The Christian Radio Homepage

Radio Interview



Chuck Tyler

Director Of Programming-Salem Communications Los Angeles


Los Angeles, CA.



Chuck's Career Capsule

Chuck Tyler has diverse experience programming stations of various formats in some of America's top radio markets. Recent career highlights include morning drive in Los Angeles (KFSH-FM, CCM format), Program Director positions at KXL-FM Portland (Hot A/C), WVEZ-FM Louisville (Soft A/C), WWKY-AM Louisville (Talk), and WLAC-FM Nashville (A/C). Chuck's earlier career includes being part of the programming teams involved in the launch of two diverse formats, B-94 Pittsburgh (CHR) in 1980 and KFI Los Angeles (Talk) in 1987. When not on the air Chuck enjoys body-boarding, bicycling, playing the drums and spending time with his wife Doris, four teenagers and puppy dog Gizmo.

1. Aside from the obvious, what's the biggest difference  working in Christian radio as opposed to secular radio ?

By and large it is a much more honest and positive experience.  It's great to know that we are part of changing lives everday. I was part of changing lives in general market radio, but not always in a positive way. 


2. How important are contests to CCM stations?

For an A/C CCM station probably about as important as to listeners of our mainstream A/C competition. Music is the key.  Just last week I happened to ask our 3,500 person Listener Advisory Board a question about those million dollar contests that are all over the radio nowadays. The response was overwhelmingly that we should not do that sort of contest.  Most listeners felt that the money would be better spent on other items.  So when we do a contest we want it to have strong intrinsic value and a high 'warm and fuzzy' quotient. For example starting in two weeks we will be giving away 6 mini vans over a 90 day period. It's a win a key contest...each of three winners will get one van for themselves and one to give to the church of their choice.


3. Do you think the CCM format is heading in a mainstream direction?  please elaborate.

If you mean, sounding like a ' real radio station' , I would say yes and that is a positive trend.  The distinction will always be the message in the music and that is something that our general market counterparts can't tap into. That key difference will be our unique selling position. The challenge for CCM is the tremendous lack of awareness of the music on the part of the listeners. Every successful radio station is built on familiarity, so driving familiarity (making hits) is job one. 


4. Who are your programming mentors?

Dan Vallie/Steve Kingston-From B-94 in Pittsburg early in my career taught me a bunch. Dan continues to teach me on an on-going basis. Steve Davis in CHR.  Also I learned alot from being around folks that I  worked with in Full Service and Talk radio...Ken Kohl, Tom Leykis, Gary Owens, folks like that. 


5. How important is the internet to your radio station ?

It can be a tremendous ministry to folks that don't have access to a terrestrial CCM station.  Our VP here in LA Dave Armstrong is one of the real internet visionaries.  I just stand back and watch him go.  He and Bob Shaw here launched one of the very first internet only stations over 5 years ago (Christian Pirate Radio).  He has also created some very exciting scenarios that will allow the streamed Fish format to be both worldwide and local at the same time.  This model will take streaming to a level that makes economic sense. 








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