I have been in broadcasting for
almost 30 years. I began my professional broadcasting career at
WGCB in Red Lion, PA and then in programming at KCFO, Tulsa
working with Bob Lepine, Dennis Worden, Paul Martin, Roy
Williams and many others. After working in Waco (KBBW)and
Austin(KIXL), I had a desire to be a station manager and at the
urging of my dad and as a means to get to that goal, pursued a
graduate degree in business. That road took me out of radio for
five years where I practiced public accounting and even worked
at the IRS. God brought both paths together when I was hired by
Burt Perrault in 1991 as KSBJ’s Business Manager. Burt later
resigned to start Morningstar and I was named KSBJ’s General
Manager in 1992. I am a licensed CPA and still keep up on
non-profit issues by being a field reviewer for ECFA. I also do
Sharathons with ShareMedia around the country. I have served
on the GMA Board of Directors, was past chairman of NCRS, and I
helped start Christian Music Broadcasters (CMB) as its founding
Chairman. I am current the NRB Radio Chairman and serve on the
NRB Board of Directors.
Personally how do you keep the ministry in the
believe an organization needs to have a clear purpose of why it
exists. Many Christian stations have spent a lot of time
defining “who” their target is (Becky, Jenny, Susan or
whomever), but they haven’t spent as much time on “why” she
listens and “why” they are there. I believe the “why” is just
as important as the “who,” and to be successful, you have to do
both. Ministry takes place when you serve the why. Employees
feel their jobs matter when they hear reports on the why. And
the business component follows the why. When I first became
General Manager of KSBJ in 1992, each day I would look at the
donations that came in As I did that, I really felt convicted
by the Holy Spirit that I was getting it backwards. If KSBJ
would focus on ministry, God would take care of the finances. I
have been here almost 20 years and God has provided every
2. Overall, how is Christian radio different
today, from 5 years ago?
was looking at our audience demographics and noticed that our
audience is older now than we were five years ago. So what was
contemporary for a 35 year old is that same sound for our now 40
year old. Although we are targeting the same younger age, it
looks like our audience for contemporary is aging with us. We
will have to watch that.
the positive side, I think the Christian radio broadcasting is
more unified than it was five years ago. I don’t know if it
because we have some common challenges or if it is because we
are just five years later in building relationships. With my
work as chair on the NRB Radio Committee, I work with
managers/program directors/programmers of all types of Christian
stations, and I really believe that we have come to a place of
healthy respect for each other and what we do – regardless of
3. What do you think are the main characteristics
of a Christian radio GM?
Spiritual leadership is the most important characteristic. As
our staff has grown, my role requires even great focus on this
area – for myself and for my staff. My staff needs to know that
I care about them and want them to be successful I also
believe GM’s have to visionary and have a passion for their
ministry. It can’t just be a job. GM’s also have to be engaged
with community leaders, business leaders and in our case major
donors. We have to walk in circles of influence and be
4. What ways or methods do you think work best to
keep your staff motivated?
Hopefully, when you are hire staff, you hire people who are
self-motivated. I would rather slow someone down, then try to
speed someone up. I have a great team of self-motivated people
at KSBJ. My job is to give them the guard rails and let them
go for it. Staff buy-in is important for all that we do. You
have to know your station’s purpose and everyone has to be on
board and excited about it. Plus, you need a scorecard to shoot
for – more than just ratings and dollars. A scorecard that
includes e-mails, results from impacting concerts and events,
prayer requests, praises, salvations, and other life changing
stories. The staff needs to know they are doing important
work. This helps them feel valued.
5. What kind of promotions work best for
am a big believer that you have to engage your audience. Our
listeners want to be involved in things that are selfless and
bigger than them. So we do projects like that. Then if you can
find secular media partners for those projects they become even
bigger. The CD giveaway just isn’t as effective as helping
1,000 families in your area through the KSBJ giving tree – or
taking 100 listeners with you on a mission trip. Audience
connection is a key and good promotions connect with your
audience on things they care about.
6. How do you think Christian Record labels can
better serve Christian radio?
The Performance Rights Act has really hurt the relationship
between the labels and radio. This issue will be settled, but
the relational cost has been high. Labels and radio are
partners. I really wish there was more authenticity between
us. For some reason, there seems to be a protection there and I
wish I knew how we could fix that. I know the labels are under
a lot of pressure. At times, I have felt that in their quest
for more revenue, they haven’t understood our non-profit model.
More money in donations for us does not mean that we are
operating at profit that can be passed on to them. So we need
to work on understanding each other better.
7. In your opinion what are the biggest obstacles
facing Christian radio today?
There are a lot of legislative battles out there. I am grateful
for the work that NRB does in this area. Some radio stations
seeing these type of things as “going political” or “too
alarmists” but if you aren’t at the table, you don’t have a
voice. The impact to our stations from these laws could be
devastating. So our apathy on matters that will directly affect
us concerns me.
8. What do you believe is the primary role of the
Christian radio air personality?
KSBJ is a ministry so it is important that our air personalities
be the primary point of connection - both to the audience and to
God. Our purpose statement is “The voice of Hope, connecting
people to God.” We want our air personalities to live along
side our listeners – and be open about their faith, challenges
and their life.
9. What (if any) Christian radio stations do you
consider as innovators today?
Being active in our industry and having judged a lot of station
of the years, I get to see and meet with a lot of great friends
from across the country that are doing amazing work. And it is
not just the big stations. Medium and small markets are doing
great work, too. Off the top of my head, here are a few that
come to mind –The KTIS/Minneapolis prayer website, Z88/Orlando’s
technology and engineering (that place IS hurricane ready),
WAY-FM focused passion for the youth. KLOVE’s continual growth
to being a positive dominant force across the country, KJIL/Meade
’s consistent excellence in a small market, and KLTY/Dallas has
been and continue to be the Christian broadcasting standard.
In our own town, KHCB/Houston has been a major force for Bible
teaching and music. Bruce Munsterman, their GM, has reached out
to me more than once to help us when we had any kind of
broadcasting/technical issue. He has a heart to serve and that
is innovation. You don’t see that in secular radio and sadly
in some markets among Christian stations.
10. Where do you see Christian radio in 5 years?
The future of radio is mobile. We just launched our second
station on HD-2 and mobile devices (NGENradio.com) so I am
believer about that. I also think the broadcasting chip will be
added to cell phones. There is a lot of momentum there for that
to happen. I also believe that we will see more US stations
helping Christian stations around the world because the need is
there is great. We have lived in our little radio kingdoms for
a while and I sense that God has a bigger picture for us.