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Radio Interview


Joe Polek



Bangor, ME



Joe's Career Capsule
After attending Messiah College, I received a job at WMSJ/Portland, ME as the Promotions Director and Afternoon Drive host.  A few years later, I was promoted to Assistant PD and Morning Show Co-Host.  After over 6 years at WMSJ, God called me to WHCF/Bangor, ME, where I now am revamping the station as we transition to an Inspo Station.


1. Personally how do you keep the ministry in the “business”? 

I think it’s very important for the GM to be the one to worry about the business. When they are worrying about making sure that we have enough income to pay the bills each month, then the PD and Promotions department can concentrate on the ministry of the station, without having to cross the ministry/business line.  Following that format, I’ve been able to keep “ministry” in my mind when coming to decisions, and allow the GM to keep “business” in mind.


2. Overall, how is Christian radio different today, from 5 years ago?

More and more Christian radio is becoming real, relevant/relatable to the audience.  Christian radio has become more about drawing people in who may not necessarily ever enter a church.  When we concentrate on the ministry and outreach aspect of radio that makes us unique, I think that’s when we’ll see real growth.  More and more stations are now major players in their market share then they were 5 years ago.


3. What do you think are the main characteristics of today’s Christian radio PD?

PD’s that want their station to be real and relevant/relatable to their audience.  I think it’s important to not just do radio well, but to do it the very best way possible.  If we are serving our Lord, then He calls us to do it the very best we can… and not just “get by”.  As Christian radio PD's, we are doing a much better job relating to the audience and caring about their needs before our own.


4. What kind of promotions work best for Christian radio?

Ones that inspire others!  Yes, it’s important to do the fun give-aways with CDs and VeggieTales DVDs and all… as they can still be fun to win, but it’s important to try to make a difference… change something in a listener’s life for the better.


5. How do you think Christian Radio labels can better serve Christian radio?

I’ve struggled with this for some time now.  I have many friends in the label side of the business, and I’ve asked them many times why they don’t ask Radio for advice.  Who is buying their CDs?  Radio’s listeners.  So who should they ask what song should be the next single?  Radio.  I still find it amazing that one of the best songs I’ve ever heard on a Christian CD has never been released to radio.  We played the song at my former station, and it was nearly as big for us as “I Can Only Imagine”… yet the label didn’t listen to me or the artist and they never released it.  We played it, and the label missed out on a ton of sales nationwide.


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

Being original and unique.  From the songs that are written, to the songs being “released” to radio, to the songs being added… we need to think for ourselves and do what works for our market… not follow the lead of a station on the other side of the country.


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

To be a positive influence on the radio in their community.  To be an alternative to the “junk” that other stations may talk about.  To be a light in a dark world.  To be real and relevant/relatable.


8. What, if any, Christian radio stations do you consider as innovators today?

KDUV in California is great.  Their airstaff, their programming, and their ministry to their community and to other Christian radio stations… they are first-class.

With the type of station that I am now the PD for, I’ve been watching what WRBS in Baltimore is doing, as we are a similar station.  They guys are top-notch.


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

Hopefully, becoming even more of a player in every market in America, and across the world.  The world needs this music… they just may not know it yet.



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