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Radio Interview

                                     

Jim Taylor

Program Director

WGCA

Quincy, IL

 

 

Jim's Career Capsule
I've been in radio for over thirty years now...starting out in your typical AM/FM combo in Burlington, Iowa and then pioneering this effort in Quincy, Illinois with several others who had a similar passion for great radio and contemporary Christian music.

 

1. Tell us about your market and how it is unique?

We are located in the heart of this great nation serving three states up and down the beautiful Mississippi River and live to the net 24/7.  We are located in Quincy, Illinois with Hannibal, Missouri just across the river and strongly into Iowa as well.

 

2. What is the most fulfilling aspect to you personally about Christian radio? 

I think the most fulfilling thing for me is helping our listeners to be able to say that their Christian station is awesome, playing only great songs that they want to hear and in a good sense they are able to be "proud of" their station.  Our vision is to be as good or better than the best mainstream stations in the area.  A couple of weeks ago Arbitron called us and told us we were #1 in our market overall in persons 25-54 and #2 with persons 12+.  We have over thirty stations in our market and we are seeing God fulfill His promise to us that "...more and more you shall take dominion over them in the morning."  We are very involved in our community and most of all very real (but professional) on the air.

 

3What is the criteria that determines if a song receives airplay on your station?

For a song to receive airplay in the Mix!  first of all, it has to be a GREAT song,  not a good song,  why play a good song when you can play a great song?  The commercial quality and sound and style has to be on target for our listener.  Then and only then do we even look at the lyrics which of course have to be right as well.

 

4What kind of promotions work best for your station?

Promotions that work best for us are those that God kind of brings along in a right time and place.  We've tried to strive to put together something but the ones that have worked have been those He's brought along.  One of our best has been Mix Day at the Landing...a cool area water park when we take over the place and people can come in all day for free...we have bands and giveaways but really just a fun day together with our listeners and lots of them who could never do that otherwise.  People bring in busloads....the park holds around 2500 and we had over 4000 a couple of years ago so we had to limit it for health department regulations last year.  We also do many great concerts.  We find that simple things are just as popular.
 

 

5. How do you think Christian Record labels can better serve Christian radio?

One of my biggest frustrations in Christian radio has been with service from record labels.  They are wonderful people and I know they are servicing many more stations now but unless I constantly keep contacting them we miss singles now and then and I have to continually go through the motions and time and effort of begging for service...even though we are getting upwards of 90000 hits a month on the web alone.  I realize they have to occasionally update their databases....but if they want to take us out (once we are in there)...maybe they could  check with us to see if we are still here or something.  It is a major frustration for us.  It has been better lately I think so that's good!
 

 

6. In your opinion what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian radio today?

I think the biggest obstacles facing Christian radio are the same ones that are facing secular radio...(this is taking for granted that we are talking about really good Christian stations now)....and that is that we are all doing pretty much the same old Arbitron clock formatting, liners etc.  and I think if we don't get more creative and CAUSE people to listen, we may thin down a lot in the coming years.  I think we are all searching for that great fresh niche....I mean someone had to one day decide that they were going to play records on the air and top 40 was born....we need that same kind of radical new approach in reaching people with radio.  I believe the more real and honest and one on one we are, the more powerful we are as a force....and we are finding that can be VERY powerful as God is in it!  I think that bridging has taken on new meaning these days also as people ...lot's of people are looking for Truth and some real life and what's right.  I think actually sharing the Word of God on the air is what He actually says is cool when it's REALLY DONE RIGHT AND RELATIVE AND REAL, not some bless me club preacher man.  Kind of like "hey did you that God was talking about terrorism in.....and so on".  Not being afraid to really hit spiritual things but it MUST be real and culturally right. 

 

7. Where do you see Christian radio in 5 years?

I'm kind of concerned about the longevity of our artists...getting past that second album thing....I feel like we are a little dangerous with the amount of new artists as compared to people they really know.  Don't get me wrong, we really get juiced with new music around here but I'm concerned that our listeners are not familiar enough with new artists.  We try to do little artist clips and spotlights to help.  I'm also concerned with the financial picture with so many other alternatives now and families strained with the horrendous cost of housing, gasoline and living.  We live by knowing that if God is in it, He'll take care of that....we didn't have a dime when we started and He's blessed us with everything we need for 18 years now, new studios and the best equipment.  It has been more of a challenge in the last year or so...but we know that He wouldn't have called us to this tremendous medium if He didn't want to use it!  What a privilege to open a microphone and speak to your world everyday!

 

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