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Radio Interview

                                     

 

Bruce Matthews

MD/Mornings

WJYW / Union City, IN-OH

 

Bruces' Career Capsule
I was born and raised in Connecticut.  I got my start in radio in 1996 by working part time for an oldies station in nearby Brewster NY.  In 1997, I landed my first full time job in Christian Radio by moving all the way out to the West Coast to work at Christian CHR KTWY (WAY FM) in Tri Cities, WA. My next gig was doing PM drive on the Satellite of Inspo. Family Life Communications in Tucson, AZ.  My final stop on The west Coast before moving back home to Connecticut in 2001 was at Christian CHR, KDUV-FM in Visalia, CA.  I worked for a year at Mainstream Hot AC, WDAQ (98Q) before getting back into Christian Radio here at 88.9 JOY FM in Western Ohio.

 
 
1. How did God put you in His service at WJYW?

Desiring to get back into Christian Radio, I ran accross the opening WJYW had posted on the internet for a morning drive DJ/Music Director. After the position was offered to me and much prayer, I took the next step God would have me to take by leaving Connecticut once again to move out to
Ohio.
 

 
2. What is the most fulfilling aspect to you personally about Christian radio?

By far, getting to talk to and meet the listeners.  Hearing them comment on how much they enjoy JOY FM and what this ministry has done to impact their lives is incredibly fullfilling to me.

 

 
3. How has God used you in your role at WJYW?

Always praying that everything I do here is directed by God, I continually hear from listeners that they enjoy the mix of music now being played on JOY FM.  In addition, listeners often comment that material shared on my morning show touches their life in a special way, or it makes them
laugh or something like that.  When they say for example, " Bruce, the thing you said on your show the other day is just what I needed to hear.  It really ministered to me."  It's cool to be used by God to reach people where they're that at that moment in their life.

 

4. What is the criteria that determines if a song receives airplay on your station?

I consider myself a student of music.  Not only is it my occupation, it's my hobby.  When choosing a song to play on JOY FM, I ask myself, does it SOUND like Today's music style.  Does the production of the song measure up to what's being played on our mainstream competitors.  Although our P1 listeners are primarily Christians, we need to attract new listeners, many of which are not yet saved.  I beleive that can best be done, by playing music that sounds like what they're already used to hearing.  Hopefully, as they channel surf, they will stop on us when something catches their ear. Another thing to consider when choosing a song for airplay is the messege in the song.  Everything we play must point people to God, and that can be done even if some of the tunes have positive lyrics without a strong evangelical point made in them.

 

 
5. How is the Union City Christian market unique?

Here in Western Ohio and Eastern Indiana, it's very, very small and quite conservative.  It's rural and things don't change too much from generation to generation.  Families "stick around" here without moving all over the country.  It's a far cry from most areas these days.  It's kind of like a breath of fresh air.  Most churches in this area are small and have a traditonal style of worship service.  One of the challenges that goes along with a conservative and rural area is the reluctancy for change.  People are afraid to "take a risk".  It is easier for thing's to stay the same.

 

 

6. How do you think Christian Record labels can better serve Christian radio?

This is a good question to answer.  Being in such a small market, it seems like we don't matter a whole lot to the record companies, because we are not a reporting station.  We want to be , but that's out of our control.  The previous stations I worked for which are reporting station's practicaly have the record companies knocking down their doors, making sure they have everything they need, and all the newly released singles well in advance.  As a non reporting station, sometimes I go two weeks without recieving anything in the mail.  I am constantly on the phone and sending e-mails to the record companies literally begging them to get me the singles that have been on the charts for weeks.  It would be nice to recieve some promotional goods we can use for contests once in awhile too.  The record companies need to remember, that even though we don't report, we still give thousands of people exposer to their music by playing it.  It would be nice if they paid better attention to us "small guys" too.
 

 

7. In your opinion what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian radio today?

I'd say the biggest obstacle facing Christian radio, is the need we have (as non-coms) for contemporary listeners to support us with their prayers and finances.  As we continue to attract new listeners, we need to come up with fresh ideas to educate them on how important it is they be apart of
keeping the ministry of Christian Radio going.  For commercial radio stations, clients in their area to understand that a lot of people who do business with them listen to Contemporary Christian Radio.
 

 
 

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

Our primary role is to entertain that's why people turn on the radio.  But, since this is Christian radio, we are to take the responsability to make sure that everything that goes over these air waves is good and wholesome, stuff that God himself would want to listen to.  We are God's ambassadors, and we will be held accountable for every negative thing we say.
 

 
 
9.What (if any) other Christian radio stations do you consider as innovators today?

For AC, 94.9 KLTY and 106.5 "The Promise". They do such a professinal job at presenting the Christian AC format that it's just as good as the mainstream competition in their markets.  For CHR, KDUV-FM hands down.  The imaging their is second to none.  From the songs they play to everything done in-between the songs, make it a station that more than measures up to the other stations in their very competitive market.  KZZQ is another station that knows the secret to Good Christian Radio.
 

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

I see the good stations sounding better, and the poor sounding stations struggling more, and some of them no longer around in five years.  The good stations will better target their music to reach their demographic. There will be better imaging, DJ's and Big Voice people.
 

Finally, my goal at JOY FM and anywhere I work, is to use the best station in the market as a "measuring stick to sound at LEAST as good as they do.


 

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