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Radio Interview


Aaron Dicer

Program Director


Saginaw/Bay City, MI.



Aaron's Career Capsule
"Dice", is a broadcasting grad of Olivet Nazerene University where where he got his start on air and as Production director at WONU, Chicago.  After graduation Dice spent 5 years in full time youth ministry before going full time at WPRJ, Saginaw where he now serves as Program Director.

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

The Saginaw/Bay City/Midland area is the last real "populated" area heading north in Michigan.  It's interesting to serve both this "populated" area and still need to serve the many very small towns that surround it and us.  There are no "subburbs" in Northern Michigan, only metros and boondocks, so your listener in Metropolis is from a completely different world than your listener in Podunk (literally, "Podunk, MI" is in our listening area.)  It makes having a tight listener profile even more important. 


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

I love, love, love the impact a song can have on a given person at a given moment in their life. We play approximately 360 songs a day.  That's 360 opportunities to impact a life, and I didn't even have to say a word.


3. Here is your chance to testify on behalf of your station...How has God used WPRJ?

In more ways then we could ever know or probably would even imagine, I'm sure.  One story: A young gal got connected to our station through a friend, she loved the upbeat music, and she made the effort to come out and say "Hi" to the staff on occasion.  She really felt that 101.7 was a "friend" not a "frequency".  In the past year or so she has joined the Marines and found herself at war in Iraq.  Throughout her time, the station was able to be a support to her both in programming (online), and personal contact (emails, phone calls, cards) and when she returned she expressed how important we were to her staying strong through some incredible trials.


4. What advice could you give to a young person starting out in Christian radio?

Stay focused on purpose.  It's easy to lose the "why" amidst the "how".   There will be plenty of distractions and side roads, but if you embrace purpose, you will never be without a foundation.


5. What are some advantages/disadvantages of being non-commercial?

As a programmer? HA! The disadvantage is that you even have to think about that stuff.  I just want to program the best station possible and pretend the money will fly in from the heavens whenever it's needed.   I love that we can play more music than a commercial station, but I hate having to cater our sound to a certain demographic for financial reasons (so we don't).  A secondary advantage to being listener supported is that your listeners are literally invested in how your station does.  They want to see their money put to good use and will help in the success.


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

Overall, I think the labels are doing a great job.  I'd love to see a little more variety (it's the spice of life you know).   We are living in a food court generation, Chinese one day, tacos the next.  It's the same with music, it's much less about genre anymore and so much more about quality and relevance.  Send me more Hip Hop, pop punk, rock, techno, blues, whatever, if it's done well and relevant to my listener they will love it.

Oh, and online access to all singles at one central website needs to happen soon.  It will save them money and us time.


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

Becoming ingrown.  Spending so much time super serving the P1 Christian listener that we calcify that little bubble we've already created.  There is a balance somewhere between serving the listener and the potential listener, and I think as an industry we favor the former to the exclusion of the later right now.


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

To be a friend.


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

I love what Radio U (and TVU) are doing in Columbus, and a huge shoutout to my alma mater WONU ( who have one of the most progressive sounds going. 


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

Tough question.  I think radio in general will face some major competition very soon in the digital arena (whether it be satellite or mobile streaming).  Branding will become even more important as individual choices increase exponentially.  What makes your station different from the millions of others I could listen to?  If my answer is "well, we're a Christian station." then I've already lost.  For Christian radio to grow in the next 5 years we must offer a product that is unique and well defined as well as relevant and entertaining.


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