Career Capsule: I started radio as I was graduating from high school. From the very start I recognized the creative potential radio held and pursued learning and experiencing all I could. I graduated from Western Kentucky University with BA in Mass Communications. I have worked many formats and enjoy both programming and being on-air. Once I worked in CCM… I knew I was “home.” I also worked as the Executive Director for a Crisis Pregnancy Center. I learned so much about front line ministry and the day-to-day battles in the Pro-Life movement. I obtained Ministry Ventures Non Profit Best Business Practices certification and it was a leadership gamechanger. I am thrilled to be back at Christian Family Radio in what I affectionately call my 3rd tour of duty. Currently I’m the executive director and co-host mornings. I believe the work we get to do is a calling not just a job. I truly work with the best talented people and we showcase God at work in a generous, caring community. There are moments when I pinch myself and say “God… what an incredible honor to be your kingdom media!”
Bridget, tell us what’s new at Christian Family Radio … news, changes, & new with YOU… etc?
We have just revamped our Friday and Saturday night show from Rock to CHR/CHH (Christian Hip Hop). It has been exciting to experience connecting to another audience we have wanted to reach. We also dropped network news. CFR currently airs 3 daily newscasts featuring local and regional stories that are produced by Jack Robertson (Renew 96.9 Magee, MS). On March 1, 2021, we launched a new jingle package from TM Studios and a new weekday lineup: Derek and I are adding one hour to our morning show, Tami Rumfelt hosts middays, and newly added Rick Hall to afternoons. Dale McCubbins, previously afternoons, goes to weekends to unleash more creativity as production manager. We are focused on our daily shows reflecting “kingdom torque.” Kingdom Torque is how we describe the mandate God has given us to bring kingdom concepts and values to life that will “amp” our listener’s desire to explore and embrace more of who God is. In a world that cancels one another, we must be culturally relevant and creatively engaging.
As a leader, I am very excited. Media can literally travel to spaces and places that are often off limits or unreached. These places still exist in the U.S. as well as globally. Some walls are invisible to the eye, but they separate cultures, generations, and even faith communities. God tells us that the joy of the Lord is strength. Our music, programming, and content should strengthen our faith, families and communities, always.
How has your station’s operations been affected by the pandemic? What’s been the biggest issue?
It has been a hard year, but not a bad year. It is in hardships that foundations are fortified and matured. We were faced daily with challenges of: upgrading technology, operational systems, scheduling, new safety protocols, and waves of sickness. We found that being that constant beacon of hope meant that we had to be internally hopeful. You cannot broadcast what you are not stewarding. We are SO much stronger having gone through 2020 and we are so much more appreciative of the call God has on Christian Media. We recognize even more what Jesus referenced when he talked about “kingdom” and realize our culture needs to understand that kind of kingdom. He said “the kingdom is among you.” It’s our calling to make sure our communities recognize that kingdom happens now. It’s a lifestyle, not a destination.
What is the best programming/show advice you’ve been given? The worst?
Best advice for on air: always talk as if you are speaking to one person. When you make it about the masses you lose the personal connection. Know your listeners (they are not numbers or ratings), because people are the greatest asset we have ever been given. God trusted us with HIS best gift.
Best advice for programming: Be honest about the line in the sand that you will not cross. If there is something you refuse to change or adapt (those sacred cows), then take time to reason through why you keep it.
Worst advice overall: Keep your breaks (talk sets) to a certain length, never making an exception. If you get that rigid, you have forgotten that radio is an art. Guidelines are important though!
Some say the more Christian stations in a market the “better”…. What’s your opinion?
I believe more Christians in the marketplace the better. Media informs and inspires. If you are Christian media, then I believe every aspect of your station should reflect kingdom values–not just what songs you are playing on the air. Media is influencing the world. I pray for more believers to be influencers in ALL media.
What is your opinion of podcasts for stations & air talent, are the necessary, must have one, etc?… Please explain…
I love podcasts! I think this platform offers an opportunity to develop more of the story that your air team is sharing daily. It takes great producers to keep the content fresh and inviting. I think if you can add them as a compliment to what you are already airing then by all means do it!
Where will new up and coming air talent for Christian Radio come from?
Our industry has the same workforce challenges as any other. And like other industries, I think it is our responsibility to create our own pipelines for talent by partnering with university broadcasting departments, local churches and high schools. Organizations that bring new people in and train them with and for excellence are the ones that succeed. If you are not re-producing young “Timothys,” please adjust now and make that a priority! “New-to-media” voices, ideas and energy are imperative, and new talent is how we remain multi-generational, multi-cultural and multi-denominational–you know, like the CHURCH! I love our younger team members–they teach me daily.
Generally speaking to the industry what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian air talent?
There are so many narratives in our world right now, people literally have so many choices. But I think the false narrative that Christian music is boring or mediocre and that our organizations are outdated, and confining hinders us the most. I don’t like it when someone tells me they don’t listen to Chrisitan radio or music because it is boring or mediocre. We have the best story EVER! I think of Solomon and how the Queen of Sheba was overwhelmed by the culture she encountered when she visited him–a culture of excellence and extravagant hospitality. I challenge our team to never underwhelm because God certainly doesn’t! That’s why we have to air relevant and engaging programming that unleashes Godly values for transformation. One of my favorite life values is “Our words make worlds” and that’s especially true in our industry.
Who are your radio heroes and influences? and why?
I learn from public speakers and interviews about all different kinds of topics. I think it is an art to interview well. We can benefit from learning each other’s life stories. I am always looking at ways to be a better communicator, publicly as well as personally. I read about leaders from different eras because it’s important to remember foundations that have been laid for us. Local community members that do things well are my heroes, whether that is professionally, spiritually, or emotionally. I see the lives they change, and I am grateful. I try to connect with them so I can find out their “why” and “how-tos”.
My Uncle Doug Hamby owned a radio station. He had a very successful career in KY. His on-air delivery made people want to listen to what he was saying. His service in the navy made him meticulous about how he managed the station. He was a lifelong encouragement to me and I count him as a hero and a wonderful God confirmation. He was faithful to share his life experiences and I miss him.