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Radio Interview


Mark Michaels

Program Director


Siloam Springs, AR



Mark's Career Capsule
While in college I had the opportunity to do mornings and help with programming at KLRC (I also spent a summer doing overnights at Oldies 95/KLDZ just so I would never run out of "weird caller" stories :-) ). In 1997 I went to KGBI-Omaha and had the privilege to be there almost 10 years before I was invited to come back and help program KLRC and work with our broadcasting students at John Brown University.  I also get to consult Mission Nebraska's My Bridge Radio network of stations


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

To me this all comes down to priorities and motivation... no matter where you are, we all have "business" to get done each day, but we also all have the chance to invest ourselves in people and finding ways to be about what really matters for eternity.


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

Without question we're reaching more people; more and more stations are finding a way to raise their standard of excellence, stay relevant, and reach out to a greater portion of their community.


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

I really believe the best PD's are great coaches, architects, and students. We all have to find a way to build and grow a great team, blend the art & science of crafting a compelling on-air product, and ultimately continue to grown, learn, and adapt to a changing culture. You probably can't underestimate the value of great mentors. I know how blessed I've been to have guys like Tom Sommerville, Alan Mason, and Chuck Finney take me under their wing.


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

At KLRC our mission is to communicate hope in Christ so really it comes down to finding the absolute best songs our target will connect with, and songs that will support the overall mission and strategy of the station.


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

I've always believed that the CCM format should own the "community service" image in any market so we spend a lot of time on those type of promotions. We're also always looking for relevant promotions that will reinforce our family-friendly image and break down the stereotypes that Christian radio is not "fun".


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

We're all in this battle of trying to adapt to a changing media landscape. As long as the labels continue to help provide compelling content and we continue to find out how to work together in mutually beneficial ways, we can have a great partnership.


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

Most of us seem to still struggle with awareness issues and finding ways to market the benefits of our format to potential listeners.


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

We preach to our on-air staff that their job is to find a way to memorably connect and build an authentic relationship with the listener... one break at a time! More and more it's all about what is happing between the songs that will help stations stay relevant and viable. CCM has a huge advantage in that when properly communicated, God's love and the hope of the Gospel is still the most compelling content on earth!


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

There are a lot of great stations finding creative ways to reach an audience... for a long time I've admired what WAY-FM, KLTY, KSBJ, KCMS and an others have done. The staff at My Bridge Radio are trying some innovative things in using radio to unite and mobilize and entire state.  And often in spite of me, I have to brag on our incredible team at KLRC, each does some really creative, amazing work!


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

I wish I knew, I think we're all trying to figure out how audience patterns are going to shift and what it will take to stay viable. The more we embrace ourselves as original content providers, and new technology as a tool to reach people, I believe we can continue to grow. It's a huge challenge but it's also going to be a lot of fun!



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