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Kenny Rodgers

Sr Director National Promotion

Word Records



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Kenny's Career Capsule
Word Entertainment


1. Tell us about your role at Word records.... (a little history, etc) ?

I attended the University of North Alabama in beautiful Muscle Shoals, AL which is home to the legendary FAME studios, and Muscle Shoals Studio which recorded such historic acts as The Rolling Stones, Bob Segar, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bob Dylan and the Black Keys. A fellow UNA Alumni, Kat Davis, helped me get my foot in the door at EMI CMG for an internship in the National Promotion department in January 2006. I was blown away by the team there consisting of Grant Hubbard, Brian Dishon, Andrea Kleid and Brian Thiele and their amazing love and passion they put into their work. I learned more in the six months working alongside them than in my two years at college! Near the end of my internship I heard about an opening at WORD in their National Promotion department and applied. God opened the door for that opportunity as less than 6 hours after completing my internship, WORD called to offer me the position of Coordinator, National Promotion. I served as Coordinator, National Promotion for two years, and when Andrea Kleid joined the WORD team I was moved into the role of Manager, National Promotion. Since then Iíve been elevated to Sr. Director, National Promotion and count myself blessed to work alongside some of the best in the business.


2. Since you have a such a busy schedule, how do you best manage your responsibilities and priorities?

I donít always do the best job with this, but the main thing for me is writing things down, making lists and checking them twice. Through our weekly meetings we do a good job of setting priority goals and targets for the following week.


3. Complete this sentence: The best way to get a new artist recognized is to____________?

Provide compelling music that will not only connect to listeners, but also impact their lives. Songs that tell their story and equip them to face whatever lies ahead of them during their day. That is the short answer.

You also have to believe in the artist and their platform more than anything. believe in their mission Secondly, I believe the artist needs to have the passion to make music because they feel called to the ministry of music. Any veteran programmer has seen a multitude of new artists come and go. However, if you know that God has called you to this work then it can be worth it. Also, nothing replaces good old-fashioned face time.


4. Generally speaking how do you see the state of Christian radio?

It seems to me that on both the radio and records sides of the industry, the ever-shrinking staff dilemma has finally leveled off. Now that we know what we are working with I truly see that fire and passion back in radio programmers to make great radio for their listeners.


5. Regarding record sales how has it changed ....please explain?

The sale of recorded music as discs/albums etc. has definitely taken a hit in the last few years. However, music today can get directly to listeners in more ways than ever. Any song you can think of lives on YouTube. We are seeing revenue from YouTube, and streaming sites like Spotify really help supplement the loss in CD sales in most cases. Just this week while talking with a programmer we both marveled at the fact that one of our artists had their song streamed on Spotify more than 20,000 in a week. That compared to the #1 song at AC radio being spun only 1800 times, shows you that people will find their favorite song on demand if they want to. Weíre trying to be all the places consumers are.


6. What promotions with radio have you been involved with personally that are most memorable?

My first year at Word we partnered with KLOVE and Mark Schultz to write a listenerís story into an original song for Valentineís Day. It was their first time doing the promotion and it was a HUGE success. Mark literally wrote the song in a few hours on a Thursday and we were at work late that night delivering the file to be aired live on Friday morning. It was a really neat experience.


7. Do you feel the record/radio relationship is still as important as it has been in the past...........explain how its same/different?

Absolutely. For Christian music fans radio is still the #1 place for their new music discovery. We are continuously working together to introduce our artists to new audiences and bridge the gap from audience to artist with unique experiences. As radio continues to evolve I believe you will begin to see the lines between terrestrial radio and online/mobile listening continue to blur. This means huge opportunity for stations who have listeners who trust their brand to take their favorite station with them anywhere they go.


8. What (if any) Christian radio stations do you consider as innovators today?

To me, the most innovative stations in our format today are the ones who put their listeners first, and make them the stars over themselves. I wonít use names but most times those stations are also the most successful in their markets. Christian radio at its best is about connecting people together. Any station who uses valuable on air and promotional time to give their listeners a chance to help one another, or just be a part of the story in general are the ones who are changing lives for the better.


9. What are your plans for the Christmas break?

I plan to unplug from my smart phone (hopefully I donít lose my smarts) and be present with my friends and loved ones. I am hoping to have cool enough weather to build a fire, watch Christmas Story and read a couple of books.




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