1970-1975...KBIL-AM, St. Louis University's campus radio station
1975-1978...KADI-FM, St. Louis (album rock)
1978-present...KSLQ-FM/KYKY-FM, St. Louis (Top 40 then, Hot AC now)
1980-1985...WCBW-FM, St. Louis
1975-present...Host of The Answer
Radio Show, a 3-hr. Contemporary Christian music show, Sunday
mornings, 7AM-10AM, on KYKY-FM.
2007-present...Programming KEZK-HD2, our new faith-based music HD
Radio station in St. Louis, which will also be available online as
CBS Radio and AOL ramp up their streaming agreement in June '08.
Personally how do you keep the ministry in the “business”?
trying to focus on God's direction and wisdom every day regarding my
work with both KEZK (soft rock) and Y98 (Hot AC), knowing that I'm
working within 2 mainstream radio stations which have goals and
aspirations that, at times, can be different than my focus on the
Kingdom. I feel like Paul did with his tentmaking business...making
those tents allowed him to do the ministry that he was called to
do. For me, working at both Y98 and KEZK has opened the door to
allow me to do what God has called me to do in ministry, with both
The Answer Radio Show on Y98 and programming KEZK-HD2 as a
brand-new, full-time, full-power, faith-based music station.
There's an amazing story behind the birth of KEZK-HD2 in July of
2007 which actually goes back to 1965, and it's intertwined with the
little church which my wife and I attend nearby. It's a story that
I knew nothing about until a year ago. Now, in 2008, to see how God
has fulfilled His Word to that small congregation over 40
years later, regarding a Christian music station positioned at 102.5
on the FM dial in St. Louis, is totally amazing to me. No one had a
clue about HD Radio back then. And He used a mainstream company
like CBS Radio to do it. Whodathunkit?!? Certainly not me.
you visit KEZK.com, you'll see KEZK-HD2 prominently
featured, including a link to a separate page that lists the "last
99 songs" on the station, along with a brief bio of the format. I
don't believe there's another top mainstream station in the country
that so prominently features Christian music on it's website.
Non-believers are coming across that information on a daily basis on
KEZK's website, and I trust that God will use that exposure to touch
their hearts and provoke them to want to check out what the music
and KEZK-HD2 are all about.
2. Overall, how is Christian radio different today, from 5 years
Improvement in on-air presentation is evident and laudable, but
there's still an "addiction to mediocrity" that's stunting overall
growth. Yes, there are some stations which have risen above that
mediocre level. But to me, many still remain below the bar. We all
need to be striving for excellence.
What criteria do you require for a song to be played on your
It's gotta fit the sound of the station that I'm shooting for in my
head...!! And solid music beats out great lyrics every time,
because you've gotta grab the listeners ear first with the music.
Then they'll check out the lyrics. I know some folks will disagree
with me on that, but having worked in both mainstream and Christian
formats for almost 40 years, I still believe the best lyrics don't
mean a thing if the music can't carry those lyrics into a listener's
What kind of promotions work best for Christian radio?
Opportunities for families and/or friends to do stuff together,
whether it's to benefit others and to share the love of Christ, or
to help them strengthen their own relationship with Christ.
5. How do you think Christian Record labels can better serve
think some of the labels have improved their understanding of how
different stations or programs have different needs, or that they
maintain a different programming focus. Believe it or not, not
every station is called to play Adult Contemporary music! You
wouldn't believe how many times, over the years, I've had to explain
the essence of formatic differences to label reps who refuse to
acknowledge the differences that exist. Mainstream radio and labels
have understood it for ages. Christian radio and labels still seem
to be catching up...some are catching up better than others.
6. In your opinion, what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian
Internet downloading and piracy on the business end, and the
disappearance of "gut feeling" music decisions on the programming
side (in my book, there's nothing wrong with jumping on a song right
now because you believe in it). Removing the "Christianese" talk
that alienates many potential new listeners. Being real on-the-air,
sharing about the struggles that we all go through. Setting high
standards for your on-air product. Creating a sound that's uniquely
your own. Utilizing imaging that adds sparkle to your on-air
product, not stuff that drags the station down.
7. What radio stations do you consider as innovators today?
Mainstream: WXRT-FM/Chicago; WDRV-FM (The Drive)/Chicago; WZLX-FM/Boston;
Christian: Shine.fm/Kankakee-Chicago; RadioU/Columbus, Ohio; The
Fish/Atlanta; WAY-FM/Denver-Ft. Collins.
8. Where do you see Christian radio in 5 years?
Hopefully, mature enough to understand that there's more to sharing
the Gospel than just meeting the needs of "Becky." And there's more
to Christian music than just the stuff that's been released in the
last 10 years. I mean GOOD stuff, not dorky stuff. And there are
young adults and men that need the spiritual anchor of Christian
music radio too. They're being left behind. There's a reason why
iPods and the internet have invaded the music scene. Radio refused
to meet those music needs (just keep playing the same stuff over and
over...great research, huh?!), so the crowd went elsewhere. Take
the risk to reach out to them. Ask the Lord for wisdom and guidance
on how to do it.