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Feature Interview

Dan Craig

Manager of Programming

Moody Radio



To contact Dan click here


Dan's Career Capsule

Dan was born in San Diego, California. His father was a bi-vocational Aerospace Engineer and Baptist Minister. Dan accepted Christ as his personal savior in 1963. He has been married to Vickie for 30 years (next Tuesday) and they have two adult daughters.

Dan's radio career began in 1977 in San Diego. His career has taken him to positions in stations in Oakland, Denver, North Los Angeles County, Columbus and Cincinnati, Ohio, San Francisco and now Chicago. He has worked in stations formatted as Country Music, Jazz, Adult Contemporary, News Talk, Contemporary Christian, and Christian Teaching/Talk. His positions have included Air Personality, News Director, Program Director, Operations Manager, General Manager and currently Manager of Programming.

Dan served as Director of Youth, Church Activities and Church Publicity Coordinator at First Southern Baptist Church of San Diego. He served as a Deacon and managed the tape ministry at Tri-City Church, Vista, CA. Dan served as a Deacon at Linworth Baptist Church in Columbus, OH and was a part of the leadership team of the MYMAC (Making Your Marriage A Celebration) class at Bridges Community Church in Fremont, CA. He currently involved in a men’s and a couples weekly Bible Study through Bethel Church in Crown Point, IN.

In 1984 Dan created Denarii, the Ultimate Bible Game (Accent Publications) to help families invest time together learning Biblical facts. He has served on numerous committees and boards including Church and Christian School Building Programs, Evangelism and Outreach, Chamber of Commerce, Prayer Breakfast, and National Day of Prayer.

Dan has been the Manager of Programming for Moody Radio since May 2011.

1. Tell us about Moody Radio and your role there?

Moody Radio owns and operates 36 stations in 11 markets and the Moody Radio Network provides content to more than 700 stations.  As the Manager of Programming I oversee a team of more than 50 professionals (both full and part time) that create and deliver content filled with solid, biblical insight that encourages and helps people take the next step in their personal relationship with Jesus Christ, while impacting their communities for Him.


2. How do you build on the great Moody heritage in Chicago?

That’s a great question. The Moody Bible Institute has a long and rich history as does Moody Radio.  WMBI was launched in 1926. It’s the oldest non-commercial Christian radio station in the country. In the 30’s WMBI syndicated several programs by mailing them out on 16-inch, two-sided transcription platters—each of which could hold only 30 minutes of programming (15 minutes per side). The ‘50s brought reel-to-reel tapes which would be replaced by cassettes some 30 years later. This paved the way to 1982 when Moody Radio became the first full-service Christian satellite service providing 24-hour programming to its owned and operated stations, and began developing affiliate relationships with radio stations across America.
For a number of decades Moody Radio was known for its bold innovation and delivery of Christian content.  Then it seems that there was a stretch of 15 to 20 years when we were fairly quiet. I’m happy to report the quite years are over. We have fresh strong leadership in Moody Radio and at the Moody Bible Institute that is providing exciting vision and changes that will have far reaching impact. Through the years the message has not changed, though we continually look to find new and creative ways to package and deliver that content. 


3. Tell us about your morning show?

We’re in the midst of a change with our morning show at WMBI.  We had great talent in place for a 14 year run and they delivered well. However, many changes have taken place in Chicago in that period of time.  With the change in the landscape it was time that we freshened our approach to retain our current listeners and to seek to further widen that base.  I’m not able to share specifics at this time, other than to say that we will focus more on a multicultural audience and will transition to a two-person team approach with more opportunities for listener engagement. We’ll still be a full service station though we will transition to deliver news and information in a more conversational manner.


4. Do you anticipate any other changes at WMBI?

Yes!  One of our main objectives in programming at Moody Radio is to help people take their next step with the Lord Jesus Christ.  To do that we must have compelling content delivered in a way that will be most receptive to the listener.  For too many years, nearly all of them, Christian Radio provided recorded programming content or minimally voice-tracked music hours from Midnight to 5 or 6 a.m. with the belief that only those with insomnia were listening to the radio.  General Market radio moved in that direction, mainly for cost containment. However, with the size of Chicago and now having listeners online and through mobile devises on other continents, we believe that we have a great opportunity to reach and impact many by being live.

We’ve just hired a top-notch broadcaster with a strong TV and Radio background. He has a pastoral heart and a passion to stand in the gap for people needing encouragement. In the next few weeks we’ll not only provide WMBI listeners with music and devotional comment, we’ll engage them in dialogue about their life, their faith and their Lord.


5. Where will future Christian radio air talent come from?

That’s another great question. My belief is that over the past few decades we have done ourselves a disservice by leveraging technology too frequently for cost control. And the largest and easiest cost to save through its use is manpower.  Rather than working harder and being more creative in ways to secure revenue/funding many have opted for the easy way out. So, we don’t have “the need” for weekend or overnight talent and smaller radio markets automate much of their day/week.  The old “farm club” system has evaporated. 

At Moody Radio we’re looking more and more to general market radio for potential hires. Guys and gals that have a great understanding and execution of the radio fundamentals, but who may be looking for a place where they can live out their faith more openly through their work.  

We’re constantly looking for and bringing on students/interns that may have an interest in broadcasting. We give them a taste of the different aspects of our operation to see where they take flight and see how we can help them grow.  We’re also investing time and resources into a handful of employees that we believe have much more to give to Christian Radio in the years ahead.  We want to help raise-up the next leaders.


6. Generally speaking to the industry, what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian radio today?

A few top of mind obstacles would be that we have to find new and creative ways to seek new listeners to Christian Radio, and they may very well not be Christians.  Only a fraction of weekly church attenders listen to Christian Radio.  We need to find a way to make Christian Radio more visible to believers. And, stations with average demos over 50 need to begin looking for ways to reach the younger demo without disenfranchising their current core/donors. As mentioned above, we need to find ways to tap new revenue streams to better fund our operations and provide resources for marketing/promotions, and we need to grow and groom the next generation of Christian broadcasters.


7. Do you feel syndication is good or bad for Christian radio?

My answer would have to be yes! Syndication can be good or bad. How and how often is it being used? There are a number of syndicated programs that really make an impact on lives, and as result affect families, churches and communities. It’s programming content that many local stations would not be capable to provide on their own.  I would encourage stations that utilize syndicated programming to incorporate it as much as possible into their stations as if it were their own program. Promote it as they would if it were coming from another studio in their facility. 

When can syndication be bad for Christian radio?  As I said earlier, if syndication is used merely as a cost-savings tool, it could result in the loss of some great future broadcasters and put a self-imposed financial limit on the organization.


8. Where do you see Christian Radio in the next 5 years?

This is a question we’ve been grappling with for the past two years.  For content, what can we offer listeners that they can’t get anywhere else?  It will have to be more than music since they can get that without comment, commercials or conviction.  It will have to be more than a 24-minute teaching/preaching program because they can download and listen whenever and wherever they choose.  However, it is radio that helps listeners know about the music and the teaching ministries that can and will impact their lives.  Can we come up with a “variation on a theme” that will benefit listeners, artists, and teaching ministries?  We’ve opened the dialogue with a handful of teaching ministries about where Christian radio may be headed, should be headed. It is very likely that Moody Radio will host a one or two day symposium with representatives from a dozen or so ministries later this year. We want to hear what they are thinking and then think together about the future. Now is the time to do this!

From a delivery standpoint, all indicators are pointing to continued growth of radio listening through mobile devises.  I believe terrestrial radio is far from extinction, but in order to serve a growing number of our listeners, the way they want to listen, we need be available on this platform with very user-friendly aps. And, if we want to begin serving a younger demo, be thinking ear-buds!



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