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Rob Lewis

APD/Mornings

WAKW

Cincinnati

 

 

Rob's Career Capsule
I have been at WAKW for 18 years.  I started on the air but I had been hanging out in the studios for years before that, running the board for the jocks on the weekends.  I have done just about everything at one time or another and I have thoroughly enjoyed it every step of the way.

 

1. Personally how do you keep the ministry in the “business”? 

By remembering it's all about the listener.  I know you have to run the business side of a radio station but ultimately if you walk away at the end of the day without making any difference in at least one life, what's the point?  That doesn't mean you need to deliver a sermon.  Just be real and share your own life as an encouragement to others.

 

2. Overall, how is Christian radio different today, from 5 years ago?

The music is much higher quality.  That's not a reflection on the artists but on the companies that own the labels.  They are putting a lot more into the production of Christian music now.  Also, I think more programmers are "getting it" as far as learning the difference between being Christ-following and being religious.

 

3. What do you think are the main characteristics of today’s Christian radio PD?

I think an ideal PD would have an ear to the listener and understand what he/she really wants and needs.  He or she would also have to understand how to motivate different personalities and develop staff.  I think as the media business evolves faster and faster a PD will need to be able to merge time tested knowledge with innovations that meet the ever changing needs of the audience.

 

4. What criteria do you require for a song to be played on your station?

Three criteria:   1) It has to be a great song (if it's just good, why bother?)  2) Have appeal musically  3) The message needs to fit our mission.  We have also tried to pick songs that will appeal to mainstream AC listeners.

 

5. What kind of promotions work best for Christian radio?

Promotions that promote things the target audience is interested in.  And they need to be as simple and easy to understand as possible.  Even if it's really cute in your brainstorming meeting it needs to be explainable in a couple of sentences on the air.

 

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

I think most of them do a good job now.  Just trying to understand the needs of radio in building song familiarity. 

 

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

Money.  Money for marketing, keeping quality talent, etc. 

 

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

Being a real person.  Besides the music the listener wants to hear someone they can feel like they know and like.  Being open and honest and sharing your real feelings and thoughts go a long way to making a personality out of an announcer.

 

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

Spirit 105.3 in Seattle.  They do a great job of mixing ministry and good radio.  It's pretty seamless. 

 

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

I hope that Christian radio will have advanced even further toward being as polished and relevant as the secular counterparts.  I also hope that we'll continue to see a move away from religion on the radio to real life Christ-followers sharing their lives.  That's powerful stuff!

 

 

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