Dave St John Interview 4-22-16

Published On April 24, 2016 » 1112 Views»

interview-dave-stjohn2016Dave St John
Station Manager
KNWI
Des Moines

Career Capsule: I started at Ronald Reagan’s first station, News/Talk WOC-AM/Davenport as a board-op nearly 30 years ago.  While working at a mainstream CHR in the mid-90s I was invited by a co-worker to go to church.  My life was radically changed by Christ and later that year I began a 10 year journey of serving at Christian CHR stations from KZZQ/KPUL to WAY-FM and a couple between.  For the last 10 years I’ve had the privilege to be part of the excellence happening at Northwestern Media.  Great people.  Great organization.  As station manager for Life 107.1 and programming coach in Northwestern, my role is varied and every day is full- but the consistent is working alongside people every day.

1. Tell us what’s new at KNWI… news, changes, expansion, with you… etc?

Life 107.1 is entering an exciting new season with fresh talent and research.  We’ve just hired Taylor Hohulin from Dallas and we believe he’ll be an excellent fit in our culture.  We’re also still looking for that ‘right person’ to be our next strategically minded Program Director who will implement the perceptual study/music library test data…not to mention a first class airstaff. 

2. What is the best programming advice you’ve been given? The worst?

The phrase “it’s all about the flow” gets used around here a lot….good word.

3. Some say more Christian stations in a market the better, do you agree with that, why or why not?

You can’t go wrong when multiple Christian stations are in the same market each meeting unique needs.  It’s an opportunity for all involved to pursue excellence and grace rather than envy and boasting!

4. What is the ONE thing you must have every day to do your job?

Leadership that provides clear and consistent vision to a passionate team.

5. Where will future Christian radio air talent come from?

Everywhere you get the chance to meet people!  Jen Green (Life 107.1 mornings) is an example of an engaging personality who got her start when a sales rep at a Des Moines station brought her in to read copy.  Are there ways you can provide opportunities through overnights plus coaching a couple times a month?

6. Do you feel syndication is good or bad for Christian radio?

I don’t know that’s it’s an issue of syndication being good or bad- it’s whether or not syndication is fulfilling the mission of your organization and the goals you’re striving to reach.

7. Generally speaking to the industry what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian radio?

Poor product investment by our mainstream peers (true of Christian radio too!).  Christian stations have grown through significant product improvement combined with weaker market competition.  The impression of radio as a whole is threatened when too many stations in a market are unable to invest in their own product.  It’s a double edged sword- clearer lanes of traffic for Christian radio eventually impacts traffic to all of radio. 

8. Who are your radio heroes and influences? and why?

Too many influences to list- I trust they know who they are and know how grateful I am for the time, grace, and hard words they’ve shared.  Those people who you spend a lot of time around seem to be significant influences in your life, you know?

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