The Christian Radio Homepage


Radio Interview


Ty McFarland

Program Director





Tys' Career Capsule
Began in radio at age 16, moved away to go to college in Walla Walla, Washington and spent a year at KGTS. Didn't plan on radio as a career, but after spending about a year in physical therapy school, decided to pursue a career doing what I loved. Did production/imaging part-time at KTSY while going to college at Boise State and then after graduation, was hired as PD.
1. Tell us about your market and how it is unique?
Boise is a great town, like so many other cities across America. Midwestern values in a Northwestern setting. Like Peoria and Des Moines meet pine trees and high desert. 


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

Watching what God does with the little efforts we put on the air. You know those moments that just blow you away? Like when you air a caller that just wipes you out, or you give away a prize to a family that couldn't possibly deserve it more, or you hear someone from your station say something that just makes your jaw drop (because it's so good, not because you're horrified)? You know what I'm talking about because every person in Christian radio has them. I love those moments. Professionally, the opportunity to try new things, work through new challenges.   


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

Henry Kissinger once asked Chinese Prime Minister Zhou Enlai (noted for his leading role in that nation's Communist Revolution) what he thought of the significance of the French Revolution of 1789. His reply? "It's too soon to tell." It will be fascinating to hear what happened on "the other side of the radio" in heaven.


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

If your success, your career, your ratings, all rested on one add, you'd be pretty careful about that one add. Watching "The Apprentice" has really driven home to me again, how tough it is to compete for just one slot. If you believe that listeners are brutally tough about "adding" or "converting" radio stations, and that we're in the same position as the record companies, ultimately--we all want somebody to listen to us--then it makes sense to only add and convert songs that earn the right to be heard. Our MD, Bozz Fandrich has a natural talent for sifting through songs to find the great ones.


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

Jerry Woods, our APD has done an outstanding job of creating promotions that reinforce the strategy of the radio station. We always try to have our promotions do double duty. They need to reinforce our strategy, and if possible, assist with things like growing our donor list or email list, recycling listeners from daypart to daypart, assist with earned publicity from TV or print, etc. They don't need to be complex, or hard to "get", they're just designed to simply do double duty.


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

Labels operate in a vastly different climate than a decade ago. I believe labels are doing a wonderful job with limited resources.


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

Broadly speaking, probably courage and education. I think in most cases, we know the right things to do, but some of us still lack the fortitude to do those things. And if we're going to renew, grow, and regenerate our stations and industry, we'll need to nurture and grow people around us through education about what we do. 


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

Although it's been said, many times, many ways, ... it's to get people to listen to them, and then remember listening to them.    


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

Innovator is a word that means someone who initiates something new. Recently, The Kross, Radio U, WAY-FM, KXOJ, and WFSH, among others, have impressed me as innovators in our industry. Eric Thomas, APD at WZFS is an innovator in imaging. EMF stations have innovated, based upon their business model and staff. There are so many fine practitioners of established radio "best practices", but here are a few that I think just shine--they're a cut above: KLTY, KXOJ, KTIS, WPOZ, KSBJ, KCMS, WBGL, KSWP, WFHM and many, many others.Christian radio has never sounded better. 


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

The sky is the limit. I think we'll be surprised by what God has ready for us. Three cheers for our side. 



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