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Radio Interview

                                     

Veig

Program Director

KXWA

Denver

 

 

Veig's Career Capsule
With the exception of Grand Forks, ND, I’ve focused on Christian radio in Chicago, Portland, San Francisco, and now Denver.  I had also spent about 5 years programming three Christian music channels for AOL Radio.

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

We’re a mile in the air!  Everyone can hit like Tiger at our golf outings… I think, in some ways, we’re a little bit west coast and a little bit Midwest (not unlike Donnie and Marie).  There are some strong roots with modern sensibilities.  I feel it provides us a unique opportunity to be embraced by more people for being real on the air.  There is less of a ‘Christian crusader’ constituency.  Not that we’re hoping to get away with anything, but that we can deal with life more head on, which I think will make us more successful in connecting with our listener and having a deeper impact on their lives.

 

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

That we’ve been given a unique role in God’s work in peoples lives.  We play music that God uses to find people in their most desperate times to give them the hope to hold on, make a change, turn away… whatever it may be that they need at that moment, they are reminded of a God who cares, provides hope and CAN meet their deepest needs.

 

3. How do you personally keep the ministry in the business?

Not that ministry can’t take place within or through a commercial station, I think it's more difficult for one, and secondly, unless you’re in an area of the country where like-minded businesses are willing and able to advertise with your station, it can be especially difficult.  Add to that the corporate culture and it can be nearly impossible for ministry to thrive in the commercial environment.  But I’ve been on both sides… I think being a combination of both non-com/com would be most appealing.  Because of the commitment of our company leadership, we are encouraged to focus on those relationships that better ensures ministry will occur.  As PD, one area I do my best to focus the ministry is in the music.  That is why I have resisted playing certain artists and/or songs.  The songs we play need to have some redeeming/eternal value, the appropriate reflection of who we are and our mission.  In fact, I think that is what gives us distinction and sets us a part from just being another radio station.     

 

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

After a thorough understanding of your target demo, the initial step allows you to eliminate those options that won’t appeal.  Rather than play to individual preferences, identifying those songs will appeal to the majority are more certain of moving further in the process.  I do my best to never assume, and we can’t let personal opinion make the final decision.  And, with every decision, your are wise to include ‘good science’ and educated intuition.    

 

5. What kind of promotions work best for your station?

Meaningful promotions that help us further an emotional connection with the listener.  Meeting a need or reflecting the passion(s) of a listener are always winners.  We have Colorado’s Biggest Baby Shower coming up next month which allows us to celebrate life during sanctity of human life week, help them meet the practical needs of the pregnancy care centers, but indirectly point to a resource for those listeners who may be in need.

 

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

I think that we can continue to work together on providing promotions that allow for those unique experiences with artists that listeners appreciate and couldn’t get otherwise.  Furthermore, I’m very attracted to being able to connect more emotionally with the listener, so in those instances where the station can work together with a label to accomplish that are especially appealing.

 

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

Talent.  Period.  We have too many disc jockeys, not enough air personalities.  I think the level of expectation for true talent is on the rise at more stations than before, but we’re going to be awhile in meeting those expectations.    

 

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

In a word, connect.  Be real, be you, in an entertaining and relevant way, and everybody wins.

 

9. What (if any) other Christian radio stations do you consider as innovators today?

I don’t know that I like that word, because it all depends on how it is used.  There are many, I think, who mean to say that ‘we’re creatively and effectively meeting a current need’, but the reality is they are ‘being different, just to be different’ and are unaware of the difference, as well as their inability in accomplishing what they may be intending.  I sometimes wonder that Christian radio will be prevented from being truly innovative solely based on the Christian listeners’ expectations placed on Christian radio.  I think that's one reason why we see a lag in Christian radio adopting hip-hop.  There are not enough listeners wanting or expecting that from their Christian radio station.  Along that line, you have Christians who live in a way or make choices they don’t want or think should be reflected on their Christian station.  I think they both lend themselves to our not being as forward as some of us would like to be with our stations.          

 

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

With the advent of internet ubiquity, content will reign.  Only those stations that have compelling content will thrive because listeners, anywhere, will have the opportunity to listen to anyone, but will only choose those sources that offer content that is relevant, entertaining and compelling… and those stations will be supported accordingly.  It then would address thoughts raised in the previous question.  We need sufficient audience to make any format viable.  The internet, and its availability, may be the answer.

 

 

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