Career Capsule: In 1984, Todd wanted to be part of Christian TV and spent many hours volunteering at the local cable station. After a year in a college broadcasting program he took a break from that career path but got back on track in 2005 when he began to volunteer at a cable TV station and a local Christian Radio station, KFM in North Bay as a morning show co-host and newsman. The volunteering led to full time work in Sudbury, Ontario at KFM as a producer as well as morning show and news. Todd now lives in Barrie as co-host of The All New Breakfast Club on LIFE 100.3, Ontario’s Christian Superstation.
- Todd, Tell us what’s new at Life 100.3… news, changes, & with YOU… etc?
LIFE 100.3 has seen a lot of growth in the past few years. We have taken over another suite in our building in order to expand our video department, add greater office space for our sales team and widen the reception area. Our station manager, Scott Jackson believes the station should be a fun place to work, so the design of the office fits that pattern! Funky! It’s a great place to be. Personally, I have been doing more and more stand-up comedy as a way to sharpen my skills as a personality and writer.
2. What are some of the biggest differences in Canadian Christian radio from the U.S.?
We have Canadian Content regulations that require us to play a certain percentage of Canadian artists.
3. What is the best programming advice you’ve been given? The worst?
Brant Hansen shared with us that in the context of a morning show team, the listener should be able say “That’s so Todd” or “That’s so Tim”. Allowing a unique personality to come out is not a bad thing.
4. Some say more Christian stations in a market the better, do you agree with that, why or why not?
In Canada we have not run into this YET. I can understand why it would make station managers nervous. It would be same feeling a new pastor would get when a new church opens around the corner. What if all my people go THERE? We’ll have to close the doors! First of all they are not YOUR people and they can do whatever they want. Secondly, trying to be all things to all people just makes you tired and stressed out. Essentially, I think it’s a good thing because it would keep all levels of the station excelling. It’s so easy to coast and take your listeners for granted. If a market can sustain many, great! More options for the listener. We all love options right?
5. What is the ONE thing you must have every day to do your show?
Besides coffee, a good prep sheet with ideas and topics. I use EVERNOTE. Every day, I jot something into it using the app on my phone. One sheet is for ideas and I take those and transfer them to a daily sheet. I like to have one spiritual bit one local bit and one fun bit. It’s great to put phone call audio in there to.
6. Where will future Christian radio air talent come from?
Anywhere and everywhere! Some of our DJ’s have made the jump from being on the Street Team to being on air. They have the advantage of attending the majority of the hundreds of events we do each year and meeting listeners directly and hearing their feedback. The important thing is to be able to be out there so that the people who may be a good fit for Christian radio realize that it’s here! Here’s an idea…have a YouTube audition process for a new DJ and let the listeners vote! Hmmmmm.
7. Generally speaking to the industry what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian radio?
Being fun to listen to! Christian radio has to be more than a playlist of Christian songs. That’s what your mp3 player is for.
8. Who are your radio heroes and influences? and why?
I grew up near Detroit so I had the pleasure of hearing some great personalities who inspired me. Arthur Penhallow on WRIF – what pipes! Dick Purton – CKLW, wonderful personality.
American Top 40 with Casey Kassem taught me how a story can connect you with a song.
Dean Belanger at KFM North Bay taught me to be aware that every part of your life can be something to share on the air. (Within reason!)
Scott Jackson and Steve Jones at LIFE make me want to continue to grow personally and professionally.
Brant Hansen has a way of seeing the world that is unexpected and fresh. I love his podcast!