I started in radio when I was a freshmen in high
school. We had a 200 watt flame thrower in Plymouth, Michigan. I
started out doing news and sportscasting for our Plymouth Salem High
School basketball & baseball games. By my senior year, I was program
director. While still in high school, I started working on air at
Planet 96.3 in Detroit. I worked on air in Detroit (93.1 DRQ & 96.3
WDVD) while I was pursuing my business degree at Eastern Michigan
University. After graduation, Bob Thornton recruited me to Tulsa to
help him launch 100.3 The Kross. I was there for about 5 years. I
had a brief stint at 106.9 K-Hits & 92.9 KBEZ in Tulsa, and then
moved to Las Vegas back in September.
Personally how do you keep the ministry in the “business”?
The ministry is why we do what we do. I try to stay
focused on the life change that happens through the radio station.
When we make it about our target listener, we don’t get side tracked
as easily by the business tasks. I just ask God for wisdom every
week like James writes about in the Bible!
“If you need wisdom, ask God for it. He gives
generously to all who ask.” James 1:5
2. Overall, how is Christian radio different today,
from 5 years ago?
The technological landscape has really changed in the
last five years. Mp3 players and Itunes have become competitive
forces with radio. Our listeners have a lot of options, so we’re
challenged to offer more than an Ipod can. Our content has always
been important, but we’re consistently challenged to expand beyond
our analog radio signal.
3. What do you think are the main characteristics of
today’s Christian radio PD?
Service! Service to God, service to your listeners,
service to your community and service to your staff.
4. What criteria do you require for a song to be
played on your station?
Is it a hit that will resonate with our listeners? Is
it a song that will encourage or our point our listener to God
5. What kind of promotions work best for Christian
Our staff loves to create unique “experiences” for
Playing a round of golf with Kutless before the show,
playing cowbell on stage with Building 429, being the official SOS
photographer for Steven Curtis Chapman at his concert, taking a
guitar lesson from Mark Lee in his dressing room at a Third Day
show. Listeners remember these personal “experiences” for a lifetime
and the stories become great content for our radio stations.
6. How do you think Christian Record labels can
better serve Christian radio?
The labels are great. I had the opportunity to shadow
one of the record guys for a day. It gave me a new perspective on
radio promotions. Now that I understand his business challenges a
little better, I’ve changed the way I think through promotions.
We have a great opportunity to tie these new artists
in with all the life change that happens through our radio stations.
When we find the right balance, we can help build more core artists
that will lead our format in the next 5-10 years.
7. In your opinion what are the biggest obstacles
facing Christian radio today?
Technology is changing fast. We have to look outside
the analog radio world. We're not just in the radio business
anymore. We're in the content business. We need to intentionally
look for new ways to get our brands incorporated into other forms of
technology. (Cell Phones, HD channels in other markets, local &
cable TV, mp3 devices, viral video, social networking.) We also need
to brainstorm new business models to make our webstreams & HD feeds
profitable. I believe radio will still be relevant in the next ten
years, but we need to do a better job meeting our listeners where
8. What do you believe is the primary role of the
Christian radio air personality?
Bring a unique Christian worldview to your radio
station. Be real! Be the moon- reflect your listener’s faith &
lifestyle through your show.
9. What (if any) Christian radio stations do you
consider as innovators today?
Radio U in Columbus, 95.9 The Fish in LA, Shine FM in
Chicago, J 93.3 Atlanta & Star 99.1 in Jersey. These stations bring
a fresh worldview to their communities each week.
10. Where do you see Christian radio in 5 years?
I see a lot of growth for Christian radio in the next
five years. I think we’ll see more Christian CHR stations re-focus
their programming to target a little older audience. (Moving away
from teens & college students) I see more Christian AC stations
putting a focus on new media to help meet listeners in new places.