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Radio Interview


Doug Hannah






Doug's Career Capsule
Started career in 1984 at hometown Christian station in Jackson, MI; then afternoons on Family Life Radio / Detroit; 6 years with New Life Radio in Illinois as MD and afternoons, including helping to launch WCFL in the southwest suburbs of Chicago in 1994.  Then onto Houston for Promotions / MD / APD / PD @ KSBJ, Houston; then Network PD of WAY-FM / CHRSN, Nashville from 2001 - 2004...
1. Doug... you were the very first PD to be interviewed when HisAir.Net launched in 2002....what's Doug Hannah been up to? 

Well gosh, I didn't realize that, Ted.  I'm honored - thanks!

I'm one of the strategic advisors (some call us consultants) with Goodratings Strategic Services, working with Alan Mason & John Frost and getting their coffee.  I'm working with a great team of people at KSLT / KLMP in Rapid City, SD, helping them to launch a new station in the first quarter of 2005.  In addition I freelance voicetrack on about a half-dozen stations across the USA, and I just recently joined forces with SIRIUS Satellite Radio as Format Manager for SIRIUS-12, Spirit.  I'll eventually hold down an airshift there as well.


2. Many people were shocked you left WAY FM...what happened?

I was at a stage in my life where I was starting to think about venturing out into working for myself, and unbeknownst to me that was coming at a time when they were ready to help make that happen!  :-)  But my relationship with WAY-FM remains very positive and in fact I still do middays on the CHRSN Network.  I play fantasy football with my former boss.  I love WAY-FM, every single individual who works there, and I always will.


3. Why do you think there is a need for your services (consulting) in Christian radio?

Radio stations reach out to people like John, Alan, or me for one of two reasons:  Vision....or pain.  I try to help with both whether a station is already a success but wants to head to places they've never been before, or if the station is underachieving.  I don't ever presume anyone "needs" me or my services, but often it takes an objective, experienced perspective to help get to where it is a station wants to go.  I found that invaluable to me as a PD, and I'd like to think there are other PDs who feel the same way.


4. What do you look at as the main criteria in a song receiving airplay? 

You mean beyond my own innate ability to prophesy and "pick hits"?  Generally, I like to find out if the audience wants to (or is likely to want to) hear it.


5. In your experience what kind of promotions work best for Christian radio stations? 

Ones that tap into what the audience cares about, connects with their values, puts them closer to the artists, and is unique to the station.  Either that, or giving away lamps.  Lots of lamps.


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

The labels do a real nice job, I think, on so many levels.  For a long time it seemed many didn't understand it's radio's job to reflect the tastes, values and preferences of our listeners and NOT to lead people to a particular place musically that we want them to go.  Radio stations don't need their music to be an acquired taste; we need to add only the songs we have very good reason to believe will become hits with the right exposure.  I don't think that's such an issue now, although there will always be the "take a risk v. play it safe" debate.


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

Lack of a clear, definable, measurable strategy for success, and our own low expectations of ourselves and what we can accomplish, by God's grace.


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

Talk to me about the things and people I care about, in a way that is real and human with emotion I can hear and that sounds like you'd sound if we were just meeting at a party or at church.  And when you're not doing that, play a song I love.

No, seriously, when I say talk about stuff * I * care about and play songs * I * love, I mean me.  All Christian radio stations should talk about what I, Doug Hannah care about and play only what I want to hear.  So it's the NFL and 24-7 Switchfoot here on out.  So, get going.


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

I admire the work and the success of stations we all know and love like Z88.3 (#1 Adults 25-54 in market #38!), KLTY, and Atlanta's Fish.  I'm very proud of all the WAY-FM stations and what they have been able to accomplish.  I think WCQR is overlooked a lot, but they do a fine job.  I'm very very impressed with 93-9 The Song in Indianapolis.  Oh yeah, and WBGL, KCMS, KTSY, and KXOJ -- I admire them all.  There are some I'm missing, but I'm a fan of any station that embraces focus and plays to win.


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

I don't really know, but I'm VERY excited about the future.  I really believe the power of this music and the connection it uniquely makes is going to only get more opportunities to be heard in many cool ways that haven't happened before.  And I plan to enjoy the ride!


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