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Radio Interview



Jay Madas

Program Director


St Louis


Jays' Career Capsule
Career History:
WLBU - Lynchburg VA   1981-1983
WBRG - Lynchburg VA  1985-1990
WLVA - Lynchburg, VA  1988-1990
KXEN - St Louis, MO     1991-present
After being taught the basics of radio at WLBU  - the campus station of Liberty University - I was taught what Christian radio really was under the training of radio greats such as Don Harlan, Ray Jones, Jackie Howard, and the late John Abbott.  Though the industry has lost the talents of Don Harlan and Ray Jones to other pursuits - I know that Jackie Howard is still out there with us! With the training drilled deep - I headed out from Lynchburg, to St Louis.  Why St Louis ?  Well, honestly -- God led me here through a wrestling magazine!  When I was in High School - I was in the pen pal section of a wrestling magazine.  This little girl from St Louis wrote me - and we became the best of friends.  Years later -- God tugged at my heart and told me to go get her.  We've been married now for 12 years and have two wonderful children!  God can bless -- even wrestling fans!


1. How did you wind up at KXEN?

I applied to a newspaper ad for a part time board operators position.  They told me at the time of hire that they would probably never hire me full time because the owners prefered part time workers.  Two months later, I was full time - and that was 12 years ago.


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

The absolutely amazing concept that I can flick a little switch in the control room - and I create a signal that is sent out into the heavens - and I may never know how many people that have been touched, moved, convicted, or convinced by something that I have said.

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

God put me here!  The station would never have been able to go through the several different changes and transistions that it has gone through in the past 12 years if someone with my experience was not here to handle the ugly work behind the scenes.


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

That's easy - If you have a song about a Godly relationship with your girlfriend or wife ! GREAT IDEA!

If you have a song about a love for God -- GREAT IDEA! If you have a song that you cannot tell if it is about a girlfriend or God -- thank you ever so much for the shiney new coaster! Give me a song that says something - and sounds good while it does! 

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

Our listeners are interested in things that involve our staff and/or programmers.  Remotes are BIG here!  Whenever we say that we are going out - they come!  It is amazing to see the diverse cross section of people that actually listen.  From teen kids who want us to play Jump 5 - 24/7 - to 50 year olds that think that we need to play "Angel of Light" from Petra - every hour on the hour.  Getting out and meeting the folks -- they love it!


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

Not to be silly -- but ANSWER A PHONE!  I am so tired of voice mail!  Another thing would be to actually learn how to use a database.  I am still receiving singles sent to our station for a program director that has not been here for over 6 years - addressed to a station that has not been in our ownership for over 8.  Yet, for the past two years - I have been trying to get service and every month I am sent begging and pleading for singles!  I started in radio broadcasting at 97 watts in market 86.  We had at least three copies of every single released sent to us.  We were a reporting station. I am now at 50,000 watts -in a Top 20 market --  since we are not a reporting station -  I have to literally beg to play a 4 minute commercial for someone's album. 



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

 I think that all of our formats have skewed somehow!  We have completely lost the AC format.  I think that it has something to do with the fact that those programming the main stations in the country tend to be in the younger half of the demographic.  I look at artists on the chart that are not even IN the demographic - while other artists speaking directly to the core $$ group of the demograghic have been religated to Inspirational.  Is it any wonder that the industry is suffering ? 

    I also believe that there seems to be this thought in the industry that if it is secular - it must be good.  I was highly offended that I was asked to pay mega bucks to receive chart information from a magazine that was going to devote only two or three pages to my genre - yet still charge me through the nose for the privaledge.  THEN -- send me something with half naked people on the cover.  Try explaining that to the 75 year old evangelist who was dropping his tapes off when the mail came in. 


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

 He/She needs to be a compliment to what is going on musically.  As I tell my announcers, "..they don't tune in for you - they tune in for the music - so please make their visit enjoyable   Add comments that enhance the message - or the listeners knowledge of the group or particular song.  If what you are going to say will step on the song - or detracts from it in any way - go back - turn off the transmitter - and go home - because we will have lost our focus". -- It is called the "Jay-Newbie" speech :D


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

 I still think that Christian radio is not done with the web yet.  I see there being a lot more interactive things in the future.  We are already seeing that programmers are putting their content up for stations to download.  I see this as something exciting!  I hope that more record companies will take the cue and start servicing our music this way.  A sible e-mail with a password bulk sent -- and in 5 minutes - a new song can be on the air.  Inotof / M20 -- GREAT IDEA!  Please continue!  Curb Records -- feeding us through!  PLEASE continue!


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