the northeast corner of Florida, Jacksonville is more
like southern Georgia than what most people typically
think of a city in Florida. It's very conservative,
with a mixture of southern locals and transplants,
with a high African American population. It's also a
military town with Naval bases. A sprawling city,
Jacksonville is the largest city, in terms of square
miles, in America. Musically, it is more of a rock and
roll town than many markets I've lived in.
2. What is the most fulfilling aspect to you
personally about Christian radio?
are now more options in most markets for listeners to
choose from. As a personality I love that I can be who
I really am on and off the air. In secular radio I
tried hard to find ways to be a bright light and
positive influence without stepping over the line with
what was expected and accepted. I have always tried to
weave family, fun and faith into my presentation and
image. The Promise is a Salem 'Fish' format station,
which allows me to be myself without preaching. It
welcomes believers and seekers alike, and that's right
where I want to be.
3. How do you personally keep the ministry in the
I grew up
in a strong Christian family and my parents taught us
that example, the way you live your life, has more
impact on people than talk. Therefore, I live and work
with the philosophy of 'show, don't tell.' I never
preach. As a personality I try to tell stories and say
things that show, rather than tell people the message
I am trying to share. As a station we put tremendous
effort into lifting people up and making them feel
good about themselves and hopeful about the day, the
future, the city they live in and mankind in general.
At our station we are entertainers and companions, and
we try our best to be friends and look for ways to do
a little extra to help the community and listeners on
a personal basis. The thing I love most about my staff
is that they chose this format and station because it
is more than a job to them, and every day brings
chances to make a difference. Some days are more
challenging than others. We learn from the challenges
and are often surprised by the blessings.
4. What is the criteria that determines if a song
receives airplay on your station?
listeners tell us they like to hear their favorites
and aren't interested in too much new music because
they don't have time to learn a bunch of new songs.
That's why we test most of our music before we add it
to the playlist. We let them tell us what they want to
hear. To fit the format of our station, a song should
have a positive or uplifting message and be performed
by an artist who exhibits Christian values.
5. What kind of promotions work best for your station?
impact our listeners lives. The two most successful
promotions all year were nothing mind blowing, but
they were what our listeners were interested at the
time. When gas was selling for $3 a gallon we did "The
Promise $5,000 Great Gas Giveaway." It was simply $100
in free gas and it was huge. We rented a movie theater
and showed "The Chronicles of Narnia" the night before
it opened nationwide and gave away family 4-paks of
tickets every hour from 6a-6p for a week. You'd have
thought we were giving away $1000 bills.
6. How do you think Christian Record labels can better
serve Christian radio?
they try hard to serve radio well. The one sense I
still get from some labels is that they approach radio
from the label's point of view. They tell us what they
need from us or how we can help them. All we want from
them are songs that will become our listener's
favorites. Whether an artist makes it to #1 means
nothing to the listener, which is who we're both
trying to serve.
7. In your opinion what are the biggest obstacles
facing Christian radio today?
I can only
speak for commercial stations, since I have not worked
for a non-com. Sales. The Fish went belly-up in
Chicago because it couldn't sell. That is our biggest
challenge here in Jacksonville, as well. It impacts
the size of the staff and the ability to afford top
talent and resources. Stations are understaffed and
overworked, which hinders creativity, marketing and
8. What do you believe is the primary role of the
Christian radio air personality today?
station most likely has a unique mission. At The
Promise in Jacksonville, the role of our air talent is
to reflect the lifestyle and values of the listener
here. Beyond that, we must pour a great deal of energy
and focus into adding hope, joy and a positive spin on
life. That's the gas in the tank, and you can take it
a thousand different directions from there.
9. What (if any) other Christian radio stations do you
consider as innovators today?
there are many great stations across the nation. KLTY
in Dallas was the first CCM station I heard in 1990
while doing CHR at Y95 in that market, and it
continues to be a great model in our format. Just down
the road from here in Orlando, WPOZ. There's a great
station in Boise, KTSY, that does a lot with a little.
I honestly am so busy listening to my station that I
don't spend enough time listening to others. It's an
honor to be in a format with so many talented, skilled
and driven performers who have chosen to make a
difference in people's lives with their careers. The
CCM format is becoming a player.
10. Where do you see Christian radio in 5 years?
On a car
preset button of every Christian family within
listening distance of a great Christian station.