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Radio Interview


Nikki Cantu

Program Director

Radio U

Columbus, OH



Nikki's Career Capsule
I have been with Radio U since the start - March 22, 1996. Became Music Director of Radio U in Oct. of 97. Added MD for our music video network TV U in March of 2001. In November of 2005 became Program Director of both Networks. On-Air for Radio U.  I co-host our Morning Show called The R!OT with Obadiah.

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

What's great about working at RadioU and TVU is that as networks we get to impact people all over the world.  Columbus, Ohio - where we are out of is of course my favorite.  One of our main targets is the campus of the Ohio State University.  Each year there's a new group of people in our city to reach.  Once they are done with school we want them to love RadioU enough that they take it back home with them and tell the people there about it. 


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

The listeners and being there as a help to the bands.   Knowing that you are apart of their lives.


3. How do you personally keep the ministry in the business?

Things get busy and it's easy to fall into the day to day thing.  If things ever get too "business" then take a step back and read some e-mails from listeners.  Realize there's real people who listen with real lives and problems.  It puts things in perspective and helps me realize this is a ministry and I should not think of it as a job.  


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

First off it's got to be a great song.  If it's just so so, or the production is not as great as it could be then we just will pass.  Our competition is the general market stations, it has to be even better then what they have.  We then look at who the song is trying to reach - what is it saying.  We make sure that it lines up with who we program after.


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

Tech stuff.  Gadgets, Gaming Systems, ect.  One of my favorite promotions was with the XBOX 360.  We gave away 2 during it's release week and it was amazing how crazy people went.  They would of done anything just to get registered for the chance to win!  Hearing grown men cry is a sad thing....


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

I think that labels are doing a better job with servicing singles.  Using programs like Promo Only have only made things better.  I do wish that some would be a bit better with promotions.  There are so many creative ways that they can use Radio to promote their bands.  Don't be afraid to come with ideas.  


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

Stereotypes.....  Listeners might judge your station with out even listening to it based on a preconceived notion of what something Christian would be like.  You have to make your product the best possible so that thought ends the second they turn you on.   


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

You are there for the listeners.  It's the DJ and the music working together. 


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

Due to contractual agreements I can only listen to RadioU.  If I change the network I would be killed.  j/k.....or am I.....


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

Depends on what we want to do.  Can either do the same old thing and not be making an impact or step it up and in 5 years instead of being known as the best Christian Radio station in your town be the BEST STATION out of all of them. 


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