The Christian Radio Homepage

Radio Interview


Jim Carter

Program Director


Elkhart, IN.



Jims' Career Capsule

My career began right out of Junior College in May of 1986.  Being full of the confidence built up over two years of broadcasting school, I applied for the Morning Personality/PD opening at WFRN, a radio station just a mile down the road from my house.  I was offered the overnight shift on Friday Night/Saturday Morning.  By the fall of 1986 I was the full-time overnight guy at WFRN.  Since then I have worked for LeSea Broadcasting in South Bend with their local FM and International Shortwave.  I also spent time at 89Q in Wausau, Wisconsin. 


1. How did you wind up at in your current position at WFRN?

November of 1996, for many various reasons, I left radio.  A couple of years later I found myself praying that if God wanted me back in radio, He would make a way.  I had made enough bad decisions in life up to that point, so I promised God that I wouldn’t try to make anything happen, I would just rely on Him to open the door.  Five days later, Ed Moore, the GM at WFRN called and asked if I could help him.  In 1996 I gave up hope of ever being a morning personality or PD.  Today I am the morning co-host and PD.  God is Awesome!

2. What is the most fulfilling aspect to you personally about being a part of Christian radio?

God is using the talent and abilities that He blessed me with to impact lives.

3. How has God used you in your role at WFRN?

Sometimes I can’t help but to think that God has used WFRN (or radio in general) to impact my life. When I came back to WFRN I told a friend it’s not that radio needs me, but I need radio.  I have loved broadcasting all my life.  And it sure beats working for a living. I am so thankful for God allowing me to work in Christian Radio.  I pray that my love for Him comes across on the air.

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

Vertical lyrics.  Also, a song that tells a story (i.e. Forgiveness – Jim Witter) is a big hit with our audience.  But it’s not so much musical styling as it is lyrical content.

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

Again, our listeners like stories.  Any contest where they can respond and tell a story, such as sharing about their mother for a mother’s day contest.  Instead of a prize for the best story, we just pick a winner at random, but share as many comments on the air as possible.  We use our website to help gather the stories.  Our listeners just like to share and encourage each other.  We had one listener turn down the prize, they just wanted to share.

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

We do not report to R&R or CRW, so I believe we are low priority with the labels when it comes to servicing.  But, we have three full power stations and five repeaters.  We cover 27 counties in Northern Indiana and Southern Michigan.  We have a combined cume of nearly 150k, and there are many bookstores that sell Christian music and even more Wal-Marts within our listening area.  We want good music, and in return we will help the labels sell some cds.  I wish “Non-Reporting” stations could be serviced better, but I certainly understand the system.   TM Century is my new hero because of the disc they release with singles.  That really helps.

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

Remember the ad campaign from a few years ago?  It’s not your daddy’s Oldsmobile.  That was an attempt by Olds to reinvent themselves to a younger generation.  Although there are many great stations that are doing a wonderful job, overall Christian radio still needs help with image to the general public and let them know we aren’t your Daddy’s (or Grand Daddy’s) Christian Radio.  We are not the Church lady playing the organ with a tele-evangelist preaching.  We are real radio for real people.

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

Host/moderator.  The music is better than ever.  Station imaging is great.  We use Rick McConnell for our imaging and he consistently gives us stuff that hits it home.  So what I am saying, is the personality is part of the big picture, the station should have elements that minister and points the listener directly to the Lord.  The personality is a friend the listener can spend time with.  A friend that will point things out and share how a song or current event is affecting them.  I think the best thing for a radio personality is to not sound like a radio personality, but a friend.

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

I think all the FISH stations and K-Love are doing a great job doing radio for seekers and bringing listeners to the format that might not listen to Christian Radio.  WCSG in Grand Rapids is doing a great job.  They are taking an inspirational format and making it alive and fun to listen to.

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

There will always be a need for local radio, regardless of XM.  In order to stay competitive Christian stations will need to stay locally focused.  I have seen tremendous growth with CHR the past few years.  In five years, CHR may be the most popular Christian format (as far as number of stations).



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