started in radio in 1982 at a station in Peoria, IL. Records, reel
to reels, carts, daytime power, sunrise sign-on…so much fun! Worked
briefly for a station in Missouri before landing at WIBI/Carlinville,
IL in 1988. I was there until July of 2005. 17 years! THAT, my
friends, is a long time. I did mornings there for 16 of those years
as well as production director, music director, program director and
operations director. In August of 2005, I joined 90.7
WAY-FM/Wichita, KS as general manager.
1. Tell us about your market and how it is unique?
is more than just cows and wheat. It’s the Air Capital and home to
Boeing, Cessna, Air Force One every once in a while and Raytheon.
Plus, companies like Pizza Hut, Coleman and Rent A Center got their
start here. We have opera, ballet, a symphony, botanical gardens,
museums and cows and wheat. And of course home to Wichita State
University…GO SHOCKERS! Wichita is a wonderful oasis on the prairie
and home to over 600,000 of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet.
2. What is the most
fulfilling aspect to you personally about Christian radio?
how Christian radio is getting so much better. When I first started,
Christian radio in general, stunk up the airwaves. As a teen, we
didn’t have any options. What thrills me the most is that my kids
have something I never had…Christian radio that’s cool to listen to,
plays music for them and has a message that helps them feel upbeat
about their faith and life.
3. How do you personally
keep the ministry in the business?
we continue to focus on changed lives. I’m old school enough to
believe (because I’ve seen it happen over and over) that money
follows ministry. It’s the whole “seek first the kingdom of God”
4. What is the
criteria that determines if a song receives airplay on your station?
important thing is that song’s relevance to our listener’s life. On
WAY-FM you will hear song after song that connects to our listener.
5. What kind of
promotions work best for your station?
promotions for us are the ones that help make Wichita a better
place. We’ve discovered that just because we have a radio signal in
this city, it doesn’t necessarily mean we are a Wichita radio
station. Our promotions hopefully communicate that we are actively
involved in this city and that we care about making our city better
for our kids, our families, our churches, our friends, our soldiers
and our neighbors.
6. How do you think
Christian Record labels can better serve Christian radio?
I think the labels do a great job. The people I know have wonderful
hearts, great attitudes and are very professional. I think the
labels that rise above the crowd work hard at understanding what
songs connect with radio listeners. Those labels listen to and
respond to what stations tell them.
7. In your opinion what
are the biggest obstacles facing Christian radio today?
be easy to say IPODs or satellite or something here, but in reality
I think the biggest obstacle we face is tactics without strategy. We
often forget the WHY of what we are doing. As a result, radio does
things that aren’t entertaining, compelling or even interesting.
Unless radio does that, it will lose to other technologies.
8. What do you believe
is the primary role of the Christian radio air personality today?
Be such a
close friend to your listener that they want to have contact with
you every day. That means being real. If you want to hear what that
sounds like, listen to Brant Hansen on WAY-FM/West Palm or Lisa
Williams on Z88.3/Orlando.
9. What (if any) other
Christian radio stations do you consider as innovators today?
to mention family first. WAY-FM and WAY-FM/Denver are creating
compelling and effective radio every day. The talent pool is deeper
than you can imagine. I love what Dean O’Neal is doing in Orlando at
WPOZ and what Chuck Pryor is doing at KSBJ in Houston. These guys
have radio stations that mean more than call letters and dial
positions. That doesn’t happen on accident.
10. Where do you see
Christian radio in 5 years?
I hope we
will continue listening to the wise voices in our industry and
learning from the people who are doing it right. If we do, in 5
years, we will see lives changed and impacted because listeners
chose to allow us to be their friends.