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Feature Interview

Josh Jones



Grand Forks

To contact Josh click here


Josh's Career Capsule

I am a lifelong resident of Grand Forks, ND and was bitten by the radio bug in 1984 while I was in high school and worked for 10 different stations and 6 different formats for the past 30 years, in all different roles as announcer, production director, music director, program director.   Jesus got hold of me and changed my life about 15 years ago, and now I'm using the skills He has gifted me with and tuned over the years to impact His kingdom.  My official title is Program Director / Morning Show Host.


Tell us about KKEQ, (some history, its mission etc... 

KKEQ Your QFM began 21 years ago in Fosston MN as a 50K Christian station, and over the years has teamed up with a non-profit organization which purchased 5 translators to re-broadcast and widen our scope.  Today we have a studio in Bemidji MN and an identical one in Grand Forks ND, about 2 hours apart, a new tower that was just built 200 feet higher than before, and we are now up to 100K as of 2 weeks ago.  Our signals serve a few medium-sized towns, but mostly rural smaller communities.  The new tower / transmitter has widened us by at least 50 miles in all directions.  We are what I would call a CHR / Hot AC with some new rock sprinkled in at night.  Your QFM is dedicated to the glory of God…being an enthusiastic servant, broadcasting the message of good news, faith, love and encouragement through Jesus Christ to all listeners.


2. What is the best programming advice you've been given? The worst?

The best simple advice.  Play what people want to hear.  Meet their needs.  If it's flying off the shelf, play it, or else they will get it somewhere else.  The worst advice?   It went right out the window.


3. Regarding your career, what are you most proud of?

I'm grateful to still be able to make a living in radio after bouncing back and forth between two corporations that have gone to mostly voice tracking to save a buck.  I'm proud looking back that I have worn all the different radio hats through the years, and that the Lord has blessed me by being able to use it all for His glory.


4. What is the one thing you must have to do your job every day?

I must have my morning show partner Beth.  She's the organized one.  Support from our GM Phil.  And coffee.  We have a Caribou Coffee about 20 steps from our front door.  Perfect for mornings.


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

Kids that love Jesus and others, are passionate about the music, and love the artists.  I had a college kid who sings in a heavy metal Christian band stop in out of nowhere just this week.  His mom had worked in radio, and passed that love of music on to him.  They can all be taught how to put breaks together and run the equipment.  That's the easy part.  If they have a heart for Jesus, and want to learn about the radio business, I'll gladly bring them under my wing and teach them.


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

In our situation, it has worked out for the best where we use it.  We are in a nano-market, even smaller than a small market in the grand scheme of things, which in our case, also translates to small budget.  We have a live morning show, my morning partner tracks mid-days, we run The Wally Show in the afternoon till 6, then are live from 6-9.  On weekends we love running a bunch of the New Release Tuesday programs.  They are very well produced and keep us sounding fresh.  It fills a need with quality programming.


7. Generally speaking to the industry what are the biggest obstacles facing KKEQ?

Pandora.  Spotify.  All the others.  With the ability to get music with one click on a computer, tablet or phone, we better be doing something different by being in the community, and offer live and local wherever we can.  We do stream on our website, have apps and things.  We want everyone to know that we are the people that will be promoting and hanging out at their events, putting on concerts, saying hello and shaking their hands, and loving on them like family.  Pandora can't do that.


8. Who are your radio heroes and influences? and why?

My real radio hero was my morning partner Kerri Drees, who we lost a year ago.  She taught me that Christian radio wasn't about me, it was about Jesus.  When I had just started, I had a PD named Michael Right who took the time to teach a high school kid who loved music how to do this crazy radio thing.  He took me through my first miserable airchecks, complimented me on things I had done right, and picked a few things to work on.  I enjoyed learning and getting better!  That's how I do things with my announcers.  I loved all radio friends who took the time to slow down and teach.  I have also been a fan of Scott Shannon.  It is fun to follow him.  He was never afraid to take on a new challenge. 





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