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Radio Interview


Lori Walden

Music Director


Springfield, IL



Loris' Career Capsule
I first started here at WIBI in December of 1997, the winter of my junior year of high school.  I began as a weekend fill-in announcer, but after a few months I “earned” the weekend graveyard shift.  After six months we got our first automation system and I moved to weekend mornings.  Then from March of 1999 until September of 2002, I programmed and hosted our weekend evening CHR show in addition to staying on weekend mornings.  In January of 2002, I became the weekday evening announcer.  I graduated from college in May of 2003 and was hired full-time and named Music Director and midday announcer.


1. What is the most fulfilling aspect to you personally about Christian radio?
That God uses the efforts of broken people who fall short every day to draw His children closer to Him through music.  It humbles me every day to realize that it's not about us, but it's about Him and how He works for the glory of His name.
2. How has God used you in your role at WIBI?
I think that's a hard question to answer...I always see it from the perspective of how I've been blessed by being able to be a part of the team here at WIBI.  God has placed so many incredible people in my life because of my job and has used them to challenge me in so many ways.  I'm so thankful that I'm able to serve with a great staff of people here and within the industry...that we all have the common goal of trying to reach people for Christ through radio. 
3. What is the criteria that determines if a song receives airplay on your station?
Above all, it has to be a GREAT song.   It has to connect with Kelli (our 38-year-old mom) and be able to encourage her or draw her closer to God.  After that, it has to be well produced and be able to fit in with the other songs that we play.

4. What kind of promotions work best for your station?
I'm not promotions director, but to me, our best promotions are events that we are part of that affect the community.  In December, we teamed up with a local church and gave away $10 of gas to about 600 people.  I think it was the best event that I've been a part of since I've been here.  It was amazing to see how God provided for a lot of needy people that day.  It wasn't something that was about us but about blessing others and impacting the community.

5. How do you think Christian Record labels can better serve Christian radio?
Overall, I think record labels are starting to understand the needs of Christian radio and are working to only send us great songs.  But I think that record labels can work to develop all of their artists into A-level artists.  I certainly don't know firsthand how record labels operate so this might be naive, but it seems to me like a lot of labels are spending money trying to develop a lot of B-level artists and only a few A-level artists.  Instead of constantly trying to break a bunch of new artists, why not spend more money developing the talent that is already there?  It seems like there have been a lot of new artists who put out good first records and then you hear nothing from them after that.
6. In your opinion what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian radio today?
One obstacle would have to be how Christian radio is going to start reaching out to my generation.  There are artists like Chris Tomlin, David Crowder Band, Shane & Shane, etc, who get very little radio airplay but yet are selling like crazy.  There has to be a way for us to draw in a new generation of listeners while at the same time serving Kelli.  I think another obstacle would be developing air talent that is real and relevant.
7. What do you believe is the primary role of the Christian radio air personality today?
We should be a reflection of who they are, not who we think they are.  It's hard to change the way we've done radio, for the past 28 years in WIBI's case, and realize that our listeners use radio differently than many times we think they do.  We need to be able to have a relationship with our listeners so that when they turn on the radio, they feel welcome and like they're a part of a conversation with a good friend.

8. What (if any) other Christian radio stations do you consider as innovators today?
Personally, I love listening to Z88 (WPOZ) in Orlando.  They're reaching their Kelli where she is and they're FUN to listen to!
9. Where do you see Christian radio in 5 years?
I hope that we're still reaching people for Christ, but on a bigger platform because we understand how to really serve our listeners.  I'd like to see us taken seriously as a radio format that is changing lives and impacting the community.


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