grew up in Detroit Michigan listening to some GREAT radio
and playing DJ in my room. I attended summer school for two
years so I could graduate a year early and move to Knoxville
Tennessee. Rockin' Ron Baptist, a former DJ from
WDRQ/Detroit and someone who I stayed in contact with over
the years, was now the GM at WKVQ/Knoxville. He gave me my
first break and taught me the basics of this business at a
time when not many women were on the air. WKVQ was a
secular station that changed format to Christian soon after
I arrived. From Knoxville I worked at WROK/Rockford,
WDRQ/Detroit, KJYO/Oklahoma City, WMAG/Greensboro,
WVKS/WRVF/Toledo, WAMG/Milwaukee. I currently program WDMN
radio station in Toledo Ohio.
1. How did you wind up at WDMN?
I have been at WDMN for just about 3 years. I resigned my
position across the street at WRVF/Clear Channel where I
was doing the #1 rated Love Songs show for the past 3
years and also voice tracking an additional Love Songs
show in another market. I joined WDMN because there were
plans to do something innovative...something big in
Christian radio that would take this city. I wanted to be
a part of it and bring non-Christians around.
2. What is the most fulfilling aspect to you personally about
The most fulfilling aspect about Christian radio is the
positive influence and positive message of the music upon
Christians and non-Christians alike.
3.You have a lot of experience in secular
radio...aside from the obvious what are some
Wow! This is a loaded question...In the past I thought
that there were more differences than what there really
are. I'm sad to say that there really isn't much
difference at all. Sure the language in the hallways
isn't as colorful as it was at CHR radio. The topics
and/or stunts on the air are not abusive or controversial,
in a negative way. But people are people and as long as
they are wrapped up in some skin they're still going to
share the same quirks, personality flaws and
struggles. Another difference I see is that Christian
radio doesn't seem to have the same drive to win as
secular radio. That needs to change "Big Time!" I am as
driven now as I've ever been. I want to seriously compete
with EVERY radio station in this city. My goal is to WIN!
4. What is the criteria that
determines if a song receives airplay on your station?
Criteria for airplay takes a couple things into
consideration. I watch the charts (R & R, CRW etc.) I
listen to all new music we receive at the station. I also
go by gut...if I get something that really fits the sound
that I am creating I would probably add that. It doesn't
happen a lot of the time but a good example would be "The
Prayer" by Yolanda and Donnie. I am shocked that more
stations around the country are not adding it. I don't
know if stations were not serviced on the song or what but
for us it has receive more phones than anything I can
5. What kind of promotions work best for your
We've given away a car, a cruise to the Bahamas, weekend
couple getaways to Chicago, Toronto, Niagara Falls,
concert packs to Festival Con Dios, family packs to
amusement parks like Cedar Point, Six Flags, Kings Island,
concert tickets to Michael W. Smith, Third Day,
Hopeville. I like to have fun with all this stuff. Our
listeners have sung for their prizes, figured out mystery
destinations to win and unscrambled songs.
6. How do you think Christian Record labels can
better serve Christian radio?
A big sore spot for me. Christian radio is at such an
amazing place right now. It's exciting to be a part of
it. My main concern is the Christian record
labels. Some of them are REALLY good at what they do.
Product is consistently sent out and follow-ups are always
made. They take it as seriously as the secular labels.
Then there are some that I have to CONTINUOUSLY call,
email and fax requests. It's difficult...no strike
that...it's impossible to grow Christian radio without the
product. A portion of my week is spent begging for
product. This is crazy. I never had to do this with this
kind of regularity while working at secular radio. It is
the main thing that scares me about Christian radio. Not
long ago I actually wrote to an artist about not being
able to receive their product from the label. My emails
were ignored, my voice messages were not returned and no
product was sent for over 4 weeks of requests, long after
the song had been moving up the charts. Finally the
artist got me the product. The song ended up being in the
Top 3. To have to go to these lengths just to get music is
just very sad to me. The quality of Christian music
continues to grow access to it must do the same.
7. In your opinion what are the biggest obstacles
facing Christian radio today?
Biggest obstacle facing Christian radio today is a built
in bias against it. If done correctly non-Christians and
Christians alike will embrace it. I like to let the music
send the message. I don't want the air personalities to
get into a religious mode. I want to preach to more than
just the choir. In fact I want to reach the unsaved more
than the saved. I still remember what it was like before
I became a Christian. I don't want to turn off
non-Christians with a holier than thou attitude. I want
to expose everyone to the message in a quality driven,
entertaining way and know that God will put something else
in their heart and therefore do the rest.
8. What do you believe is the primary role of the
Christian radio air personality today?
I want the Christian radio air personality today to be
well informed concerning events happening around our
world. I want them to be aware of things other than
religious events. I want them to talk about the things
our demo is talking about. I want them to be crafty in
putting the message out there, I want them to go trolling
for Christians in an innovative way. I want them to put a
positive spin on things that on the surface appear
negative. I want them to offer hope to the hopeless. I
want them to do all this without sounding like a preacher.
9. What (if any) other Christian radio stations do
you consider as innovators today?
Christian radio stations that are innovators today? Of
course K-LOVE and the things Chuck Finney and Salem are
doing with Christian radio. Chuck gets it!!! I still
love KAIM too! More consultants like Mike McVay and Jerry
King at McVay media are reaching out to take Christian
radio to the next level. I've been traveling around the
country and am somewhat disappointed with radio in
general. It's very milk toast. Christian radio is at a
perfect place right now to fill the void. It's at its
infancy and we are developing it as we go. What a great
place to be
10. Where do you see Christian radio in 5 years?
I see Christian radio being even bigger and better than it
is right now. With the state of the world where its
currently at I believe people will be looking for
answers. Take a look around the country and the formats
that are growing. We as a nation are getting older. The
boomers have tried so many things to fill the void and
nothing has worked. Everyone is looking for the answer.
If Christian radio can provide a quality product that will
seriously compete with all the other forms of media, by
nature, our product will rise to the top. The best always
rises to the top...maybe not as quickly as we all hope but
we all know the end of the story. We Win! God Bless...