had a passion for radio for as long as I can remember.
Thankfully, there were stations along the way that allowed me to
pursue this interest while still in high school. Those include
KBXR, KWEY, and KECO, all in Western Oklahoma. During my
college years, I worked as a student on KLRC and did a short
stint on overnights on KEZA in Fayetteville, AR before joining
the morning show at KEZA for a year. I served as KLRCís PD for
four years before moving into the GM slot in 2000. God has
allowed me to continue in this role for the past ten years and I
still canít believe I get paid to ďworkĒ at such an amazing
place with such great people. When Iím not in the office, I get
to do some voice tracking and voice work from a 3x4ft closet my
wife graciously allowed me to turn into a home studio.
1. Personally how do you
keep the ministry in the ďbusinessĒ?
I think this all comes down to
your mission as a radio station. The central part of our
mission at KLRC is to share Hope in Christ. All decisions,
ministry or business, are run through the filter of that overall
I understand the heart of this
question is how to prevent the business (or even busy-ness) of
our jobs from minimizing whatís happening on a ministry level.
The business and ministry of our station are not mutually
exclusive. The best advice I could give is to spend some time
with your stationís listeners. Attend station events, interact
with listeners wherever that might be, take the time to answer
the phone and actually listen to the caller, read listener email
and share those life-change stories with the whole team, and
take time to faithfully pray for each listener need that is
submitted. Itís so much easier to keep your focus on the
ministry when you get to see first-hand the impact it is having
on peopleís lives.
2. Overall, how is
Christian radio different today, from 5 years ago?
Itís better, itís reaching more
people and doing so more effectively, and there a number of
markets where it is actually setting the standard. Iím seeing
more examples now of mainstream radio watching what weíre doing
and implementing some of the strategies we once thought were
exclusively ours. (We have more stations in our market that are
ďsafeĒ for the family to listen to than ever. We just have very
different definitions on what this means). I think this speaks
to the level of excellence many stations in our format are
3. What do you think are
the main characteristics of a Christian radio GM?
I think the qualities to be an
effective GM in Christian radio are the same qualities you would
look for in any Christian leader Ė and I present this short list
with full disclosure that Iím still working on these!:
∑ The GM sets the
spiritual tone for the organization. A true and obvious love
for the Lord is critical here, as is evidence that nothing
(radio included) is more important than this relationship and
the one you have with your spouse and family.
∑ The heart of a servant
and a teacher.
∑ Ability to effectively
communicate the vision and mission both internally and
Honesty. Trust (which includes trusting your people to do the
jobs youíve hired them for and not micro-manage them).
∑ Hire people that are
smarter than you are and let them celebrate their victories by
only taking the credit when things donít go as planned.
4. What ways or methods do
you think work best to keep your staff motivated?
Serve them. Make sure theyíre in
the right roles in your organization, let them take ownership of
their responsibilities and celebrate their ďwinsĒ. Give them
the freedom to try new things and to fail without fear. Make
sure they never lose sight of the role they play in each
life-change story we are allowed to be a part of.
5. What kind of promotions
work best for Christian radio?
Any promotion that connects
deeply with or helps meet the needs of our listeners. Some of
our best promotions involve finding a need in the community and
pointing people to the resources to help address the need. Of
course, sometimes that need may be for something thatís just
simply fun, creative, and engaging and thatís cool, too.
6. How do you think
Christian Record labels can better serve Christian radio?
Honestly, I think overall that the labels are serving Christian
radio pretty well. Weíre getting better singles today than ever
before and Iíve always felt that one thing that makes Christian
radio unique is that many of our artists do see this as a
partnership with radio. Theyíre generally quite accessible and
willing to help.
On a more global scale, I am
concerned with the growing rift between the recording industry
and radio. We need each other. Things are changing rapidly and
we all stand a better chance of coming out unscathed if we
acknowledge that and work on solutions together. Iím sure Iím
being a bit naÔve, but canít we all just get along?
7. In your opinion what are
the biggest obstacles facing Christian radio today?
Radio in general needs to do a better job of marketing itself.
How is it that a medium that reaches more than 90% of the public
can so often be referred to as irrelevant, outdated, and
ineffective? Indeed, weíre partially to blame for this as an
industry, but radio has far more potential than it is given
Christian radio should be
applauded for the overall progress weíve made. I just hope that
in our quest to do great radio, we donít stop taking risks,
being creative and fun, and creating unique listening
8. What do you believe is
the primary role of the Christian radio air personality?
To help create a product in our stations that is so compelling
that listeners actually choose to spend time with us. We have
enough competition now through online, ipods, etc. that we must
develop a personality for our station. Being authentic,
transparent, and real on air has never been so important.
9. What (if any) Christian
radio stations do you consider as innovators today?
There are so many stations now doing really great Christian
radio. I love what KCMS is doing and all theyíve accomplished
in Seattle. There are some really creative people behind the
imaging at New Life 91.9. KTIS is setting an example in what it
really means to serve your community, as is WPOZ and KSBJ.
Way-FM is setting a standard in what it looks like to be real
and authentic, especially in morning drive. While Iím
mentioning a lot of bigger markets, there are some really
innovative things happening in smaller / medium market
stations. And of course, Iím incredibly proud of our team at
10. Where do you see
Christian radio in 5 years?
If the last five years are any
indication, the next 5 years could be really great for Christian
radio. Weíve all seen examples of Christian stations that are
now setting standards in our markets. While Christian radio has
been steadily improving, our mainstream & corporate competition
has been making cuts in everything from talent to research. We
have a great opportunity ahead of us if we continue to learn,
grown, and invest in our stations (especially if weíre the only
ones in our market doing this!). If we continue to do so, while
also embracing the opportunities provided in new technologies,
then weíre just now scratching the surface on what God might
choose to do through us in our communities.