what Johnny (her husband and Morning Show leader) says, Stacey
was not raised by wolves in the Alaska territory. It was Texas
and hyenas, hence the radio career success. If you can call what
Stacey Stone does work; she is in her eighth year of doing it
diligently at WAWZ/STAR 99.1 in the New York Metro as Morning
Show Co-Host and Director of Promotions.
aforementioned hyenas dropped Stacey off at KYNG 105.3 “Young
Country” in Dallas, Texas 18 years ago for an internship that
lasted three days before she began part-time in Promotions.
After five years at KYNG, Stacey moved on to KLUV, ABC Radio
Networks and WFSH, The Fish in Chicago. Stacey’s grit and
determination have been her best qualities and she credits her
years as a twirler that dropped the baton a lot for building up
the thick skin necessary to continue in broadcasting.
only possible answer to this little Southern Baptist girl from
Fort Worth, Texas ending up in New Jersey has nothing to do with
Stacey telling God she will go anywhere as long as it’s not
Africa but everything with her staying in His will. Psalm 115:1
Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory;
because of your love and because of your faithfulness.
1. How has WAWZ evolved over
the last few years?
Believe it or
not, WAWZ will turn 80 years old on March 15th, 2011 so I’m glad
that you asked about just the last few years. Celebrating 8
years on the air as STAR 99.1 this month was very eye-opening
for the staff because God has taken this amazing dial position
in the largest market in America and used it for His glory. When
the board of Pillar of Fire, Intl. and station leadership
stepped out of their comfort zone and created STAR 99.1, they
knew not of the recession or congressional difficulties we were
going to face. They focused on the individual that needs Christ
and creating a radio station to reach them. So I would say that
WAWZ has evolved with each listener who has dedicated their
lives to Jesus Christ and was prepared for what was to come.
Also, being listener-supported and a commercial station, WAWZ
was always very prudent with spending so I highly recommend
watching every dime of your listener’s funds because they are
listening and watching.
do you think are the main characteristics of a Christian radio
If you believe
that “No” is the worst answer you can get, you would make a
great Promotions Director. Having started out in secular
Promotions has helped me tremendously because whatever they call
viral or guerilla promotions, we have to call necessary because
of budget. I am a Christ-follower that does Promotions so I took
that into my secular jobs and my Christian radio jobs; I don’t
alter my beliefs to fit the job situation. A great Director of
Promotions is good at relationships and hiring the right staff;
that means making calls, sending thank you’s and not
criteria do you require for a promotion to air on your station?
Because we are
the only Contemporary Christian Music station with a footprint
this size in the New York Metro, our competition in Promotions
is seen as the Z100’s, PLJ’s and LiteFM’s of our world. Our
promotions have to be at or above the level of the behemoths
with five times the budgets of STAR. Our Sales Department has
grasped this and brings great clients to the table that want to
succeed with NTR. My belief is that any promotion can be placed
on a Christian music station as long as it speaks to your key
demo and their beliefs.
kind of promotions works best for Christian radio?
and Promotions staff at STAR 99.1 enjoy the challenge of
creating and pulling off the major promotion as well as the
sales remotes. Our Celebration 2011 at Six Flags Great Adventure
featuring MercyMe is the perfect example of all of the
departments here coming together to present a picnic for 4500
and a concert for more than 8,000 this June. Anytime we can
partner with record companies and stretch our brains to find new
and exciting ways to do a promotion, that’s a winner. And that
once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our STAR 99.1 family of
listeners is always a homerun.
is the most memorable promotion you have been involved with?
You are talking
about 18 years of Promotions so there are some pretty memorable
moments. I refuse to take responsibility for the afternoon
talent who decided hiding money in the public library books and
sending listeners over to find it was wise but I have had a
Garth Brooks wedding, listeners melting blocks of ice to win
Smitty tickets and a producer swimming in a kiddie pool filled
with canned chili. Yea, not much memorable there.
6. How do
you think Christian Record labels can better serve Christian
actually goes both ways: if a Promotions Director tells a Record
Company that they are going to do something, they need to do it.
If a Record company says they are going to provide something or
accomplish something else, they need to come through. Times are
a changing around us quickly in broadcasting and label land so
communication is key. I need to know if you can no longer send
30 CD’s because of a decision made above you and then I can work
with whatever you offer.
your opinion what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian
When you look
back at the past and the level of obstacles that we have already
climbed over, the future ones seem to fade. Obviously, web fees
and anything Congress decides to enact is a threat to radio if
they affect the bottom line that is more bottom than others. I
believe that “thinking small” is the biggest obstacle to any
Christian ministry or broadcasting company. I can’t wait for the
day when a broadcast position opens up in a major market and it
is heard in the conference room of the corporation that they
want to hire a Christian air personality because they do it
better and stronger than others. We can and will because we work
for the ultimate Boss.
do you believe is the primary role of the Christian radio air
If you are not
striving and excelling at doing radio, the person you want to
lead to Christ won’t stick around to listen. You have a choice
to make when you get out of the bed (which is 3:15am for me) and
Johnny and I choose to recognize that God is in control and
expects us to work at the top of our abilities. We are there for
people who have no one else; we are the only voice that they
hear in the morning and that is a huge responsibility. And,
since my Station Manager is reading this, to build and execute
Sharathons that fully fund the station.
(if any) Christian radio station do you consider as innovators
There is this
discussion that goes on at every Christian station in America
when someone reads the answer to this question. “Can you believe
that they left us out?” “Yeah, they must not know very much
about Christian radio.” “The people they listed are listed every
week and I’m sick of it.” “What has so-and-so done for Christian
radio recently?” So, I will avoid answering and say that any
broadcaster that reads Seth Godin’s blog and books and goes to
the Q Conference is an innovator.
do you see Christian radio in 5 years?
If the music
continues to grow in excellence as it has recently, the other
genre’s won’t stand a chance. And with the Carmen Brown’s, Jeff
Cruz’s, Bart Millard’s and Mark Hall’s leading the Social Media
parade to new relationships, we are more bonded than ever and
know more about each other than we should stomach. We can lead
the industry in “what’s next” because we don’t have to fear
what’s coming so I see nothing but great things for Christian
broadcasters in the years to come. Maybe we’ll even make the