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Feature Interview

Melony McKaye



Kansas City

To contact Melony click here


Melony's Career Capsule

Started working at my college radio station in Fargo, ND, a full, 100,000 watt station. I also worked part time weekends at KLTA, the local AC station. After college, I was middays and Promotions Director at KVOX, the number one station in town and found out that cowboy boots can be pretty comfy. After 5 years I moved to St. Cloud, MN, and did mornings on the top 40, KKJM, and programmed and cut middays on KMXK Oldies. I had a heart and passion to move to CCM for years.  God opened the door when it was announced that the format of KKJM was flipping to CCM. I asked to be the PD and did mornings, as well. In, 2001 I married a Florida guy and began working for WPOZ. Initially, I was promotions director and middays until my family started growing and I was able to focus on my air shift. Two years ago, God threw me a curve ball and called me to Kansas City to do mornings at KJNW. Starting a station from scratch again certainly has taken me out of being comfortable and gets me to exercise the incredible wealth of knowledge others have poured into me.

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

If anyone has been a part of the birth of a radio station, there is so much that goes on that is new and formative for at least the first 3-5 years.  It is thrilling and challenging all at once. From getting your team on target, to growing your social media and market awareness, to developing the brandÖ.itís ALL new J KJNW has been focused on really knowing our community and how we can best serve it.  We have just completed an extensive market perceptual with Mark Ramsey as a much needed resource to develop our mission and vision and then begin to formulate and execute our strategy.  We have seen both our CUME and partnerships continue to trend up and to hear the stories of what God is doing in lives, is absolutely motivating to stay focused.


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

I think the best programming advice Iíve been given was also the best life advice: itís not about me (us), it never has been, it never will be.  And to add to that: if you super serve your listeners, you will win every time in every category that matters.


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

I find myself more in awe of what Iíve had the honor to watch God do then really feeling a sense of pride.  It was a humbling experience to watch midday at WPOZ become number 1 6+. I had heard for a long time that many programmer did not invest much in their middays because they believed office listenership would not tune in and that would ultimately affect the ability for that daypart to have a solid impact. Itís incredible to see so many middays now having a significant impact in their market.


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

COFFEE, sleep and an open heart to do things Godís way not what my flesh would do.  For example, if I donít get sleep, it becomes much easier to think the wrong things matter and miss an incredible moment with a caller or listener. I can be so self-focused on what I think is important which often leans toward things and schedules and not people and hearts.


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

Anywhere.  They will be bloggers, moms or store clerks, waitresses, counselors, teachers anyone who is a compelling story teller, with a passion for people and grace to share.  Buttons and computer programs can be taught, relatability and a passion for others is a gift.


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

This is a depends answer for me. It all comes down to the skill and gift of the talent. 


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

Certainly one is the same as secular radio faces, staying relevant in a world where our listener has more options than ever and weíre seeing with each generation they are more likely to use those options. Specifically, for our industry, I believe we will notice the effects of younger generations that are growing up not being taught the need to give. In addition, I believe musical tastes are becoming much more fickle as there is seemingly endless sources for new music, new artists and new sounds. CCM will need to find ways to stay relevant to diverse tastes.


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

I have been so honored to have had many gifted people pour into my life and my heart.  Dean OíNeal, Jeff Cruz and Tommy Kramer have helped develop in me the art and strategy of radio. Lisa Williams opened the door to learning to be vulnerable and real on the air. Brian Wright of ADG was the first to open my eyes to the fact that there was a science side to radio. And I canít leave out a small town, secular GM, Steve Stewart, who saw in me something I did not see in myself and that encouragement opened doors I could never have imagined.



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