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Radio Interview


Andy Haynes

Director of Operations

WJLF (The Joy FM)

Gainesville, FL.



Andy's Career Capsule
Andy began his career in broadcasting during his senior year of high school.  He has worked at stations in Chicago, IL, Rockford, IL, Madison, WI, St. Joseph/Benton Harbor, MI, South Bend, IN, Louisville, KY and currently in Gainesville, FL.  His responsibilities have included drive time shifts, production director, program director, operations manager, and general manager.  He currently works for Radio Training Network as director of operations for the JOY FM in Gainesville, Ocala and Crystal River, FL.


1. Tell us about your market and how it is unique? 

Gainesville and Ocala are combined markets for Arbitron, but they are very different.  Gainesville is Gator Nation (UF), with 50% of its population university students (including Sante Fe Community College), with the leading employers being education, health care and insurance.  Ocala is more down home folk, strong roots in the community.  Gainesville is more liberal and secular; Ocala, conservative and more religious.


2. What is the most fulfilling aspect to you personally about Christian radio?

Knowing what a difference the format makes in our listener's daily lives.  We're a true source of encouragement that helps them get through the daily challenges.  I've worked at just about every format, and nothing compares to Christian radio.  At the end of the day, you hope you have indeed had a part in helping a Nanci get through the day with a little more peace in her life and less frustration because of the connection, the ministry focus, and uplifting music.


3. How do you personally keep the ministry in the business?

Keeping focused on the mission and keeping my own life on track spiritually makes it a lot easier.  Reading e-mails of listener testimonials helps keep me humble of how God uses each of us and the signals to reach people.  I never get tired of that.  It is so refreshing and amazing to get that feedback.


4. What is the criteria that determines if a song receives airplay on your station?

Jeff MacFarlane, our GM, also serves as Music Director from our home office in Sarasota.  I can't speak for him, but I know there are definitely policies in place, which include lyric content, artist familiarity, production, research, etc. 


5. What kind of promotions work best for your station?

We are so blessed to have an incredible promotions director, Carmen Brown.  She works closely with Jeff and Steve in developing major campaigns that capture the attention of all listeners, that are relevant to what's going on in today's world.  This is our 20th year of broadcasting, so we're granting 20 wishes that listeners have submitted through our web site.  To hear each specific wish being granted, as it all unfolds on the air is brilliant and breath-taking.  I don't think I have ever heard of a promotion that draws you in as much as this one.  Community events work big for us as well, such as T-Shirts for Turkeys, where we ask listeners before Thanksgiving to meet us at various locations throughout our listening area and bring us a frozen turkey and we give them a t-shirt.  We work through local agencies in distributing the birds to needy families -- a win/win.  Last year, we did the JOY FM wedding.  Listeners had the opportunity to vote for finalists to have them advance to being the actual couple to get married, with all expenses of the event paid by sponsors.  Listeners also got to vote online for the dress, the flowers, the cake, etc.  Very fun.


6. How do you think Christian Record labels can better serve Christian radio?

Some I have talked with would like the question reversed.  LOL.  It's more frustrating for them in a lot of ways than it was 10 years ago. That's another subject.  To answer your question, I would love to see more access to the artists for stations. Country radio has it right with their label relationships.  I know there are a lot of hoops to jump through, but it shouldn't be so difficult for stations to partner with the artists to help make promotions work better.


7. In your opinion what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian radio today?

Being relevant, being up to date with technology, and grooming true radio personalities who connect. 


8. What do you believe is the primary role of the Christian radio air personality today?

In my opinion,  being a true encourager.  The listener wants a true friend, who understands the frustrations of what's going on in their life and their family, who is relevant with content that encourages and entertains.  Nanci should look forward to spending time with a friend -- her radio companion -- instead of feeling like she's hearing a jukebox with liners.


9. What (if any) other Christian radio stations do you consider as innovators today?

I have a lot of respect for the folks at Z88.3.  It's no surprise that they won a Dove for best station again this year.  They do radio right.  I cannot recall a time when I have ever listened and wondered, "why did they do that?"  It's more of, "Wow. That was incredible and it sounded great."   On the CHR/Rock side, RadioU in Columbus is cutting edge. 


10. Where do you see Christian radio in 5 years?

I could be wrong, but I see the near future as time of getting it right, or getting out.  Fish or cut bait time for stations.  We no longer have the luxury of doing radio like we are the only game in town, and bless God, it's a ministry, so don't worry about anybody else. Stations who will enjoy phenomenal growth will be leaders in technology (HD coming), have a very loyal listener base because of connectivity on the local level, and those who invest in their people -- primarily on-air personalities.  With so many sources of music made available now and in the future, local connection and great personalities will win.



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