started my professional career as a Bible Teacher and campus
Chaplain at a Christian High School in Michigan and then in Idaho.
After the school in Idaho made some budget cutbacks, I was laid
off. I had developed a fascination with radio many years before and
had been learning the “ropes” at KTSY during my time as a teacher in
Idaho. The very same month I was laid off from teaching, KTSY
offered me a position! Truly a God thing!
1. How has KTSY evolved over the last few years?
I think one of the biggest ways
KTSY has evolved has been in it’s response to our local community.
Whether it be in response to so many of the families in our
community being with out loved ones due to the war, or families
losing hope because of the economy. We endeavor to be continually
responsive to what’s going on in the lives of our listeners so we
can continue to be relevant in their lives.
2. Has KTSY made any changes due to economic situation, been
affected in any way?
Absolutely. Because we are aware
of the weak economy, we have ‘tightened our belts’ by trimming
budgets, not hiring additional staff and trying to be as cautious as
ever with our listeners investment in us.
3. How is Boise and your surrounding market a unique Christian
Oh man, for starters, the average
family size here is easily 5-6. It’s not unusual to see families
here with 6 to 10 kids (no, I’m not kidding) Also, this valley
tends a little more conservative than other areas in the US.
4. What criteria do you require for a song to be played on your
Quality production, has to fit the
format, quality musicality both in the song itself and the artist,
has to be as good or better than other offerings. If the song has
been played elsewhere, good research results certainly help.
5. What kind of promotions work best for KTSY?
Promotions that work best for KTSY
are those that allow us to do what we do best; get the word out.
Specifically, promotions that have some benefit to the listener
beyond the gimmicky “be the 10th caller right now to win a free CD.”
If it’s a promotion that helps someone be a better parent or
spouse, or makes a real impact on our local community, that’s always
a win for us.
6. How do you think Christian Record labels can better serve
Continue the trend that seems to be
developing lately; teamwork. We’re not always going to agree.
There are going to be times where record companies are going to
have songs that just don’t make sense for a particular station.
Since we have to care first and foremost about our market and our
listeners, we won’t always add what is often described to us a a
“hit.” Sometimes we’ll be right in not adding it, sometimes we’ll
be wrong. We’re not spiting you, it’s just the decision we have to
make. In the end, we’re together in this thing, period.
And, even though you didn’t ask, I
think Christian Radio can better serve Christian record labels, too.
Let’s be honest, these songs are their livelihood. They really,
REALLY do need to know where you’re at on a song so they know where
your station and radio as a whole is headed. WAY too often weeks
have gone by and radio stations haven’t even listened to the new
singles. Then, when we’re asked, we give some platitude to get them
‘off our backs.’
Sometimes, we don’t even return
their phone calls. Come on, let’s be honest with ourselves, that’s
just rude. And if we really are in this together, we could do a
7. In your opinion what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian
Probably that we all need to be
drug kicking and screaming into the 21st century, or should I say
the 1990’s. Radio isn’t the only way people get music anymore. And
while it may be for those in our upper demos who’ve resisted the
technology revolution, we’re quickly losing those folks. The rest
are texting, have an iPod, and are on Facebook more than they’re on
the telephone. We need to admit we’re just one of many tools in
their tool belt. Our challenge, perhaps our biggest obstacle is to
figure out how to be their FAVORITE tool. Those of us who figure
that whole thing out will still be here 20 years from now.
8. What do you believe is the primary role of the Christian radio
To be a relevant, honest,
encouraging and genuinely caring companion.
9. What (if any) Christian radio stations do you consider as
Two come immediately to mind, and
they’re no surprise. KCMS and WPOZ.
The folks at KCMS seem to be
constantly coming up with new ideas and ways to connect with their
listeners. This not only includes their on-air product, but also
off-air. Scott and his crew are simply geniuses and they care about
what they do and who they serve. That’s why they’ll be around 20
years from now.
WPOZ continues to be a leader in
connecting with their audience. I am continually in awe at how they
take radio and seem to seamlessly integrate it with ‘felt-need’ like
evangelistic promotions. The effort their team put into raising
awareness about breast cancer last fall was simply inspiring.
10. Where do you see Christian radio in 5 years?
That depends on how we respond to
what’s going on in our world right now. If we continue to respond
to where people are right now, what matters to them, and remind
ourselves that we’re all in this together, this format could take
off in a way not even the most eloquent among us could put into
If, however, we continue with
business as usual, I fear we could see our ranks shrunk
significantly, and people in desperate need of the hope we offer
having to search harder to find us.