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Feature Interview

Justin Brown




To contact Justin click here


Justin's Career Capsule

I started in college radio in 1990 in Jacksonville, AL. After a year, I received a job offer at a local station doing weekends and being the color guy for Friday night football. After a year, I got the call to full-time doing Afternoon Drive. I had to get permission from the professors to leave class early to be on the air. They thought that was pretty cool. From there, I worked in Gadsden, AL for a CHR; Birmingham, AL for an AC; Amarillo, TX for a CHR; Rome, GA for a Country; back to Birmingham for Classic Rock, and finally landed the job at WDJC twelve years ago this month.


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

We are pretty solid and consistent on-air. There haven’t been any changes here in over a year. Our biggest changes have been changing the color of our logo and thanks to AT&T, they killed our request line so now we have a new request line. The old one had been in place since the 80's I think.  


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

Chuck Finney told me at the air check session at Momentum last year to “Make sure what you say is not mildly entertaining, but wildly entertaining. The worst?  A former GM told me to “forget everything you ever learned in radio. Wad it up and throw it in the garbage. Here, we do things differently.” He’s no longer with that company.


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

I’m most proud of feeling like I make a difference. The first 13 years of my career were for me and it didn’t turn out to well. I was in secular radio and everything was about being #1 and I had a tendency of calling it “my station”. Now, I get to use my talents for God.


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

Definitely the internet. I am live and local and depend heavily on traffic updates, local news and staying on top of artist news using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Periscope.


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

Hopefully, it will come from seasoned pros that have been forced out of a job due to downsizing or syndication. I know of many believers in secular radio. That is where I came from a dozen years ago and over the years fewer and fewer of them are still in the business.


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

Syndication is not a totally bad word. I grew up listening to Casey Kasem on Sunday afternoons and I knew he wasn’t local, but that didn’t matter. But the use of syndication for main day parts during the week has been the reason for the decline of live and local radio. That has cost a lot of talented people to lose their jobs and in my opinion that is not good for the industry or the listener.


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

I think it is really easy to put the ministry second and be overly focused on the money. Christian Radio is a business and businesses do need dollars to stay in business, but it is too easy for that to become the main focus and forget the ministry, or at least put the ministry second. Recently while in church, I heard the pastor mention right before the offering that God doesn’t need your money. Giving is a form of worship. It gets you out of your comfort zone but it is freeing to put the ministry first and believe that God will bless you with enough to keep it going.


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

In college, I had the opportunity to be on Z100 in New York as a caller blowing the 5 o’clock whistle on Elvis Duran’s show. I tried my best to copy him. Also while in college, I took a trip to Atlanta and was able to go into the studio and watch Domino do a live show on Power 99. I watched him do ten second walks and weather forecasts over intros of songs. I was also blown away watching him splice tape of callers and edit it backwards. It completely fascinated me and made me want to do radio even more.




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