Brant Hansen is a graduate of the University of Illinois, and
formerly worked as a youth minister, before stints on morning shows
at WBGL-Champaign, and KSBJ-Houston, and as a talk show host on
NewsTalk 1400 WDWS in Champaign. He’s currently host of, “Mornings
with Brant”, offered by CHRSN, and based at WAY-FM in West Palm
1. How has your morning show evolved or changed over the last few
I think – I hope -- it’s gotten more and more honest. I gave up
trying to be cool many years ago. It didn’t work, mostly because
I’m not cool. But it’s an ongoing thing, trying to re-commit to
being less concerned what people think of me, and more concerned
with what they think of Jesus.
This is *really* tough in radio.
Another change: A couple years ago, I was doing the show by
myself. Now, I’ve got people I really love on the show with me –
Nikki Lane and Paul “Pablo” Adams.
2. What morning show topics seem to be hot right now?
I get the feeling if we talked about relationships every minute of
every day, no one would tire of it. It’s like Len Sweet says:
“Relationships are catnip for this culture.”
3. What is the advantage of being syndicated such as your show is
I get to tell people, “I’m a syndicated radio host.” It’s pretty
impressive, until they look down and see I’ve got toilet paper stuck
to my shoe.
All in all, it actually makes doing the show quite a bit harder, to
be honest. It kinda forces us to really focus on that emotional
connection with people.
4. What kind of promotions work best for Christian morning shows?
This is so lame – I’m sorry – but I actually don’t have much hard
data on this. I know what *I* enjoy doing, and what I *think* is
working, but it’s hard to tell.
I do remember once giving out “Rice Krispies Treats”, one each day,
during “National Rice Month.”
I remember that wasn’t a very awesome promotion.
5. Do you use any show prep services… tell why or why not?
I haven’t used one for awhile. Maybe I should. It couldn’t hurt.
I feel like – if I’m able to sit and think – there’s enough to
observe, think about, and feel in life that I should be able to come
up with enough stuff from daily experience. It just seems more
organic, for me, if it comes up in conversation that way. People
sniff out canned stuff, and it creeps them out.
6. What are the biggest obstacles facing Christian morning radio
No – seriously. (Did that sound bad?)
I’m talking about the vocal, small minority, of course. Pablo gave
the forecast this morning, and said, “It’ll be a little warmer than
it should be for this time of year – about ten degrees above
average.” Or something like that. Some lady called: “That’s not
right. God ordains the weather. It will be exactly what it
‘should’ be, today. You need to correct that.”
Anyone in Christian radio knows this: Church-folk have been
schooled in judgment. As comedic as it can be sometimes, it can
really wear on someone who’s trying to be honest, and reflect life
as it really is. I hear a lot of people (sometimes, creepily, me)
catering to the few, just to avoid the Bible beat-down.
7. Do you think there will be more or less morning syndication in
the future of Christian radio?
More. And it’s funny: I just read this interview with Mark Ramsey,
where he said, “Good is better than local…If you put local before
good, you’re making a huge mistake.”
I think that, more than ever, he’s right. The best “local”, for me,
isn’t about being in the same town. It’s about sounding like you’re
in the seat next to them. Or even part of the family.
Local is *a* way to be personal. But “personal” is still the issue.
People want relationship. And they’re quite used to not knowing
their next-door neighbor, but feeling close to someone in another
state. If you connect with Oprah, you don’t turn it off because
she’s in Chicago, and you’re not.
8. What (if any) Christian radio morning shows do you consider as
I don’t get to listen to other morning shows much. I wish I did,
because it would probably really help me to listen in to some other
shows and learn.
It’s not a morning show, but I love that Wally on TotalAxxess on our
network. I think he’s innovative, and I love that he pours himself
into his job. He knows how important this is.
9. Where do you see Christian morning radio in 5 years?
I don’t know. BUT – and I’m just guessing, here – it’s going to be
more about personality and connection than ever. And choice.
By “choice”: I suspect people will want to hit a button for talk
and relationship, then hit another button to hear a particular song,
as opposed to waiting through stuff they don’t want to get to
what they do want.
I think friendship counts more than ever. I admit I’m kind of
socially awkward, but I also know I’ve got to spend a tremendous
amount of effort responding to emails and Facebook stuff and texts.
Long-term, I feel like I’m either going to be friends with the
listener, or I’m just some music guy who, like a broken iPod,
doesn’t always play exactly what she wants hear. I don’t think
she’ll stand for that very long. Now’s the time for honest