My high school had a 250 watt
radio station in Plymouth, Michigan and I started on air my freshmen
year. I was program director by my senior year. During my senior
year of high school, I started working on air for 96.3 The Planet in
Detroit. The station later changed to 96.3 WDVD and I stayed there
until I finished college. In addition, I worked for 93.1 DRQ in
Detroit and 102.5 WIOG in Saginaw. I moved to Tulsa 4 years
ago and helped launch 100.3 The Kross, where I am the program
director & afternoon guy.
Personally how do you keep the ministry in the “business”?
It’s humbling to see
how influential music is on teenagers. We launched the Kross to
provide positive music for teens in a market where no radio stations
specifically targeted them. We’re always looking for a way to impact
culture outside the church walls.
2. Overall, how is Christian radio different today,
from 5 years ago?
Christian radio has
become much more competitive with mainstream radio. They’re finally
noticing as CCM stations are stealing their numbers and advertising
Our radio station websites have become important interactive
elements too. They’re not an “added bonus” anymore. Radio station
websites have become the “face” of the station. Check out ours at
3. What do you
think are the main characteristics of today’s Christian radio PD?
Coach, multi-tasker, marketing strategist, creative director.
criteria do you require for a song to be played on your station?
Is it a hit? We
strive to play the very best singles we can find.
It’s all about quality and a connection with teens.
5. What kind of promotions work best for Christian
We desire to give
our listeners a creative “experience” they can’t get anywhere else.
Whether it’s an opportunity to play kazoo on stage with Hawk Nelson
in front of 3000 people, shooting pool with Project 86, getting a
personal guitar lesson from Noah in Pillar, or making an independent
artist’s dream come true opening for Toby Mac.
6. How do you
think Christian Record labels can better serve Christian radio?
The labels are doing
a fantastic job- especially with the budget cuts around the board.
I’d like to see more labels look to radio advertising & sponsorships
when they are planning artist marketing campaigns & tours. Radio
station spots, sponsorships and radio websites can sell cds &
digital music too!
7. In your opinion what are the biggest obstacles
facing Christian radio today?
New revenue models!
Radio (in general) isn’t investing in teenagers, and they are the
future of our format. We need to develop new revenue opportunities
(sponsorships/leveraging/events/non traditional revenue/etc) that
will make these formats financially viable. Radio station websites,
street teams, myspace sites, podcasts, HD side channels are often
8. What do you believe is the primary role of the
Christian radio air personality?
To steal the words
of Bob Thornton: “The music is the picture and the on air elements
are the picture frame”. As an air personality, we showcase the
music. The song is the focal point of our product and our message.
We can get in the way of what God is doing with the music if we let
the picture frame get too big.
9. What (if any) Christian radio stations do you
consider as innovators today?
Radio U, Shine.FM, &
Way FM in Grand Rapids all know their target and hit the bullseye.
These stations have a creative on air vibe, and they aggressively
embrace technology and new media.
10. Where do you see Christian radio in 5 years?
With all the media
options out there, I see Christian radio utilizing more internet
technology and viral marketing over the next 5 years. We’re being
forced to create better on air content too. What is our radio
station providing that an ipod cannot?