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Feature Interview

Jonathan Unthank

Afternoon Host



To contact Jonathan click here


Jonathan Unthank's Career Capsule

1999-2001: Music Director/On-Air (WYLV LOVE 89.1, Knoxville)
2001-2006: Program Director/Music Director/On-Air (WYLV, LOVE 89.1, Knoxville)
2007-2010: Production Director/On-Air (WDLF LIFE 88.3, Knoxville)
2011-2014: Host, Songs Of Worship and Praise (WJXB B97.5, Knoxville)
2015- Present: Afternoon Show Host (WFGW 106.7 THE LIGHT, Knoxville)
*From 2007-2014, I also served as Director of Family Ministries at Calvary Baptist Church, Knoxville.  

1. Tell us any recent changes (news) at WFGW?

WFGW 106.7 THE LIGHT is the Knoxville outreach of Blue Ridge Broadcasting (founded by Billy Graham), and can be heard by over 560,000 people in the Greater Knoxville area.  106.7 THE LIGHT has been in the Knoxville market for 3 years, and is steadily growing its influence in the community.  2015 has been a great year!  By the end of 2015, 106.7 THE LIGHT will have been involved in 60+ community outreach events, ranging from concert tours, local church events, and city-sponsored initiatives. And as the trend continues, 2016 looks to be the same.  It’s an exciting time of growth for 106.7 THE LIGHT!


2. Describe the transition to your current position?

Overall, I have been in Christian radio in Knoxville in some form or fashion for 18+ years.

In 2007, I really felt God pulling me toward a part-time ministry opportunity at my church.  It was leading the Family Ministry.  During that time, I also remained in part-time radio with LOVE 89.1/LIFE88.3 until the end of 2010.

At the end of 2010, LOVE 89.1 was sold.  In 2011, I was offered a part-time opportunity to oversee an online radio station made up of boys and girls at a local Boys & Girls Club, while also maintaining my own personal local presence in the Knoxville radio market at mainstream WJXB B97.5.  That continued for 4+ years.  In December 2014, I was offered the opportunity to jump back in to full-time radio to oversee the 106.7 The Light daily operations in Knoxville and host the afternoon show.  God is good!


3. What was the most difficult adjustment you had to make?

Probably catching up on what has been happening over the past few years in the music industry, technology, on-air software, etc…  It’s funny how a little tutorial brings everything back J  Thankfully!


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

BEST: “Transparency is the key to unlocking your listener’s heart… “

My thoughts: Your listener can detect a fake.  Be real, be yourself!

WORST: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…”

My thoughts: To be relevant, you have to always be thinking ahead.  With limited attention spans as it is, you can’t afford for your station to be audio wallpaper in a listener’s world and expect to survive…


5. What is the ONE thing you must have every day to do your job?

Receptive heart to hear what the Lord is saying that day…


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

In today’s viral media culture, future talent can come from just about anywhere.  I have seen some of the most authentic, loveable, and likeable radio talent come from the real world, and not necessarily a broadcasting background. Folks who just know how to have a conversation.  You can’t teach personality.  The talent could likely be in the grocery store or picking up the kids right now… 


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

I enjoy great radio, whether it is syndicated or not.  I think syndicated and local radio can work hand in hand.  I have a heart for local radio, because I love my city, and want to make a difference here where I am planted.  Syndicated Christian radio is good for spreading the overall message to large numbers at one time.  Local Christian radio is good for spreading the message to a specific area, while also investing in a way that only a person in that area will know, understand, and relate.


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

I have always admired those who catch a vision and see it through.  I’ll start with Billy Graham.  I am honored to continue his 50+ year radio legacy in Knoxville with his original radio call letters (WFGW).

Others over the years who have made me think, wrestle with programming ideas, etc… Jeff Jarnigan (longtime radio programmer in Knoxville), Brad Burkhart, Vance Dillard, Doug Hannah, Bill DeWees, Ken Farley, Rick Welke, Kevin Peterson, Bill Scott, Dave Kirby, Bill Carl, Tom Greene, Jim Kirkland, John Owens, Carol Davis, Dave St. John,  Tim McDermott, Bob Augsburg, Chuck Finney, Mike Blakemore, Ace McKay, Scott Herrold, Jayar, Mike Couchman, Johnathon Eltrevoog…. So many others I respect and consider some of the heroes of our format.



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