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Radio Interview

Johnathon Eltrevoog





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Johnathon's Career Capsule

  • WWGN - Ottawa, IL (Moody, later AFR affiliate) hosted morning, then afternoon drive show. 1997-2002
  • WCMY/WRKX - Mainstream Talk/Hot AC cluster - news, sports, personality 1999-2002
  • WKAN-AM - Mainstream Talk/Country/CHR cluster - news        2003-2008
  • Moody Radio - National Programming Assistant 2004-2005
  • WONU - Program Director/Morning Host - 2002-present

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1. How has WONU evolved over the last few years?

We play better songs than ever before....and continue to get a better understanding of our audience (which should happen at any station). Ratings success has followed with this "evolution" and we continue to hear great stories of life change. In music selection, I care about lyrics first, which may not have been the case here in the past.


2. Has WONU made any changes due to economic situation, been affected in any way?

Not particularly, actually. 2008 wrapped up strong and so far, 2009 has been very good. Maybe in some minor ways.


3. How is Chicagoland a unique Christian market?

There is only one Christian station (WMBI-FM) that covers the entire market. The other (Christian music stations) each cover segments of the market, but no one signal covers the whole thing. That being said, the stations have a great relationship with one another and I appreciate very much the fellowship and interaction that we have between ourselves.


4. What criteria do you require for a song to be played on WONU?

I think we've got quite a balance of songs and sounds on the air. While I am very careful to guard the "sound" and brand of our station, I don't always disqualify a song from having a chance on the air here simply because on first listen, you "couldn't hear that on the air here." Our station is not primarily about a genre or sound, but rather it's made up by songs which are defined as connecting, great hit songs. The song needs to be a seamless, easy fit for the life group of those who listen and the audience we're going after.


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

Ones that feature great prizes or payoffs, are easily and clearly defined and articulated, that listeners feel like they can win, and are imagined and developed with the listener in mind (first, not second or third).


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

More content.heart of the artist-type audio for promos, more information about new artists, perhaps facilitating one-on-one conversations more often with new priority artists either by phone or in person.
Additionally, some might need to be a little more transparent - a little less programmatic in regards to the songs we're talking about. I get turned off by memorized pitches of songs. And sometimes there's an awkwardness when I need to bring up something negative about a song. We should be able to openly talk about that - and perhaps the label can reciprocate with struggles they have with artists or promotions.knowing that we're in the same boat trying to reach the same people.
Oh, and don't assume that because we're a CHR station that we necessarily want a "hotter" song of lesser quality than the AC single. If the AC single is a smash hit, I'll take that one.


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

-Content that isn't very real (or just not very good). We're doing that to ourselves. It doesn't have to be done in an annoying "I'm trying to be real so look at how cool I am" type way, but I believe listeners appreciate thoughtful content more than recycled content. And it needs to be professional just like anything else we do.

- Not challenging listeners in their spiritual walk simply because we need to let them get away with thinking it should be all about them all the time. Sorry, that's not "Christian."
-Inability to research our audience or potential audience
-Personnel (people) is not a priority for too many stations (Doing too many things half-effort rather than a few things really well)


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

Presenting a well-balanced program employing heavy and light content - all designed and communicated in a digestible, relatable, God-honoring way. (I'm sure I should try to use the word "Relevant" in here somewhere too, right)? J


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

It depends on how you define "innovator." I think that a lot of the stations typically referred to when this question is asked are usually just doing a better job of managing its resources, researching its audience, and wisely, prayerfully, and systematically executing its vision and plan.

The following stations are on my iPhone streaming app: (which doesn't mean they're innovators, I suppose - several of them aren't even Christian stations) WLS, WFRN, WONU, WMBI, WGN, Q98.5 in Rockford (because Denise Pagano is cool) Mancow,(he's cool too) WVLI (they're in town here), WAY-FM, KWVE


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

Click here.



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