That's a good question. Because our business IS a
ministry, it causes me to think through how I word my answer. I
believe it is possible to do too much 'ministry' on the air, thereby
compromising your business. A good business does one thing very,
very well. As wonderful as it would be to be effective at
everything we do on the air, I don't believe it is realistic to
think that serving all aspects of ministry ON THE AIR is an
effective use of radio. It is critical that each station remembers
their specific calling/mission and does just that. Serving Jesus by
trying to be the best in the business is more effective than trying
to be the best at ministry on the air. Please
read that last sentence again so you can hear my heart on this.
(of course you can assume I am referring to using
Biblical principles in business)
Oftentimes on the way to work, my prayer will be for
God to check my heart and then provide me with the tools needed to
be effective at accomplishing the mission He has laid out for our
station to do. I pray that He
allows me to connect with existing Jesus-lovers and yet be
completely relevant to someone searching for truth and God in
their own way. I want to be the 'Jesus'
that Jesus wants THAT listener
to see. I want to show people what it is like to have a
relationship and not a religion.
2. Overall, how is
Christian radio different today, from 5 years ago?
Let's see...that was two radio stations ago for
me... Well, it has increasingly become more digital. The delivery
of music is 90% online now. Of course we have the ever-convenient
portable music device to contend with more, too. Although, I must
say that I think people still
enjoy listening to live radio...knowing that they
are experiencing something that thousands of others are experiencing
at the same time. THAT is something those little 'pocket players'
3. What do you think are the main characteristics of today’s
Christian radio PD?
More than ever, I am
passionate about stations accomplishing the mission of their
station. I believe the PD's job is to focus the programming
to accomplish that mission. That means song selection, show
content, imaging...everything on air. The
package of your station as presented to the public MUST reflect the
mission of the station. As good as songs and DJs may be, the
station's pursuit of its God-given vision has to take top priority.
4. What criteria do you require for a song to be played on your
I gotta be honest
with you and tell you that the sound of the song is the first thing
that either gets me or doesn't. I think it is a HUGE thing in the
decision process. It must, must, must sound good and be the type of
song that listeners will want to hear again. There is nothing less
relevant than calling yourself a hit station and then playing music
that is nowhere close to the sound of today's mainstream hits.
Lyrics are also a
major factor for us. Since our mission is one to bridge that gap
for the non-Christian, we do not want to use 'churchy' language on
the air. There is nothing wrong with Christian lingo for stations
whose quest is to edify the saints, but it sure can sound out of
touch to the non-believer. We also don't shy away from
"relationship" songs. Primarily, because people have
relationships! You can't get much more relevant than that! It is
ok for us to play songs that sing about life and its triumphs and
stuggles. We play ALL of these songs in an attempt to raise
questions in people's minds about life and God...and ultimately,
5. What kind of
promotions work best for Christian radio?
It depends on the
format of the station. I don't know that there is a BEST type of
promotion. The common factor in pulling off a good promotion is
being able to engage your audience and get people talking. We
are currently doing a promotion that costs us NOTHING (except a
little gas). "Signs of Summer" is our way of having billboards
without paying for billboards. Listeners get together and create
signs with Q99.5 and KZZQ.com on them and display them in their
yards for the summer. We stop by, take pictures and give stuff
away...and the winning sign gets a live show from their location at
the end of the contest...with even more prizes. Creating emotional
(and in this case, physical) equity in your listener is always a
6. How do you think Christian Record labels can better serve
I really don't
know. I have always had great relationships with record companies
and I am so thankful for that. I have enjoyed the partnerships
we've had with them over the years. I love the availability of
music through downloads and the increased number of artist visits to
the station. I can't say that
anything is lacking, really.
We just need to keep growing together and sharpen each other's side
of this industry.
7. In your opinion what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian
Aside from soon being accused of
hate crimes for having a biblical world view, I would have to say
the biggest obstacle can be ourselves.
not understanding how God can and
does reach people.
a misguided view of doing
ministry on radio.
not focusing on the vision that
God gave for the station.
All of these things will suck the
efficiency and effectiveness right out of a Christian radio station.
8. What do you believe is the primary role of the Christian radio
To be the most effective
communicator possible and achieve the goals set forth by the PD.
Once again, those goals reflect the particular mission of the
9. What (if any) Christian radio stations do you consider as
KZZQ, of course. Actually, I would
have to really look at what individual stations are doing that is
fresh, different and effective. I'm not sure that I can pinpoint
particular stations that are really setting the pace. I'm sure
there are several...!
10. Where do you see Christian radio in 5 years?
Unfortunately, I see Christian
radio more stifled by law and regulations that eliminate a
"non-tolerant" point of view. We will have to do our very best to
speak the truth with relevance and boldness and ask for
the protection of God on our stations.
Aside from that dark
thought...Christian radio of all formats will be more finely tuned
to their unique purposes and better equipped at implementing their
strategies to reach their goals. Those who are in radio are usually
in it for the long haul. Let's work together to set the pace for
radio...not just Christian radio.