The Christian Radio Homepage


Radio Interview


Jim McDermott


Lake Area Educational Broadcasting Foundation

Camdenton, MO



Jims' Career Capsule
Presently President and General Manager of the Lake Area Educational Broadcasting Foundation, which operates 5 FM's in Missouri: KCVO, Camdenton, KCVJ, Osceola, KCVK, Otterville, KCVQ, Knob Noster and KCVZ, Dixon.  I started in radio in 1978 as a DJ at KRMS in Osage Beach, MO (about 10 miles from where I am now.)  I got in Christian radio at KHYM, Gilmer, TX, in '79 and they transfered me to Dubuque, IA in '80 where I developed one of the first contemporary inspo formatted stations, KLXL.  At the end of 1982, KLXL went country and I moved back to the Lake of the Ozarks and started KCVO, which has grown to a five, and soon to be six, station group.
1. How did you wind up at SPIRIT FM?
I was out of a job in Jan. '83, and I was approached by a group that wanted to start a Christian station at the Lake.


2. What is the most fulfilling aspect to you personally about Christian radio?
Knowing that I have a part in helping people grow in their spiritual lives.


3.How has God used you in your role at SPIRIT FM?
In just about every way imaginable.  At first I did everything--morning DJ, engineer, GM, PD, production, janitor, secretary.  Now I'm just GM and engineer, but my role has changed to primarily working on network expansion.


4. What is the criteria that determines if a song receives airplay on your station?
Does it have a good, singable hook?  Is the production quality high enough?  Does it touch the heart, that is does the Spirit speak through the song?  and it helps if it is by a core artist :-)

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

Because we are so spread out geographically, our best promotions are on air.  That way everyone can participate just by listening.  Now we occassionally try to get out and see the public at concerts and events, but it's hard to see everyone when it's 250 miles from one end of our signal to the other.


6. How do you think Christian Record labels can better serve Christian radio?
Keep sending us great songs, don't pigeonhole Christian radio as sub-par radio,  and although it doesn't make economic sense, please don't ignore the smaller markets.  Help those stations sound bigger than they are.


7. In your opinion what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian radio today?
Watering down the format so that it's just another musical style, but without the power of the Spirit, and the temptation to sell signals off just because people are offering millions of dollars.


8. What do you believe is the primary role of the Christian radio air personality today?
I think managers and PD's need to rethink this big time.  Air personalities are there to CONNECT with the listener.  They have to do things that are memorable.  If they are just liner jocks, they should be replaced by a computer.  Christian radio has to promote the "stars" they have on the air.


9. What (if any) other Christian radio stations do you consider as innovators today?
There are a lot of great stations out there today reaching millions more listeners than we did just a few years ago, but I would have to single out Jason Sharp and WYLV as a station that seems to come up with the most creative new ideas and promotions.


10. Where do you see Christian radio in 5 years?
If we can continue to connect with our listeners, with memorable air personalities, and we keep getting great songs, I think you'll start seeing a lot of Christian stations breaking into the top ten in several markets.  I think the hunger for spiritual things will continue to grow, as the darkness in America keeps getting darker.



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