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Radio Interview


David Shult

Operations Manager





Davids' Career Capsule
I first got the radio bug when my cub scout den visited KUIK in Hillsboro, Oregon (my home town).  From that point on there was nothing else that I wanted to do.  I started hanging out there when I was 15, doing any and everything they would let me do.  I finished high school and enrolled in the Speech Communications program at Oregon State University.  After a couple months I was working part time at KFLY in Corvallis.  Since then Iíve done everything that can be done in a radio station from manager to engineer, even sales.  Iíve had a hand in building 4 stations, installing a couple transmitters, programming and music directing.  About 7 years or so ago, the meaninglessness of the secular broadcasting world really hit me, and I felt I was being called to offer my experience and skills to Christian broadcasting.  I wasnít too sure where to start, and Iíd heard that there was this satellite Christian music station broadcasting from Scappose, Oregon, so went out there and applied for work.  They told me I wasnít qualified enough for what they were doing, so I continued looking around and working in secular radio.  A friend of mine was involved in building new facilities for KCCS in Salem, Oregon, so he hired me to help with that build and to host mornings.  I loved it and would have been very happy there, but a Portland radio station was interested in me hosting their morning show and offered so much money that, since Iíve got a family, I just couldnít turn down.  After working there for a time, the format was changed and I ended up working for the Crawford stations in Portland for about 6 months then resigned. So I was looking for work again and ended up going for a job interview to be a weekend board operator for KPDQ, ended up being hired as Program Director, and have just been promoted as Operations Manager for all 3 Salem stations here in Portland:  KPDQ-FM/KPDQ-AM/KFIS.  About 37 years to get here.

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

Portland is the best place in the United States to live and work.  Weíre just about an hour from the ocean, about an hour from skiing, far enough south of Seattle to have better weather, and far enough north of California to have better everything.  We have this reputation of being one of the most un-churched areas of the country, but there is a revival attitude that is underway here with diverse denominations coming together to work for the Greater Glory, focusing on our commonality instead of our differences.

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

The thought that instead of selling someone the latest doodad that they donít need, weíre exposing people to something that has Eternal Value.


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

This is a difficult question to answer.  I donít think Iíll really have an answer for you in my lifetime.  I pray that Iím displaying a Christian life in everything I do, from the way I interact with the staff and listeners, to the decisions that are made in all aspects of operating the stations.  I take seriously that everything we say and do is witnessing for The Lord, and do my human best to conduct myself accordingly.  But, I am consistently reminded that Christians arenít perfect, weíre just Forgiven. 


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

That question would be better answered by our Music Director Kat Taylor (nominated for MD of the year by Radio and Records by the way!!)

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

The ones that are fun to listen to and involve the audience, especially if we can make an emotional connection.  This one would be better answered by our Promotions/Marketing Director (the BEST in radio), Leslie Pfau.

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

This would be another good question for Kat.  Personally, Iíd like to hear a broader diversity within the format concepts.  It sometimes sounds like most of the music that is coming out is indistinguishable from music thatís already out.  I think that adds to a perception by the casual listener that weíre  playing fewer titles/artists than we actually are.  It would be great if they wanted to spend some cash to promote developing artists.


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

The need to balance the reality of the marketplace against the entrenched perceptions of the core audience and ownership. I also think there is within the industry a feeling that Christian radio is, by definition,  somehow not as good as secular radio and will always be an also ran.  One of the attitudes that Iím taking not only with The Fish, but also with both KPDQs, is that that is just an excuse.  If we truly believe in our Message, and we truly steward our resources to His Greater Glory, we ought to be dominating the market Ė if that is His Will.  Because we are continuously witnesses of our Faith, we should be the best radio in the market. 


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

To provide the glue that ties together all the elements that are in place to define the radio station in the mind of the listener. 

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

Chuck Finney would probably disown me if I didnít say KLTY!  Seriously, Iíve been quite impressed with where Chuck seems to be leading all the Fish stations.


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

My focus is on our market, right now.  Where would we like to be in 5 years?  Dominant in ratings and top billing.  By doing the best radio in the market, with adequate marketing and promotion, and if itís His Will, we will do it!

If you look past the technology, what is it that makes a radio station successful?  It is the people.  Among the biggest Blessings Iíve received in my life is the wonderful people Iíve met doing Christian broadcasting.  Especially here at Salem Communications in Portland.  It starts with our Manager Dennis Hayes who sets the overall ambiance with his pastorís heart, all the way to our always cheerful receptionist Suez Smith.  I am surrounded by exceptional people that are coming together to form a team that is truly awesome in their ability, dedication, compassion, and Faith.  All Glory to God for the success these stations achieve!


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