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Radio Interview

                                     

 

Sean Caldwell

Voiceover/Production

Sean Caldwell Broadcast Services

 

 
1. Your're one of the most "heard" voices on radio...how has God blessed your voice over business?

What started out as a handful of clients in the late eighties developed into over 100 clients in radio and television. Today God blesses me with radio voiceover work in dozens of markets, television promo work for CNN and MSNBC, Universal Studios, and Sony. Concurrent with growth of my secular stations has been growth with Christian radio. Today I work with nearly two dozen Christian broadcasters as well as The Worship Network/Praise TV and PAX TV.


2. Why do you think radio stations, Christian in particular, should have a signature voice?

If you look and listen to the world around you, youíre bombarded with thousands of messages everyday. Itís not enough to have a consistent message; you need to have a consistent messenger. The logo you see on a Ford car is the same one youíll see on an original Model T from 1919. Coke shares the same type of history. I give stations a logo; a consistent sound; a familiar voice. In addition to on-air personalities, you need a thread to bring it all together. A station voice can accomplish that. Christian radio has sometimes suffered from sounding small. Spirit FM in Tampa should have the opportunity to be imaged just as well as WKTU in New York.

 

3. How has your voice over business expanded into Christian radio?

While I donít remember the first Christian station I worked with, I do remember the joy in realizing there was an entire market where I could use my God-given talents with voiceover work directly for His glory. One of the first stations was WCIE in Lakeland. I was living in Philadelphia at the time and loved talking with Rick Elmhorst and Dave Kirby about how Life 91 was positively impacting young adults around Lakeland and Tampa. Another relationship I enjoyed was The Way Network based in Nashville. That led to many other opportunities from people who would hear my voice on another Christian radio station and inquire if Iíd have interest in working with them. Recently weíve helped some Christian stations with fully produced imaging from my other company, www.samedaypromos.com. The same guys that produce for Clear Channel, Infinity, and many others in markets one through twenty are making Christian radio come alive.

4. What is the typical day like for a voice over/production talent like you?

I get up at 6:30 and spend a couple hours with my two (soon to be three!) kids. Working out of the house causes many people to wonder ďcan you just voice stuff in your pjís?Ē You have to feel good about your self to sound good, so a hot shower and fresh clothes are a must. I make my 30 foot commute and get into the studio before 9 a.m. I spend 30 minutes collecting faxes and emails then my first sessions usually start at 9:30 by ISDN. My day is now very mixed between ďliveĒ ISDN sessions and mp3 delivery. Iíll voice projects for 20 to 40 clients each day. Usually Iím done near 6:30 and occasionally push 7 p.m.


5. In general how is the on air attitude (image) of a Christian station different from secular?

The best part is itís cleaner and much more palatable for the entire family. Christian radio is usually uplifting and positive with its content. The same canít be said of much of secular radio. Iím very uncomfortable with some of the borderline words and phrases I may be asked to read. Iíll refuse anything that walks the line. You wonít hear me say ďThank God itís Friday.Ē I had to refuse some lucrative work that was in conflict with my Christian values. On the other hand, secular radio does promote itself more thoroughly than most Christian radio. I donít hear many morning show promos on Christian radio and Iíd like to be voicing more weekend and week long promotion pieces for Christian radio. Many Christian stations are constrained by finances (and if you talk to people in secular radio, they, too might be spending less recently!). It doesnít take much money to give away a cd three pack or send folks to the new Veggie Tales movie and each station should be looking for new promotion ideas.


6. What new audio production technology has caught your attention recently?

Iíve recently made the move to Cool Edit 2 (www.syntrillium.com). For years I was a user of SAW Pro and after hearing many respectable producers mention Cool Edit I decided to give it a try. If you combine it with some direct x plugins from Waves or TC Electronics, you can get a great sound with a system thatís more efficient than Pro-Tools and at a quarter of the cost. Iíve also entered the recordable DVD scene for audio archiving and the ability to create copies of some of my video projects.

7. I understand you've recently launched a website to discuss Christian radio. Please tell us about it.

www.radioboard.net was recently launched to my clients and some friends. While I havenít publicized it yet, there is a small group of Christian radio people participating in the ďChristian Radio forum.Ē When you sign up, you also get access to a ďCopy DropĒ area that allows creative types to share copy ideas.

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

The same as secular radio: to Entertain! Itís how you entertain thatís different. It can inform the listening audience about the music, upcoming community events, and station events. Christian radio affords the beauty of sharing many similar attributes with your listeners-a desire to be fed through Godís music, close families, shunning much of todayís popular culture. As a Christian air personality, you can know much more about your audience than most secular personalities do and be able to entertain them more effectively.


9. What Christian radio stations stand out to you today?

All of my Christian clients have impressed me in one way or another. Spirit FM WBVM in Tampa has improved its sound with more time for personality driven music radio. The Massive Network of stations based at Calvary in Albuquerque is aggressively imaged and growing fast. WONU in Chicago brings in great concerts and artist signings. KDUV in California impresses me with their community involvement. WYSZ in Toledo is very connected to the youth in the area. They have a performance theater where bands come to play and kids express their love for the Lord. WQFL in Rockford is in the middle of the dial and sounds like they belong there with a strong morning show and a well programmed station all through the day.

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

Christian radio continues to grow each year. Every week new people tune in and learn the value of Christian radio. I see more markets learning commercial Christian radio is a viable format which can enrich peopleís lives and make money at the same time. Non commercial Christian radio will continue to do well, improving its sound as they borrow the tools that work from secular radio and leverage the power of the Lord like no secular station can. As the world continues to struggle through the mire of sin, the message of Christ delivered by radio becomes all the more needed and desired.

 

Sean Caldwell can be reached at www.seancaldwell.com

 

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