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Feature Interview

Bill Thrasher

Network Manager

Worship Radio Network

Augusta, ME

To contact Bill click here


Bill's Career Capsule

I started my career and ministry in Christian radio in 1988, after serving as Executive Director for several charitable organizations.

In 1987, at a turning point in my life, a lady came to my office one day in Florida to tell me that she believed that God was calling me into Christian radio. I did not give much thought to her announcement until months later to my amazement; I was offered a job as Sales and Marketing Manager with a Christian radio station in Texas. I accepted the position in November 1987.

I spent eleven-years with that great station, and in 1999, I was recruited and hired as the General Manager of a new Christian station coming into the market. Several years later, that national ministry added a second station in the market making us a major voice in the region.

In 2013, the Board of Directors of the Worship Radio Network in Augusta, Maine invited me to be their next General Manager. At first, I was reluctant to make the big move, but deep in my heart, I knew God was calling and I couldn’t say no to the One I love so dearly!

I accepted the Board’s invitation and headed north to take the helm of a group of Christian stations serving the LORD in northern New England


1. Tell us about any recent changes (news) at Worship Radio Network...

The transition from Texas to the Worship Radio Network in Maine has been sweet – no one could ask for a greater team to work with, or a more loving audience to share the day. God has blessed us but the road has been rough and bumpy trying to make progress and advance the network to the next level. In August 2013, just days before my arrival, a thunderstorm severely damaged the 10-bay antenna and STL system on one of our primary stations. The damage not only interrupted signal strength for several months thereafter, but also, became a financial burden to replace a $70,000 piece of equipment

We had no sooner recovered from the financial impact of the August storm, until nature’s fury delivered another blow to the same antenna, but this time, bringing down not the newly installed antenna but the top three-fourths of the tower itself.

While certainly this represents another blow to our network, but I believe, that behind every dark cloud and every stormy gale there is a blessing to be realized – perhaps a test of faith or a test of resolve, but whatever the test, I further believe the “Son” will shine on this ministry. Through Christ, I believe, we will accomplish our mission of breaking-through the dark spiritual clouds over New England and claiming it for Christ!


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

The best programming advice I have been given:

My personal philosophy for programming is simple: Be real – be you! Inspire the audience with the music, the ministry, and never fail to share God’s love throughout the broadcast day. Finally, the audience must sense from the station’s management and staff that they are truly appreciated and that our purpose is to serve their need of being encouraged, inspired, and blessed.

Of course, the fundamentals of good programming must be at the forefront of providing the audience with the highest quality of content and elements that make the station stand out as a broadcast leader in the market.

My first lesson in programming and ops came on the first-day at my first station by the station’s CEO: “Keep it rolling and keep it tight! Any dead-air will cost you $1 for every second of dead air.”

The CEO was a very humble man but he taught me the importance of keeping the programming moving forward!

As far as the worse advice ever given came in 2001, when a staff member suggested that we all work 4-hour air-shirts each day – sleep for 4-hours each day, and do it all in the same 4-hours as the computer pilots the mother ship.

While voice tracking is an exceptional tool and resource for studio operations, but there’s something special in the air when there’s chemistry on both sides of the mic. The spontaneity, the inner -action of a personal conversation with the audience, and the freedom to be real in the big sit can make a big difference in connecting the announcer with the audience. I love live radio!


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

Ted, there are many accomplishments in my career that I look back upon with great fondest and even a touch of pride in a good way, but the one thing, that I can never get out of my mind or heart is the day in 2001, when a listener called the station said, “I have recently moved here from Korea with my husband, and I just heard your announcer talking about trusting in Christ as your Savior – what does that mean?”

These simple words from a woman that had never heard the Gospel of Jesus cause me to realize the true importance and mission of Christian radio. It’s not about the music, the contests or promotions; it’s truly about introducing the audience to Jesus!


4. What is the ONE thing you must have everyday to do your job?

When I started in radio in 1988, Ted, the important thing to me everyday was getting a big sale – the bigger the better! Today, the most important thing to me is to spend time in prayer talking with the LORD, as a means of preparing my mind and heart for the challenge of the day. I have truly learned the importance of what has been spoken for many generations, “Unless the LORD builds the house those who labor will do so in vain.”

I need Jesus to make the day go good! Without Him, I am a duck without a pond. With Him, I can walk on water – if I don’t close my eyes.


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

Ted, future air talent will come from a variety of places. The major broadcasters will recruit talent from universities and other leading broadcast groups, while many local stations with smaller budgets and small markets will need to recruit from within the market and within its audience by offering on the job training experiences to aspiring broadcasters.

Many of the great radio personalities got their start in local station as an intern or volunteer. The CEO at my first station got his start in radio at 16 -- sweeping the floors at the local station. From sweeping -- he swept himself into a successful career in broadcasting and eventually the ownership of his own broadcast company.


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

Ted, syndicated programming at smaller stations is an excellent resource for enhancing programming, imaging and revenue. The big networks and stations do not need it as much, as they have talent to produce creative and cutting-edge programming, but the mid and smaller size markets need all the help they can get -- and syndication is a great marketplace to shop!


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

The biggest obstacles at this time for Christian radio, especially local radio, are the large nationals infiltrating the local market and taking share and dollars from the locals. The second obstacle is a downturn in donor giving, and an inflationary economy with the cost of services continuing to rise. The next obstacle is the increase in listening options: online, by satellite and smartphone apps. While these technologies are awesome, but they are robbing the local station of market share and revenue.


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

Michael Conn, AKA, the Mission Man, my hero, because he loves Christian radio more than any other broadcaster I know. Most people do radio for the money but Mike does for the fun!

Steve Williams, the President of American Broadcasting of Texas my influence. Steve is a giant among people, giving, sharing and never holding-back to advance others while taking the backseat for himself. Steve has had a profound impact in my broadcast career and my life. I owe Steve big time!



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