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Radio Interview

                                     

Tony Gee

VP of Programming/Glory Communications, Inc.

WFMV

Columbia, SC

 

 

Tony's Career Capsule
February 2008 will make 5 years at WFMV FM.
I spent 15 years in secular and worked "every daypart." Stations included: WWDM FM-Columbia SC, WLXC FM-Columbia SC, WWWZ FM-Charleston SC, WQMG FM-Greensboro,NC & WQOK FM Raleigh,NC. I turned 42 December 3rd and I'm originally from Durham, NC.


 

1. Personally how do you keep the ministry in the “business”? 

It's very easy for me. I think your lifestyle is your ministry, so we conduct business according to the principles and teachings of the Bible.  Our company even practices the habit of prayer before meeting and decision making. We are also a station of "service." We have several yearly promotions to help us connect with our community and support it.

 

2. Overall, how is Christian radio different today, from 5 years ago?

5 years is right down my alley! The dramatic changes in our industry have occurred in the past 4 years. It's really changed in too many ways to list here but the addition of the BDS system has totally transformed the industry. Now gospel labels have this tool that allows them to see who's playing what, when and how many times. Gospel PDs are now forced to play the "Top 40" game (or in our case Top 30). 4 years ago songs turned very slowly. It could take almost a year before a Top 10 requested song moved to recurrent. Now, due to the increase need for "spins," songs are forced top be moved quicker because every major and independent label is fighting for one of the Top 30 spots. Our "processes" with songs, promotions, etc. are really becoming run more like the secular side.

 

3. What do you think are the main characteristics of today’s Christian radio PD?

Youthful, computer junkie, and owns an iPod (or some form of mp3 player)! There seem to be 2 different types feeding the industry: 1)The former secular PD that has been deemed "to old" or "not hip enough" for their current format and 2) the one's God has been working on to move away from secular anyway. 

 

4. What criteria do you require for a song to be played on your station?

That's an easy one. It must be "inspirational," fit the "sound" of our station, and deal with, in someway, the goodness of Jesus Christ and his impact on our lives. 

 

5. What kind of promotions work best for Christian radio?

We've done well because we try to think "outside the box." I think most things done by secular stations (within reason) can be done on our stations as well. Christians like and buy cars, so why wouldn't they want to win one? That also goes for many of the other grand prizes we tend not to touch--motorcycles, houses, money etc.  

 

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

A major step, at this point in time, is the use of the internet to deliver music. I think that insures that everyone gets the product in a timely fashion. The next step would be to use the internet, as some have started to, in distribution of artist interviews and drop parts as well. 

 

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

Being and thinking "in the box" or as the church would say, "within the walls of the church." I think our overall task is to grab hold of the new technologies out there and capitalize on them. Christians are waiting!

 

8. What do you believe is the primary role of the Christian radio air personality?

To be a bridge of inspiration and information for their listeners. It's interesting that you don't have to be a cast of "preachers," but when you have the right personalities you'll find that people are inspired by the way they "smile" on-air or the way they laugh. Once listeners catch on to your real "personality" you'll win a friend and a loyal P-1. 

 

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

HD will bring some interesting changes. You will see the development of totally different "branches" of Christian music. I really should say "development" because these different "sounds" already exist but they are not as "exposed" as the traditional forms (i.e. Holy Hip Hop). HD will make a way for these music types to mesh into the general market. We will need to be vigilant that we stay on the cutting edge because technology will also allow for Mr. John Q. public to have several internet stations (both TV and radio). So, will we allow the amateurs to create the "cutting edge"? Or will we, as broadcasters, press forward into unknown territory to attempt to set standards? That will be both a challenging yet promising opportunity for Christian radio.

 

 

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