Career Capsule: 39 years in radio. Began at the age of 15 as a DJ at a local non-com Christian station. About one third of the way through my career switched from DJ to Talk Show host, then later into management and leadership. Now back to the daily creative grind – daily voice tracks, program hosting and production and consulting.
Collin, tell us what’s new, any news, changes etc?
Thrilled to be back in the process of weekly program creation. My greatest joy has always been in being on the air and creating content, talking to interesting people and telling the stories of God at work around the world.
How do you balance work & family, how important is it for someone in Christian Radio to ‘have a life’?
Honestly, I don’t think I did it as well as I should have over the years. That’s something I have definitely gotten better at after leaving the busy-ness and long commutes of Chicago. I have learned that you have to be intentional about it. And for those in Christian radio, if you have exhausted yourself and have almost no “life”, it will be incredibly difficult to share life with those listening. In fact, it is in the living of life that you find those things most likely to connect with your listeners.
Overall, what is the best programming advice you’ve been given? The worst?
Best programming advice: be yourself and, give the audience what it wants, and what it needs. Worst programming advice: don’t do any light content. Just a thought on the worst…while I do believe as Christian broadcasters that we will be held accountable for every minute we are on the air, I also know that life is hard. And while we need to share truth in many ways and manifestations, people today just need a moment to breathe. Humor and lighter, relatable segments give them that chance.
What’s something you’ve learned due to the pandemic, about Christian Radio, that you didn’t know before?
How much more important it is during tough times than good times. And I feel we have many more tough times ahead…be prepared.
What is your opinion of podcasts for stations & air talent, are they necessary, must have one, etc?… Please explain…
I feel that this is really a station by station, talent by talent decision. It can be a really good thing, or it can be a waste of time. Here are the things that I think should be considered when trying to make that decision: 1) Does the talent have a large enough following, a big enough core audience to drive regular listening beyond the daily program? 2) Will they be able to continue doing their daily duties with excellence if having to add this to their daily/weekly schedule? 3) Do we truly have the resources and commitment to make this happen on a regular basis? 4) If we start it and it basically goes nowhere, do we have the guts to drop it?
Tell us more about your new show, Missions Today, where did the idea originate, what you hope the program to accomplish, etc?
I am so excited to host and produce this program each week. It is amazing to hear the stories of what God is doing around the world from people on the frontlines of ministry. Missions Today is a production of Resource Global, a global mentoring organization that helps young leaders integrate faith and work. While I tell some of their stories, it is really a much broader look at the field of missions. From missions in a foreign land, to domestic missions, to missions with your church or in your neighborhood. It is a 26 minute weekly program airing on over 140 stations, many online outlets and also produced as a podcast. Each week we hope to share a bit of what God is doing “in the field”, and wrap it up talking about how we, as individuals can get involved as well.
Generally speaking to the industry what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian air talent?
Following up on what I mentioned earlier about lighter topics, I do feel we have a responsibility to not only share God’s love and abundant life, but to share His Truth. One thing I learned in my final years at Moody Radio, was that listeners were just waiting for someone to invite them to receive Jesus. We can spend a lot of time talking about culture, food (one of my favorites), and life in general, but if we are not talking clearly about the One who has provided all of that to us, and Who has made a provision for our eternity, we are missing the point. The world is filled with problems, Jesus IS the answer. Let’s not forget that.
Who are your radio heroes and influences? and why?
In the mainstream radio world, folks like Paul Harvey (a master story teller), Larry King (a master interviewer)…in the Christian world, folks like Bob Lepine (story teller, interviewer, pastoral heart, humorous), Mike Kellogg (master story teller, massive encourager), Peggy Campbell and Jim Sanders (promoters of Good radio, committed to excellence, faithful), Roger Kemp (quality programming, quality communication, mentor), Wayne Pederson and Ed Cannon (mentors, friends), Dr. Jennifer Hayden Epperson (pioneer, friend)