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Radio Interview



Brian Wright


Audience Development Group



Brians' Career Capsule
My amazing 26 year radio journey started in Rockford Illinois at 101 WQFL. From there went to WZOK and WROK, both in Rockford. I then became the VP of programming for various companies across the country. In 1991 I came to Grand Rapids, MI.  to be the operations manager for WCUZ AM & FM. After three years at WCUZ I joined Audience Development Group, a programming consulting firm. I have been here for 8 years.


1. How did you wind up at Audience Development?

Tim Moore & Alan Mason, the managing partners of ADG were my consultant at various radio stations. So we developed a good relationship, which led to me joining ADG.

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

Watching the plans we put together lead directly and quickly to audience growth. Watching people achieve what they have always wanted but just weren't quite sure how to get there.


3.How has God used you in your role at Audience Development?

I believe I have been a tool that radio stations can use to help them reach more and more people without compromising their message. Teaching them how to reach people that are hard to reach.


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

I do not tell my stations what to add or what not to add. I do give them recommendations to look at. Our coaching process leads to a great deal of understanding by each PD/Music Director as to how to interpret their research. This makes each PD the expert in this area. I am always on hand to help them in this process.

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

Ones that are very simple to understand and are very targeted to the station’s Listener Profile. Specifically, the Listener Family Name Game is working very well. It gives Mom & Dad the opportunity to talk about their kids. Event marketing works very well also. These types of thing leave a lasting impression in your listener’s mind.


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

They can start by making sure they send a copy of everything to the consultant! Haha. It all starts with their A&R department. They have to make double sure that the artist/group they are developing is the best. They have to be very selective in this area. Then they have to help them find ways to benefit the radio station and not just to get “the add.” There are times a particular song is not working at a particular radio station. When this happens, the label rep needs to support that decision, if it is truly warranted. This creates a very good relationship between PD & Label.


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

Christians listening to mainstream radio! We must get to know these people, so we can communicate with them. This is where Christian radio will see most of its growth come from. Most people in Christian radio are so immersed in today’s westernized, protestant culture that we many times don’t relate to the average Christian. Christian radio can sometimes sound like an exclusive club that is not as inviting as we may think.


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

Big question…I’ll try to give a short answer. We have to develop a full circumference relationship with our listeners. Relating to them just like they would a friend from work or an old classmate. This includes, fun, spiritual aspects, trivial aspects of life, family conversations etc.


9. What Christian radio stations do you consider as innovators today?

There are so many courageous radio stations that we work with. I say “courageous” because they have the courage to change. The have the courage to do things they may not have thought of, or wanted to, in order for them to become what they have always wanted to be. I would say that WMHK in Columbia, SC. would be one of those stations. They have the highest ratings in their history, are among the top 5 stations their target demo and number 1 in morning drive. They also do a lot of research, which they actually apply to their station. WCSG in Grand Rapids, MI. is another one of these stations. The do their research, are well coached and are constantly the top rated radio in the market, Christian or mainstream.


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

If we do the right things, and learn how to communicate with the average person, I see Christian as the mainstream format in America.


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