from Ohio State, (our web guy had fun with my photo, apologies to
#7, Ted Ginn Jr.), I worked on-air, did music research and wrote
commercial copy for Salem-owned WRFD in Columbus under Jedi Master
Bill DeWees. That was one of the pioneering contemporary Christian
music stations in Ohio at the time (mid 1980’s).Then I traveled to
east Tennessee and had stints at a couple of secular stations
(urban, oldies, country) working on-air, copy writing, programming,
production and news. This coming January (2007), I’ll be celebrating
17 years at WBCL (contemporary Christian music) where I’m the
Assistant PD and Midday guy. We’re based in Fort Wayne and
broadcast to northeast Indiana, northwest/west central Ohio and
Personally how do you keep the ministry in the “business”?
was the hardest question for me and the one I answered last. I have
a difficult time thinking of it as a business. I understand the
question but as a Christ follower, I believe this is what the Lord
is calling me to do and I can’t imagine doing anything else and
being fulfilled at it. I don’t have a problem with the “business”
as long as it exists to enhance the ministry. Sometimes I ask
myself the following question. Do my consistent
tactics/actions/relationships reveal my first love to be God, who
happens to have me serving Him via radio or do they reveal radio as
my first love, with a format that happens to include mentions of
God? I work with some wonderful people with a ministry-first mindset
and that helps as well.
how is Christian radio different today, from 5 years ago?
five years ago, we celebrated the station’s birthday with “25 Stops
(in our listening area) for 25 Years.” At the time we wondered how
we could pull off that kind of pace. Our staff looks back at that
now and just laughs. It’s no longer enough to occasionally “remind”
people about your station. Listeners now have so many choices and
live at such a fast pace that you have to get out there often just
to let them know you even exist. In turn, that has changed our
promotions pace tremendously in five years. I won’t take the time to
address changes in technology, music and programming philosophies.
3. What do you think are the main characteristics of today’s
Christian radio PD?
assistant PD, I work closely with our PD Scott Tsuleff and going by
his behavior I’d say you have to be parts of each of the following:
thinker, tactful, patient, pastor, prophet, humorous, open, brother
in Christ and tuna-eater. Except for that last annoying trait, why
do you think I’ve been here for 17 years?
4. What criteria do you require for a song to be played on your
Probably not new information to anyone reading this but we take into
consideration the Biblical accuracy of the lyrics, the quality of
the vocals and music production, our research, how well the song
fits the style of our format and how it’s doing at other stations.
5. What kind of promotions work best for Christian radio?
still learning what works best with our listeners and what doesn’t.
There are so many types of promotions with different sets of goals
for each type that it’s too difficult to give a blanket answer.
6. How do you think Christian Record labels can better serve
choose not to be a reporting station to a trade publication and in
the past it seemed (and maybe it wasn’t deliberate) that we were
being penalized for that choice. However, things are really
improving in terms of being promptly supplied with music and in
cooperation with promotions.
7. In your opinion what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian
production quality of the music is finally as good as anything out
there. Arbitron results in many markets indicate that the general
population overall seems to consider us as a viable option on their
radio and no longer something of sub-par quality to snicker at.
Plus, we offer a life-changing message of eternal value. I sometimes
think we might be our own obstacles. Do we run and hide from the
ever-changing radio landscape or do we seek and embrace new methods
that work and “press on toward the mark?”
8. What do you believe is the primary role of the Christian radio
who you are first and then keep learning and practicing how
to best convey who you are to your listeners. Your listeners then
get to know and connect with you and not you doing your best
impersonation of someone else in the industry. All of this is of
course, in the context of the primary role for a Christian---love
God with all you’ve got and love others (on and off the air). This
takes a lifetime to learn and practice.
9. What (if any) Christian radio stations do you consider as
honest, it takes enough time for me to try and stay on top of what
we’re doing that I wouldn’t be qualified to answer this one.
10. Where do you see Christian radio in 5 years?
first started in radio, I predicted that compact discs would replace
cassettes and eventually records. I quit while I was ahead in the
prediction-making department. I do have a hunch that this internet
thing may catch on.