coming our way, and the ones that we hear about a LOT will help in our decision making process, especially if the song is a HIT! The ones that get released on Play MPE are looked at once I get notification in the e-mail box, but after that, I DO need reminding, otherwise I tend to forget about it. If it’s a priority for you, please let us know, otherwise it will fall off my radar.

 

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

The increase of networks coming into markets with already existing LOCAL Christian Radio stations. We tend to knee jerk at this, but if we keep our focus on the things that we can CONTINUE to do to bless and influence our local communities, we will WIN! Stay local, promote local, and stay locally involved and be VISIBLE. This will keep you right there at the top of their minds.

 

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

Connect, connect, connect. I’ve heard it said before that our role as “announcers” is to be the icing on the cake of the main product, music. Ok, I agree music is the main product, but without a solid local personality that is able to connect to the listeners, they may as well go and listen to their iPODS, and at times, they are. When we engage the audience with local issues, relatable stories about our lives (short and to the point), and entertaining, FUNNY material, we can keep them locked into to us as they wonder what we are going to do or say next. Plus, taking phone calls on the air is another old fashioned, but GREAT way of connecting with them as well.

 

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

Hands down, WAYK in Kalamazoo, MI. Mike Couchman has always been on the pulse of his audience, and continues to see ratings SOAR.

 

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

I’m hoping we can see a difference between the formats. AC and CHR should be different, and should be reaching different audiences. I’d like to see and increase in the ROCK format. Is there EVER going to be a Christian Rhythmic format? I believe the way it may succeed is by combining Pop, Urban, Hip-Hop, and a little bit of urban gospel. Yup, I still have the dream… Here’s hoping one day it becomes reality.

 

 

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