Chuck Tyler has diverse experience programming stations of
various formats in some of America's top radio markets. Recent
career highlights include morning drive in Los Angeles (KFSH-FM,
CCM format), Program Director positions at KXL-FM Portland (Hot
A/C), WVEZ-FM Louisville (Soft A/C), WWKY-AM Louisville (Talk),
and WLAC-FM Nashville (A/C). Chuck's earlier career includes
being part of the programming teams involved in the launch of
two diverse formats, B-94 Pittsburgh (CHR) in 1980 and KFI Los
Angeles (Talk) in 1987. When not on the air Chuck enjoys
body-boarding, bicycling, playing the drums and spending time
with his wife Doris, four teenagers and puppy dog Gizmo.
1. Aside from the obvious,
what's the biggest difference working in Christian radio as
opposed to secular radio ?
By and large it is a much more honest and positive experience.
It's great to know that we are part of changing lives everday. I
was part of changing lives in general market radio, but not
always in a positive way.
2. How important are contests to CCM stations?
For an A/C
CCM station probably about as important as to listeners of our
mainstream A/C competition. Music is the key. Just last week
I happened to ask our 3,500 person Listener Advisory Board a
question about those million dollar contests that are all over
the radio nowadays. The response was overwhelmingly that we
should not do that sort of contest. Most listeners felt that
the money would be better spent on other items. So when we do
a contest we want it to have strong intrinsic value and a high
'warm and fuzzy' quotient. For example starting in two weeks
we will be giving away 6 mini vans over a 90 day period. It's
a win a key contest...each of three winners will get one van
for themselves and one to give to the church of their choice.
3. Do you think the CCM format
is heading in a mainstream direction? please elaborate.
If you mean, sounding like a ' real radio station' , I would
say yes and that is a positive trend. The distinction will
always be the message in the music and that is something that
our general market counterparts can't tap into. That key
difference will be our unique selling position. The challenge
for CCM is the tremendous lack of awareness of the music on
the part of the listeners. Every successful radio station is
built on familiarity, so driving familiarity (making hits) is
4. Who are your programming
Vallie/Steve Kingston-From B-94 in Pittsburg early in my
career taught me a bunch. Dan continues to teach me on an
on-going basis. Steve Davis in CHR. Also I learned alot from
being around folks that I worked with in Full Service and
Talk radio...Ken Kohl, Tom Leykis, Gary Owens, folks like
5. How important is the internet to your radio station ?
It can be a tremendous ministry to folks that don't
have access to a terrestrial CCM station. Our VP here in LA
Dave Armstrong is one of the real internet visionaries. I
just stand back and watch him go. He and Bob Shaw here
launched one of the very first internet only stations over 5
years ago (Christian Pirate Radio). He has also created some
very exciting scenarios that will allow the streamed Fish
format to be both worldwide and local at the same time. This
model will take streaming to a level that makes economic