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Radio Interview


Dave St. John

Program Director

KZZQ Q99.5

Des Moines





Daves' Career Capsule
Started at Ronald Reagan’s old station, WOC-AM/Davenport, as a board-op for the talknet shows. 7 years in mainstream CHR, AC, and Country brought me to the Quad-Cities, Waterloo, and suburban Chicago (ok, fringe suburban! J)…but man, WDEK/DeKalb was a breeding ground for some great talent in the 80’s and early 90’s. I’ve been privileged to be a part of the WAY-FM/West Palm Beach team, WNCB/Duluth, and a total of 5 years at KZZQ/Des Moines. 8 years of PD work…Wow.


1. How did you wind up at KZZQ?


Iowans have a rubber band on their back, and after a while it snaps and brings you home. My wife’s from Iowa, and we had a deep desire to be here for family’s sake.

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

It’s a unique privilege to work directly for Kingdom gain. What other radio format allows you to play music that moves people both emotionally and spiritually? There’s a bond listeners have with what God’s doing through us that is just too cool.


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

We’ve been able to focus the station over the past couple of years and tighten down the screws month by month. Rachel Leigh has a really good ear for great music and is excellent at staying focused on the objectives of Q99.5 KZZQ. What a great thing to have our target listener doing music! Ace McKay is on middays, and schools us all on how to be a well targeted air talent. I’m also proud of the work Randy Ross has made in evenings.


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

Q99.5 KZZQ is unique in its approach to be an outreach station in the market. That’s why the station was created, and that’s what the board continues to expect: We’re sensitive about Christianese, and cheesy music that sometimes still creeps in. We’re working hard to seek out music that seekers will find appealing and relatable.

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

Jennifer targeted. One of our favorites is “Rachel’s Girl’s Night Out.” Rachel Leigh is the ‘host’ of a ladies-only evening in the auditorium outside our studios. We deck it out with a chocolate fondue fountain, coffee, lots of ‘home-based businesses’ (Tastefully Simple, Tupperware, etc), back massages, pedicures, etc. The key word: sharing.

The other is the ‘Q Carnival.’ Load up that auditorium with inflatable bounce houses, fun little games, and an eating area with a thousand hot dogs….then make it a free event. We do it in early March, when young families are bouncing off the walls with cabin fever.

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

They’ve done a great job. You can really see who’s making a big mark in radio….they’re the one’s who return phone calls, serve in any way they can, and listen to what you’re saying.

5 bucks says you’d find the same thing about great programmers, too.


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

Developing at-work listeners. However, signal reach in many metros is a big issue, too. Q99.5 KZZQ is one of those stations that really could use a substantially better signal across Des Moines.


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

Same as it was yesterday: encourage, entertain, and build relationships. We have a long way to go, but I must say today’s Christian radio personalities (on average) are much, much better than 10 years ago. GMA, Burkhart seminars, and consulting groups like Audience Development Group working with leading stations have helped.


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

We’ve seen great leaders who have brought our industry towards the ‘sweet spot’ and helped us all to grow. Innovators are doing something different and new….that would still be Radio U.


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