WCCQ (98.3 WCCQ)- Intern
Like many others in our industry, I started my career in media
knocking down doors when I was twelve. A door was finally
opened when I was fourteen and I began working as an
ďunofficialĒ intern at WCCQ-FM/Joliet, IL (Country). A couple
of years later I was hired to work weekend shifts (among other
things) at WCFL-FM/Morris, IL (Christian CHR). Additional stops
on my radio circus included WCIC/Peoria (Christian AC) and WQFL/Rockford
(Christian CHR). My first large market experience was with
Salem Communicationís FISH station in Milwaukee, WI and later
US*99.5/Chicago, the largest cuming country music station in the
nation. US*99.5 brought me to the now defunct FRESH
105.9/Chicago (Soft AC). Today, you can find me working as APD/MD
of the SOS Radio Network based in Las Vegas, NV.
WCFL (Christian Music Radio, 104.7 WCFL)- Weekends, Nights, &
WCIC (Family Friendly, WCIC)- Assistant Program Director &
WQFL (Positive Hit Radio, 101QFL)- Program Director & Afternoons
WFZH (105.3 THE FISH)- Music Director, Production Director, &
WUSN (US*99.5)- Weekends/Swing
WCFS (FRESH 105.9)- Afternoon Drive
KSOS Network (SOS Radio Network)- MD/APD & Afternoons (1p-3p)
factors influenced you to make the move to Las Vegas?
Bills? With my wife pregnant and our first baby due in a matter
of days, it was an unfortunate time to be out of work. It was
difficult to introduce our new baby girl to family and friends
and in the same breath say goodbye. However, my wife Sarah and
I were confident that we were supposed to be in Las Vegas. How
could we go from living in the everyday exciting City of Chicago
to living somewhere else? Only one place in America could top
Chicago Ö and that city is Sin City, Las Vegas. Combine that
with the proposition of working for a stable Christian radio
station that has been in existence for over thirty years and
youíve got yourself a no brainier.
2. How does it feel to be back
in Christian radio?
It feels better than I imagined it would be being back in
Christian radio. It almost feels like a reunion of sorts.
After spending the past five years or so working in commercial
radio, itís refreshing to be working for an organization that
exists solely to encourage the heart, soul, and spirit with
Godís love and mercy.
3. How does SOS Radio connect
locally with markets?
Broadcasting from our flagship KSOS/Las Vegas, the SOS Radio
operates as a network, reaching nine states with a potential
audience of nearly 4 million. Because we recognize that whatís
happening in Vegas isnít necessarily interesting to those who
listen Missoula, MT or Salt Lake City, UT we go to great lengths
to keep topics of discussion to things that are universally
relevant to our target audience (i.e.: family, mom and dadís
dwindling retirement, work, childrenís education, etc. etc.)
4. What criteria do you
require for a song to be played on SOS Radio?
There appears to be no end to the unemployment or housing mess
here in Las Vegas. When I first moved here, everyone I met was
trying to get me to either rent or buy his or her homes. I share
this because odds are that a double-digit percentage of
listeners of our radio station are on the brink of losing it all
or have so already.
We have intentionally designed the SOS Radio Network to be a
place of encouragement and strength for our listeners through
this challenging time. Right now, we have no room for fluffy
ďlife is beautiful songs.Ē We want to meet our listeners where
they are and deliver songs of hope, peace, and deliverance.
Itís a 9-1-1 situation in many homes across our valley and we
want to play songs that recognize the urgency of Christ in these
5. How do you think Christian
Record labels can better serve Christian radio?
Itís 2011. Stop giving us cdís to give away. (And radio, stop
giving away cdís!)
Ok, maybe that was a little dramatic. But go with me on this
one. The last time a cd giveaway on the radio was cool was back
in 1999 when they used to cost $20 or more to buy at Sam Goodies
or Tower Records. The last time I walked into a Target or Best
Buy, they were selling the biggest albums in Christian music for
under $10. If Becky really wants the new Tomlin or Casting
Crowns record, sheíll throw one in her funky plastic red cart
next time sheís strolling down the aisles of Target.
CD giveaways over-the-radio are great for the labels because
they help build awareness of street dates. However, Iím just
not sure that radio stations are getting the buzz out of cd
giveaways like we used to.
Letís keep the conversation open and continue to find ways to
partner together and build a buzz for our artists and our radio
6. In your opinion what are
the biggest obstacles facing Christian radio today?
No doubt, itís financial resources. Technology is making what
we do a whole lot easier, but it sure isnít making it any
cheaper. Without resources, we canít keep the transmitters
going, the lights on, or even keep up with royalty payments.
Without financial resources, we canít keep the talent that we
have or help the next generation of talent build an interest in
what it is that we do.
7. What do you believe is the
primary role of the Christian radio air personality?
It seems like the role of an air personality is one that is
consistently being molded into something different every 5-10
years. I believe that today, itís the hardest job in radio.
Christian radio air-personalities and general market air
personalities really need to have the same goal: to create
reactions. We donít play songs, we create reactions. We donít
play phoners, we create reactions. We donít give away cdís (grrrr),
give away cruises, share stories, or even ask listeners to
donate. We create reactions. When we open up the mic and share
whatís on our mind, the end goal should be to spark some sort of
reaction out of the person on the other side of the radio.
8. What (if any) Christian
radio stations do you consider as innovators today?
Z88.3ís commitment to the community and KSBJ and NGEN Radioís
experiment with building a buzz via Web 2.0 should be commended.
9. Where do you see Christian
radio in 5 years?
continues its transition from a buzzword to a household word,
radio needs two leaders: One in the digital world and one in
the offline world. Within the next five to ten years, I would
love to see position of Program Director evolve into something a
little different than it is today. You simply canít expect one
person to be the orchestra leader of everything that takes place
in the terrestrial radio world and also in the digital world.