I lived out
the parable of the persistent widow when I was a young child. I
would basically torture radio announcers by calling again and
again until they played the songs I wanted to hear. They would
eventually crack and say something like, “Even though I don't
fear God or care about men, yet because this brat keeps
bothering me, I will see that he gets to hear ‘Answering
Machine’ by Rupert Holmes, so that he won't eventually wear me
out with his coming!' In my mid-teens, the torturer became
the tortured as I joined the DJ ranks in a natural transition
from weak breakdancer to scratch/mix club DJ to weekend radio
announcer. Not only did I have a blast being on the air, I
discovered a real love for creating commercials and promos. I’d
typically lock myself away in the prod room like a mad
scientist, splicing reel-to-reel tape (pre-digital editing), and
starting 5 things at once (including starting a cart deck with
my nose) in an effort to get the timing of everything just
right. When listeners were actually calling in to request the
commercials I had put together… I knew I was on to something.
always a root of Christianity in my life from an early age, but
when I truly began walking with the Lord in ‘92, I made the
transition into Christian radio… leaving behind my ego, but
bringing along all the skills I’d picked up along the way as I
sought to serve Him. Since then, that desire to serve has
expanded into a desire to help Christian stations sort out what
their unique purpose is in their market and help to highlight
that through great imaging and branding.
What services do you personally
offer to Christian Radio stations?
I can provide dry voice imaging for
you to produce or fully produced, radio-ready imaging. I’m also
networked with some of the best voice talent out there,
including women, kids and folks with different dialects and
accents, to offer more options to stations. And I’m happy to
simply help stations figure out who they are and talk to their
target demo through imaging.
2. Overall, what do you think is
the general state of production at Christian Radio?
I think, for the most part, stations
are doing okay from a technical aspect. The hard part is
keeping things creative whether it’s imaging or commercials and
promos. I don’t believe it’s for lack of “want-to”… it’s just
something that can get pushed down the priority list when you’re
dealing with a limited budget, limited staff, and a limited
amount of time.
3. With a limited staff what are
some ways a station can still have good creative production on
The creative aspect really comes
into play long before the mic switch is ever turned on, and it
doesn’t have to come directly from the staff. In an industry
where we spend all of our time talking, I think a HUGE part of
being creative and effective is simply LISTENING… to your
listeners, your community and, most importantly, to the Lord.
What does He want to communicate through your station? What
role does He want your station to play in the body of Christ for
While you’re listening… listen to
other Christian stations. It may spark a great idea in you.
And NETWORK. Whether via social networking sites or just
calling on the phone, get to know others in the Christian Radio
community. What’s God doing in and through them? Bounce ideas
off of each other. Pray for each other.
And there are
tons of great resources and webinars online to get your brain
juices flowing. Then, when you’re ready, get someone who can put
it all together for you production-wise if you don’t have anyone
on staff who can do it well.
for production, what do you think are the characteristics of
to be “effective”, that means that it’s working to achieve the
desired result. It can be done in a humorous way, a touching
way, with lots of fast edits and random explosions, or in a very
simple, straight-forward way… but it has GOT to get your point
across. What do you want the listener to remember after they’ve
heard it? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a clever,
cool, funny or tear-jerking commercial on TV and, when it was
over, not have any idea who or what the commercial was for. If
their desired result was for me to buy their product, they just
wasted their money. Great commercial… but not effective.
5. Regarding equipment what in your opinion is essential in the
quality mic is they key component. There are processors and
programs by the thousands, but most of it is irrelevant if
you’ve got a lousy microphone.
you mention any new production “toys” that have got your
Most of the
things that get my attention lately are production and editing
apps. I think we’re really close to being able to match studio
standards on our smart phones or ipads.
7. What advice can you give Christian radio management that may
not see the importance of “good” production?
My heart goes
out to those in Christian radio management. They have to look
at ALL of the needs of the station and weigh them out. The
sales staff needs to attend a training seminar and they need new
business cards. The engineer needs to take care of that strange
phasing in the signal. The web guy needs a new custom streaming
player for the web site. The computer just crashed in the prod
room. The morning show guys need a new show prep service. And…
the Programming and Production departments need some money for a
new imaging package. They know that sounding good is important…
it just gets set aside sometimes while the urgent needs are
dealt with. So, my advice… take care of what needs to be taken
care of, but (in defense of good production) remember to
prioritize the production and branding. It’s what ties
everything together… the music, the teaching
programs…everything. It’s who you are.
father of 4 great kids, and every once in a while things get
busy around here. We all end up running around in different
directions, each with our own responsibilities and needs. But
we come together under the proverbial banner of “The DeAndrea
Family”. It’s how we’re known at church and in the community…
The DeAndrea’s. It’s what projects stronger than any individual
component of our family unit and we wear the name proudly.
says, “This is who we are.” Is it saying it in a way that
you’re proud of right now?
8. Describe the thought process of putting a promo together?
promos are different. With imaging, you’re usually speaking in
sound bites… but with a promo, you can really expand and
explore. I love the brainstorming part! The thought process
varies, of course, depending on the message that you’re trying
to get across… but it’s fun to try and figure out the most
effective way to say what you want to say. The possibilities
are just about endless. You can incorporate humor, drama…
whatever. Then, once you’ve got the concept together, script it
out. I usually end up with way more than I can use. Then… the
beauty of working with audio and theater of the mind is that you
can make anything happen. With the right vocal delivery, music
and effects, you can create exactly what’s in your mind much
faster and cheaper than if you had to do it visually.
(if any) Christian radio stations do you consider as innovators
Christian radio station that grasps the concept that what
they’re doing is a means to an end and not and end in and of
itself gets my kudos. There are those who may be keeping up
with changing times and technologies better, but they are no
more valid than the small town station that reaches out to their
community with the love of Christ by helping to raise food for
the local food bank or caring enough to actually do a lost dog
report. What can compare to the love of Christ shining through
someone? Hold that up against what secular radio is doing.
After all these years, true love… 1 Corinthians 13 kind of love…
is still innovative!
Where do you see Christian radio in 5 years?
besides every Christian radio station utilizing my services?
Lord tarry and the law of the land still allow Christian radio
to function as it does today, my hope is that Christian radio
won’t grow watered-down or try and fit into the mold of secular
radio. Times are tough right now for people… maybe that will
get better in 5 years… maybe not. This missionary called
“Christian radio” can reach over borders and through prison
walls right into the heart of the darkest conditions and we
should boldly extend the living hope of Jesus Christ like never