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Radio Interview

                                     

 

 

Doug Hannah

Program Director

WAY-FM / Christian Hit Radio Satellite Network

Nashville, TN

 

 

Doug's Career Capsule
Began career in Christian radio at 1984 at age 16.  Started in hometown of Jackson, MI, worked my way up to Lansing then Detroit with Family Life Radio.  Went on to be MD for WBGL/Champaign and WCFL/Chicago in the 90s.  Then moved on for four years doing many jobs at KSBJ / Houston, including Promotions/APD/PD/MD.  In 2001, accepted current position - PD and morning show co-host of WAY-FM / Nashville and Christian Hit Radio Satellite Network (CHRSN).  WAY-FM / Nashville won the 2001 GMA Large Market Station Of The Year Award, and was nominated for the award again in 2002.
 
1. What in your opinion is the current state of Christian radio?
 
I think it's the strongest it's ever been!  We still have our significant challenges, like continuing to evolve beyond a mentality that assumes we know what's best for our audience, and moving toward a greater embrace of research.  We need to continue to realize that our one station is unlikely to provide the "total Christian experience" for all listeners.  Fragmentation affects us, too, and it means some Christian stations will meet needs for positive music and a safe place for the family, others will serve the 3 times a week churchgoer who wants Christian action information and lots of news, and more (hopefully) will arrive on the scene to serve the needs of non-English speaking audiences.  
 
But overall, there's no question Christian radio is making it's greatest impact ever, right now.

2. Who is your favorite Christian radio air personality (not on your station) and why?
 
Brant Hansen of WDWS / Champaign, IL.  That's not a Christian station, but Brant is a committed believer and has years of experience in Christian radio.  He's smart, funny, his show has a very wide appeal, and he just has the best instincts.  When it comes to relating to listeners, he "gets it" better than many PDs.  I love listening to him, and believe everyone will be hearing much more from him in the future.  I actually wish I was Brant.
 
As far as a personality currently in Christian radio, I think Frank Reed at KLTY is one of the very best.  Gary Walsh at 106.5 The Promise in Jacksonville is great.  There's more programmers and jocks in the format that I think highly of than I can mention here.  One of the PDs I really admire is Mike Novak at K-LOVE.

3. Desribe the most successful promotion your station did in the last year?
 
Listeners tell us they love doing things that let them put their faith into action.  Last year we worked with Compassion International to give listeners a chance to call and sponsor children.  We'd never really done anything like that before and set a low goal which was absolutely shattered.  Well over 1,000 children were sponsored in just 22 hours, setting a record for CI.  We just don't do much contesting or try to compete with big prizes, because we really can't, and our listeners seem to prefer promotions that come from the heart.

4. If you weren't programming a Christian radio station what would you be doing?
 
Probably working in a church or other parachurch ministry, or figuring out a way to make a living working from home

5. Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
 
It's not pretty.  Less hair, a bigger gut, with an 18-year old daughter in the house.  She's beautiful now, of course, so I have to worry about that, too.

6. What does your station do internally to get focused on the ministry of Christian radio? 
 
One of our positioners is "WAY-FM, it's not just a radio station...it's a ministry".  Bob Augsburg started WAY-FM with a vision and passion to reach youth and young families with the positive influence and message of hope and truth through Christian music.  That continues today with a constant reminder in meetings and in planning of our 7 core values and our mission statement.  Believe me, everyone on our staff wants to win, but most of all we want to touch lives.  My staff is as flexible a group as I've seen at doing what they need to do to conform to that goal, even if it means altering their own style or leaving their comfort zone.
 
I'm really pretty lucky (blessed if you prefer) to have the team I have.

 

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