Dec. 1990 - hired
as Part-time announcer at WQFL
Feb. 1991 -
Sept. 1991 -
Evening host + Saturday "Night Shift" CHR show host
- Afternoon host
July '94-March '96
- out of radio
March '96- Present
2001 - Production Director
March '01- Present
- Music Director
SAME STATION... 12
1. How did you get to your current position at WQFL?
When I applied to WQFL in the
early Fall of 1990 I was the Wisconsin district sales manager
for the National Motor Club. Although I thought I might be
used in sales at WQFL I was asked to voice a few commercials
for a demo tape. A few weeks later I heard an ad for
part-time weekend on-air help and asked that my application
and tape be forwarded to WQFL's Program Director Doug Smith.
Doug (now with Westar Media) had the incredible insight (what
vision!) to hire me to facilitate the Sunday evening
programming. Currently I enjoy being WQFL's Music Director
under Program Director Mike Schlote.
2. What is the most fulfilling aspect to you personally
about Christian radio?
Knowing that a single song can
touch hundreds, even thousands of people at the same time and
encourage them toward good works and godly living.
3.How has God used you in your role at WQFL?
Personally, I've been able to be
kind of a maverick around here... bouncing around ideas left
and right and helping to find a concensus among the staff to
decide what will work with our audience. For His purposes I
have been blessed with just enough organizational skills to
keep good ideas on track and pitch the poor ones in the
"Refine For Later" file.
4. What kind of songs work best on WQFL?
We really stick to what's popular
with the culture at large so that answer changes, sometimes
every few months. Right now a Rock/Rythmic edge gets most of
the attention with a hip-hop/urban feel close behind. Next
year maybe big "Michael Bolton" style ballads will be all the
craze, or maybe Hard Core Polka Rap (one can only hope). It's
our mission to service our listener with God's word and
encouragement through today's popular style of music.
5. What criteria do you use when choosing songs for
I'll just paste my worksheet for ya (copywrite 2001...
7 Point Criteria for adding new music on
Positive Hit Radio 101QFL
Music Director: Greg Saunders
___#1 Lyrical Content - of the song
AND the cd from which it comes. One "christian" song on an
otherwise trashy cd should not be added. Listener perception
is that we are endorsing this artist and their project.
___#2 Emotional Engagement (aka "The
'Q' Factor") - does this song say something our listeners care
about... is this song truley a "101QFL" hit song? At first
this is an educated guess by the MD but later becomes apparent
with research and reaction. (ex: survey response and phone
___#3 Sing-a-bility - when the
listener just can't help but sing along with a catchy chorus,
score a point.
___#4 Production Quality - if it
competes with the current playlist in overall sonic quality,
___#5 Uniqueness - a sound so new OR
that has not been used for quite some time that sets the tune
___#6 Pop Appeal - "todays" sound
done with an excellence that will appeal to the majority of
___#7 Star Power - when everybody
knows your name they usually want to hear the latest.
Summary: A song must get point #1 before
further consideration... 4 total points to be elgible (but not
guaranteed) for airplay. Although music selection is highly
subjective, these guidelines have proven to be an extreemly
helpful reminder of our mission statement:
"101QFL is called of God to nurture and
encourage the institution of the Christian family through
music, entertainment and information. As all Christians we are
also called to be salt and light in the world in which we
6. In your opinion why has Christian music risen in
Security. People want to have a
feeling of security and the only true security comes from
knowing the creator of the universe. Add to that better
marketing. More retailers are listening closer and
responding better to what their customers want. Having the
top Christian titles in Wal-mart doesn't hurt either.
7. How can Christian record labels better serve
I think they have been doing a
good job, at least where WQFL is concerned, servicing us
with singles, asking for and listening to our opinions and
being patient with us when "there is just no room for
another add this week." If there is a partnership
possibility where, perhaps, a group of labels could team
with stations in each region of the country to do some
extensive song testing / library research type project...
I'd be all for that. That might help water down the costs
for all parties involved.
8. What in your opinion is the primary role of the
Christian radio air personailty today?
We try to connect with
listener lives. Play their favorite music and be the friend
that is always encouraging and giving useful information for
daily living. None of us on the air are Pastors or Preachers
but we all are, as Christians, ministers of the Good News of
9. What (if any) other Christian radio stations do you
consider as inovators today?
I can't say that I follow other
Christian radio stations very closely. I applaud Salem's
"Fish" format getting in to the major markets of America and
WAY-FM's continued growth proves that they are doing an
excellent job of professional broadcasting. I guess as far
as innovators go you can't ignore what Radio U is
doing. Their high-quality production and audience
interaction is very exciting.
10. Where do you see Christian radio in 5 years?
I pray that we (Christian Radio
as a whole) are as respected as any mainstream station (or
cluster) in the country. I know there are those that say as
long as the Gospel is involved that we can never expect to
be accepted or respected, but I disagree. While the Gospel
we carry may be rejected by many, our professionalism in
broadcasting it should warrant respect. I believe the
"Roaring Lambs" philosophy will continue to grow and impact
our world in ways many of us have yet to dream about.