The Christian Radio Homepage





Paul Anthony


General Manager






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Paul's Career Capsule
I started at WPEO in Peoria in 1982 because they took pity on a kid with no experience who was willing to work for free (we call these people INTERNS now!). Eventually wound up at WIBI/Carlinville, IL in 1988 until 2005. Did everything there. Not kidding about that. In 2005 I joined WAY-FM as their GM in Wichita, KS.


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

Keeping the ministry focus is a challenge when you deal with the nuts and bolts of station life, but it's the stories from listeners that keeps the target in focus. Life change. That's it. Nothing else matters. Isn't that why we got into this thing in the first place???


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

For some, it's not any different. Or it's worse. Sorry, but it's true. For others, they have accepted the fact that listeners want great content from people who have SOMETHING TO SAY and are REAL. Those stations have moved from where they were 5 years ago and made "Christian radio" better. Overall, we are getting better because we are getting away from the fluff, flake and fake of what we used to be known for.


3. What do you think are the main characteristics of a Christian radio GM?

Certainly not stunning good looks! How about focus, leadership, innovation, vision and compassion for those around them. Those seem like worthwhile pursuits.


4. What ways or methods do you think work best to keep your staff motivated?

Encouragement, understanding that they are people with lives too, care about them as people. Oh, and chocolate. Lots of chocolate.


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

Ones that have nothing to do with Christian radio. We did a promotion once, where we gave stuff away on the air because a sponsor had provided it to us and we thought that someone might be able to use the prize. It was a horrible promotion. The best ones are about making your community a better place, connecting people to other people and the things they are passionate about, and focused on something besides building cume.


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

Are there Christian Record labels that don't do a good job of this? I think the ones that are great are ones that are more interested in serving our listeners instead of serving us. Not sure if labels test and research their songs, but that could be an interesting tool for stations.


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

Unless we are willing to put real people on the air, make them their own "brands" and allow them to engage the culture, we are going to continue playing music that people can get ANYWHERE and having zero impact in their lives. Pandora has 1 MILLION new subscribers every SECOND (that statistic is exaggerated and totally made get the point) and some markets have more than one CCM radio outlet (we have 6...NOT making that up!), so we had better find compelling ways to make friends with people.


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

Entertain me. Make me think. Make me laugh. Hard. Show me your life...ALL of I can relate to you. Be that friend to me who enriches my life every time we are together.


9. What Christian radio stations do you see as innovators?

WAY-FM (not because I work here), Z88.3 (the resources they have put into marketing, serving their listeners, and plugging into their community are unparalleled), RadioU and a few others. Honestly, most people don't innovate. They imitate. But for the love, if you are going to imitate, at least imitate excellence.


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

I think formats will disappear. I think we will have worship music and then everything else (horizontal music) will collect in a pool. Christian radio will have to become radical (after we worked so hard to not cause spiritual waves!) but not in the fundamentalist, Bible-thumping way. We will have to get increasingly bolder and obviously stand for something while being totally focused on Jesus and honest about real life...our real life. Increasingly people are going to hate Christians (and Christian radio) but they are going to be drawn in a deeper way to JESUS and Jesus living in us. We cannot preach to them like we did 30 years ago (or yesterday for some stations) or point our fingers at them or act like we know everything about the way they should go. We need to point to Jesus while being transparent about our own brokenness or we will fail our culture and yet again, create a sub-culture that is safe and completely irrelevant.
Oh, and I think we will be celebrating Chris Tomlin's 78th #1 song.



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