sportscasts & news at 88.1 The Escape/WSDP Ė it was a 200 watt
radio station at my high school. As a high school senior, I
started working in mainstream radio at Planet 96.3 in Detroit. I
also worked at 93.1 DRQ in Detroit, 96.3 WDVD in Detroit, 102.5
WIOG in Saginaw & 106.9 K-Hits in Tulsa. After I graduated from
college, I moved to Tulsa to do mornings at 100.3 The Kross. I
later became Program Director/Music Director there. Iíve been in
Las Vegas for the last 5 years doing the morning show, new media
& programming SOS Radio.
Tell us about SOS Radio, a little
celebrated its 40th anniversary on the air this year! It was
started by Jack French back in 1972 as KILA/Las Vegas. It was
the first 100,000 watt FM radio station in Nevada. Over the last
40 years, SOS Radio grew into a network covering 9 states. We
have about 35 different frequencies now, plus our iphone/android
apps & sosradio.net. The first employee that Jack hired 40 years
ago was Brad Staley, who is our President & General Manager now.
Recently SOS Radio has seen some pretty impressive ratings
numbers, can you explain the growth?
Yeah lots of
prayer! God is doing some big things in Las Vegas. Weíve
specifically worked to grow deeper with our listeners. Plus, our
team has built a great community, both on and off the air to
help the listeners connect with God and other Christians. Weíve
worked hard to figure out why our listeners come to our radio
station, so we can deliver better. Our company really is a big
family. Brad & Chris Staley (our fearless leaders) have made it
a priority over the years to really invest in people. I think
thatís a big part of our growth behind the radio. Great people
who really love their community!
us about the SOS Radio morning show?
I do a solo
morning show, but itís very interactive. Love to talk with
artists & listeners about life and faith. We have a lot of fun.
I invite you to listen in at
Recently you've launched CreativeCardio.com, a service for air
talent, tell us about that?
Itís a really
unique resource. Itís showprep and idea starters for our shows,
but the personalities in our forum leave comments and ideas to
make each topic even better. The point of Creative Cardio is to
challenge our creativity and stretch us to connect our ideas
better. In addition, the site challenges us to take the idea
starters and develop them in different ways for on air
discussions, storytelling, bits and simple talk breaks. We also
do monthly brainstorming calls as a group. They are super deep!
Just recently, we bounced Christmas topics for an hour over the
phone as a group. We also have some simple mentorship
opportunities, so we can challenge students and new broadcasters
for Christian radio. Check it out at
do you think future Christian Radio air talent will come from?
I pay a lot of
attention to students studying media like web/apps/social media,
TV/film, music business & marketing. Iíve always looked for
media savvy people who can communicate in an authentic way. We
can train them to do radio, if they communicate well. When I
worked in Tulsa, Iíd talk to students at our concerts who
expressed interest in our radio station. The students knew our
music, they knew a lot about new media and they communicated
well, so I invited a few of them to come hang out at the radio
station or volunteer. Iíd give them some simple assignments and
sometimes that would develop into a voice tracking session. Iíd
have them track overnights and Iíd just delete the trax before
they aired. They loved the opportunity to voice track! After a
while, the trax start to sound ok, and I stopped deleting the
trax. The co-host of our afternoon show on SOS Radio started by
voicetracking in our production studio and calling in regularly.
(Believe it or not, that show is consistently top 3 in Vegas
is your most memorable SOS Radio promotion?
When Mercy Meís
ďGenerous Mr. LovewellĒ cd released, we asked listeners to tell
us about people in our community who needed help in the tough
economy. We asked listeners how we could partner with them to
meet these needs. Theresa had a story that really caught our
heart. Her mother in law, Glenda lost her 25 year job after the
Horseshoe Casino closed. Her 1996 Kia was falling apart and she
couldnít find work after 9 months. We ended up partnering with
Meyerís Auto Parts in Vegas to do an extreme makeover on her old
car. (Bad radiator, bad suspension, driver door didnít open,
bald tires & brakes. The Kia didnít even have a radio!) She had
no idea her car was being fixed until the guys from Mercy Me
drove it up to her sonís house before their weekly Sunday
brunch. Mercy Me gave her a Visa gift card to pay her bills too!
Generally speaking to the industry what are the biggest
obstacles facing Christian radio today?
I donít see a
ton of obstacles right now. I see a tremendous opportunity for
Christian radio to love on the local community. Lots of
mainstream companies have been cutting staff, research &
marketing. Many are investing in more syndicated/national
programming and doing even more voice tracking. Thatís a huge
opportunity forlocal Christian radio to work differently. Plus
non-commercial radio stations have a huge opportunity to make
content the priority, since they donít have all the corporate
sales mandates. Many of the heritage mainstream stations in our
markets are just not investing in the things they used to. That
opens the door for Christian stations with real vision & quality
content to move forward now that the external barriers & threats
Christian radio stations do you consider innovators today?
Iíve seen some
very cool new media ideas coming out of the New Life Media
stations like WCIC Peoria. I think KXOJ Tulsa & Joy FM Florida
are innovators in the way they grow deep with their local
community & online brands. Radio U & Way FM have always been
innovative in the way they reach young people through technology
& I love their focus on developing on air talent.
do you see Scott Herrold in 5 years?
I plan to be
right here. I just pray that God continues to bless & grow our
team at SOS Radio, I want to see more people in our community
develop a deeper relationship with God. I hope to see SOS Radio
add more great leaders to our family and possibly grow into some
of those markets where there is no Christian radio.