been in radio since 1996. Started as a receptionist at WYJS in
MS a 50,000 Christian AC
station. The station was later acquired by Adonia Broadcasting out
OK. I worked as a Sales
Rep at KXOJ for a short time, then moved back to
MS to work as a morning show
producer at WYOY, a Top 40 station, then to
WI’s WZEE. I thought my
radio career was over, and low and behold WHJT came along. I’ve been
working here for almost six years.
How has the WHJT evolved over the last few years?
WHJT is owned and operated by
College and when
I first came we were a CHRSN affiliate. They were great and served
us well. As the station grew, we started using more and more
students on-air. Last summer, (2008) we left CHRSN and started
everything in house. It’s cool to finally feel like you have a voice
and can make a difference not only in your city but in your
2. Has WHJT made any changes due to economic situation, been
affected in any way?
We are a commercial station and since we are owned by a college,
we’ve been very protected by the economic times. Our staff has
increased this year by 1/3, our sales are up by several thousand
dollars over last year. I know things get to
Mississippi a little
late, but I hope this misses us all the way around!
3. How is
Jackson a unique Christian
Ahhh Jackson! It’s a great place. Very much a blue-collar city with
a white-collar attitude. Our city knows how to work hard and not
mess up our hair in the process. Being in the Bible belt has its
advantages and disadvantages. While people will be quicker to listen
to a “Christian” radio station they have preconceived ideas about
what a Christian station should sound like. We love to mess with the
minds of these people.
4. What criteria do you require for a song to be played on WHJT?
The same criteria that every programmer should consider…what’s this
song going to mean to my listener? Am I going to insult her
intelligence if I play it? Am I going to touch her heart? Is this
song worth her attention? If her marriage is falling apart and her
kids are driving her crazy and the next door neighbor and her best
friend seem to have it all together, will this song reminder her who
God created her to be? And she still likes to have fun!
5. What kind of promotions work best for
Simple, clean, fun. Let’s face it, if we’re targeting women, (and
let’s be honest, who isn’t?) she doesn’t have time for a drawn out
promotion with tons of steps to get her something she may not have
time to use anyway. Keep it simple, get her family involved, or make
it revolve around her for once. And give her access to something
she can’t get on her own. Make her queen for a day, for an hour, for
five minutes. She’ll listen to you forever if you can remind her
she’s still a woman and not just a wife or mother.
6. How do you think Christian Record labels can better serve
Don’t assume that we’re going to add a song because it’s by a group
that has had tremendous success in another market. Each market is
different, our listeners face different things and songs will
minister in different ways. Will GRITS or Manafest work at 7:30AM in
Nashville…don’t know, but in
Jackson? It’s a
7. In your opinion what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian
The same thing that’s happening to our churches… a Generation Gap!
Music is changing. How we communicate is changing. The new wave of
listeners is not going to tolerate “perky”, “everything’s great by
golly” radio. They live in the real word. They want truth and they
want it now. And please remember, our listeners still have a mind.
Don’t assume they can’t handle a song or you will run them off if
you try something different.
8. What do you believe is the primary role of the Christian radio
To make your listener’s day better! To be a friend, someone she can
trust. Chances are, you are the one consistent form of adult human
contact that she has in her life. Be real with her about things that
you’re feeling or struggles you have. Make fun of yourself so she
feels better about who she is. Talk about things that are happening
in pop-culture. I hate to break it to you, but Christian women, who
listen to your station watch Desperate Housewives and Lifetime. It
may not be right, but it’s reality. Statistics show even women who
go to church have had abortions and divorces and are caught in all
kinds of sin. LOVE HER… no matter what she’s done. If you gain her
trust, she’ll open her heart to you and the music you play on your
station and who knows… all those artist that have been called to
sing about the love of Jesus just may get their songs to penetrate a
place in her heart that no one else could. And all because you put
down your stones and took her hand.
9. What (if any)
Christian radio stations do
you consider as innovators today?
KXOJ, WAY FM, (Wally from Total Axxess)
10. Where do you see Christian radio in 5 years?
Depends. I feel like we’re at a crossroad.. Stations that choose to
embrace communication techniques that reach a younger tech savvy
generation will be hitting new levels of success in revenue streams
they’ve never dreamed of, while stations that choose to stay the
course, in my opinion, will struggle to find their place.