Betsy's career in radio began in her hometown of Lancaster, Ohio in
2000 when she was only 17, volunteering to clean the studios of WLRY
so she could get her foot in the door for a weekend air shift. After
deciding radio was her real passion she enrolled at Mount Vernon
Nazarene University. While in school, she worked at WNZR and
interned at WCVO in Columbus. After graduation she’s worked at two
great industry leaders: KDUVfm and WAY-FM Media Group. Currently
she’s working at another: The House FM.
What does 2010 look like for The House FM?
It looks bright. We’re gearing up for pledge drive in March and
before the New Year had even started Janelle Keith and I sat down
and hashed out a 12 month calendar for promotions. Outreach is going
to be the priority in 2010 above all else. Connecting people with
other people and resources is paramount.
2. How important is social networking for radio?
It’s essential. Not to sound too political, it’s the way every radio
station and really any ministry can “energize their base”. For those
that think it’s a waste of time… do you think talking to listeners
at an event is a waste of time? Expert after expert will tell you
the truth: social networking can be tireless, but ultimately can be
Facebook, twitter, and other sites give you the 4th or 5th
hours to your on-air shift off-air and online with listeners. I’ve
seen some get so excited that a radio DJ that they listen to
everyday posted on their wall that their next status was “(name)
from WXYZ is so awesome!!!1!11!!!” (Or something similar.)
…And don’t forget video. If you don’t know what Twitter’s 12seconds
is… find out.
3. What are some of the main characteristics of a person working in
Be wicked-creative, don’t have an inferiority complex, be ready to
ask for the moon and be told you can only have a patch of grass (and
still move forward afterward), have thick AND tough skin, and above
all things value the listener so much that you don’t just “friend”
them on facebook, but you *actually* become their friend and care
about what they care about. That will change things.
4. What kind of promotions work best for Christian radio?
Well… we know what it takes to “get the job done” and “just get by”.
But the real innovators will be those that make a difference.
A lot of times promotions are done with giveaways. Instead, let’s
find the “human connection” that Cisco is always talking about. What
are your DJs passionate about? Will they go to Afghanistan like
Brant from WAY-FM to spotlight Afghan Moms and raise over $18,000
with CURE? How about KFSH’s Lara Scott throwing a baby shower for
Moms and babies in need instead of making herself the focus? Those
types of promotions have that tie that binds and that will always
5. How do you think Christian Record labels can better serve
I enjoyed (and chuckled) at the “Open Letter” from my old friend
Jake Sommers in your article section, and I agree that Natalie
Grant’s “fact sheet” rocks compared to some of the whimsical
writings on some artist’s pages. It’s not that we don’t like great
writing. Jake (I think) was trying to talk about what I did above
with the “human connection”.
Otherwise, I’ve always had a great time speaking with the guys and
gals at EMI CMG. I haven’t had many others reach out to do anything
super creative aside from CD or DVD giveaways. So rock on EMI radio
team! I’m hoping we hear from some other radio promo teams in 2010!
6. In your opinion what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian
Radio (in general) needs to stop whining. Seriously. Let’s end the
crying over the PPM, Apple, and whatever else comes up. Instead
let’s get our own corner on the market!
As for Christian radio specifically, we cannot continue to have an
inferiority complex. We stand for something real. Something true.
Something that deserves and demands to be shared with everyone.
7. What do you believe is the primary role of the Christian radio
It’s simple: be
a friend. Think about what the best-most-awesomest friend in your
life does and do that for your listeners.
8. What (if any) Christian radio stations do you consider as
I’d like to change this to people, not just stations. Other than the
people I already work with, you need to get connected to the
following people over twitter, facebook, or linkedin: Jeff Brown
(WAY-FM), Kris P. Kreme (The JoyFM), Jeremiah Beck (WIBI), Carol
Baker (WPOZ), Sean Copeland (Air1). As for a team shows, I’m huge on
The Morning Cruise (The JoyFM) and the Afternoon show with David and
Mary on 104.9 The River.
Notice I said “some”—don’t be offended if I didn’t list you, feel
free to contact me for more.
9. Where do you see Christian radio in 5 years?
That solely depends on what you and I will do to make the human
connection with listeners. The possibilities could be endless if we
do it right.
As for Christian radio’s future within 10yrs, the biggest obstacle
is or could be lack of available talent. We need to stop being
afraid of someone taking our jobs and equip and train the next
generation of leaders for this field.