Career Capsule: Hunter Logan began his musical journey at the age of 14. This led to playing in numerous bands and backing up various artists on several projects over the next few years. Performing on numerous television shows, most notably “Louisiana Jukebox”, Hunter also donated his musical talents to charities, fund raisers and telethons. Awards soon followed, including the 1998 Best of the Beat Award for “Best New Country/Folk Artist” by Offbeat Magazine, as well as being listed by the European CMA as one of the most played artist’. Logan’s road soon led to Music City, performing at the Nashville Palace and afterwards heading south to the Caribbean entertaining audiences on Carnival Cruise Lines seven nights a week. His excruciating performing schedule led Logan to suddenly retire from performing in 2004. This was the beginning of Hunter Logan Enterprises (HLE), consisting of HLE Records, HLE Publishing, and HLE Radio, where the “Morning Show with Hunter Logan” has been running live every weekday for nine years now. In 2014 the “Christian Country Café” live music venue was constructed inside HLE studios, where artist’ perform live monthly. To date, Hunter Logan is a 10 time Radio Personality of the Year winner and HLE Radio a 6 time Radio Station of the Year recipient. Hunter has since returned to the stage as a member of the band Cross Country, and in March 2021 he released his first ever Christian album called “The Prodigal”.
Hunter, tell us what’s new at HLE Radio…news, changes, and new with you…etc.?
The most recent thing is that we won Radio Station and Radio Personality of the Year for 2020 with the Inspirational Country Music Association. This makes our 10th win for Personality and our eighth win for Station. A little less than a year ago we opened our fourth internet station in a brick-and-mortar location that is built on a proprietary framework exclusive to HLE.
How has your station been affected by the Pandemic? What’s been the biggest issue for you? What have you learned about Christian Radio in the pandemic that you didn’t know prior?
Financial support is how our station has been affected the most and has also been the biggest issue for us. But God is the provider and always has been. HLE Radio was started with a lump of faith and a belief that God would do what he said he would do, and he has. Currently HLE Radio is heard in 189 of the 195 known countries and he has kept the doors open. What I have learned during the Pandemic about Christian Radio prior to it is that the truly committed kept on making and doing music whereas the ones who were just really dabbling or just playing around with so to say, fell by the wayside or cease to exist.
From the programming perspective, what makes your online station (HLE Radio) unique?
I am glad you asked this question, and I can answer it with one word. IMAGING! When you listen to our station or stations, they will sound like any terrestrial FM station would be listening to. We intentionally format them that way. I also think for the fact that our stations are all on store fronts on main streets in their respective towns, that also gives it that real feel if you will for the old schoolers who like to say…internet is not real radio lol
What surprising challenges have you faced with online station? What would you do different?
The biggest challenge at first was getting the music from the artist. Because nine years ago, I did not know Christian Country even existed. So, when I found it, I was so excited about this new music not even realizing it had already been around 20 years. I think a lot of the artist thought I was some guy in my bedroom in my underwear looking for free music! But then the growth of the station came very quick and there were a lot of challenges like having to upgrade continually to handle online traffic. There is really nothing to do different now because after launching four stations on our framework, we have down to a science, and it is easy and painless.
What are your priorities for online stations, the programming, raising revenue etc.?
The number one priority always souls. The Goal is Souls. HLE Radio is a ministry first radio station. It always has been and always will be. That is first and foremost. It is the reason I get up and do a live morning show M-F all year long. As for programming. Our programming is strict. Quality, Content and Production. Those three things have to be met for HLE Radio and it has to fit the format. There are many great songs done well, but they do not fit our format and some artists think that just because other radio stations play them, that we are supposed to play them too. But it does not work that way with HLE Radio. Many artists have gotten quite upset with me in the process. We also program with an 85% up tempo song to 15% slow song ratio. Sometimes a song might be good and fit our format, but we have our 15% of slow songs in rotation, therefore, the new release would not be put into rotation right away. It is just part of radio. Raising revenue, now that animal, I still do not have the formula for. We have tried it all lol. We are a 501c3 and are listener supported and funded, but God always provides so I have learned to let go a lot more as of late, especially through these pandemical times.
Congrats on being awarded The Inspirational Country Music Association station of the year and personality of the year, what does this you and HLE Radio.
To me it means that there are a lot of other folks that were nominated right along the side of me who were just as good or better and could have won the award. I am so grateful to have won and it is always good to be acknowledged among your peers for your hard work. But to be honest, it is really a team effort. I am just the face unfortunately people must see for HLE Radio (smiling) God has placed a team around me who is so SELFLESS with their time in helping me and HLE Radio be the best that it can be. I most certainly do day to day operations in the office and program the station and do live radio, but I have social media help, website help, poster help, prayer help, show help, publicist help…. you name it…if we need it…God supplies it. Any win for me or HLE Radio is always a TEAM win.
Generally speaking, to the industry what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian Radio overall?
I can answer that question with one word as well. Unity.
Who are your radio heroes and influences? And why?
This is not the answer you are expecting, but I have no Radio heroes. I never had a desire to do radio ever. Nothing about radio has ever even interested me in the least. But I can give you the why I am in radio. For years I was an entertainer. I played music and sung for a living. My last gig was an entertainer on Carnival Cruise lines 7 days a week Kingston Jamaica, Grand Cayman Islands and Cozumel Mexico. My wife got back into church, which I got off the ship and followed her back into church and got a job at a local radio station that was playing my music. I was doing a regular Saturday afternoon show and selling for them during the week. Then I started learning programming and how to make commercials and do production etc. I was getting the best training, but the training method was horrible, so I was burnt out on radio before I even started. But one day I was on a sales call, and I could feel the Holy Spirit prompting me to witness to the couple that owned the store and I left with out doing so. I immediately pulled over and begin to weep and repent and I told God I am not ashamed of you, but I am not the guy that just goes up to someone and say hey, if you die today, do you know if you are going to heaven or hell? But I do know that I am required to tell people about you. So, you have to give me a way that I am comfortable in doing so. He gave me Christian Country Music and HLE Radio. And that is what I have been doing everyday for the last 10 years and I am loving every minute of it!