was born and raised in Terre Haute, Indiana. As an only child, he
found many creative ways of entertainment. Combining sports, music,
theatre and broadcasting, Dave has never known a moment of boredom.
Over 22 years Dave has worked in radio stations in many capacities,
including station management, in Terre Haute, Champaign, Chicago,
San Antonio and Pittsburgh markets. Additionally, he served as vice
president of an international character education film company.
Plus, Dave and his wife Kerry founded Country Living Home
Personally, Dave enjoys
traveling, including multiple trips over the years to China,
Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia and others. On one such trip
he was temporarily detained and questioned while taking hundreds of
foreign language Bibles and Study Guides into a communist country.
Dave’s wife Kerry serves on the staff of Competitive Edge
International. Since 1993, she has personally traveled with numerous
athletic ministry teams to several Asian and South American
countries. Locally, they attend Fellowship Bible Church in Tulsa.
Today, Kerry and Dave
have two sons, Ross (13) and Calvin (9). Dave serves on the
programming staff and hosts an afternoon drive show at three-time
Dove Award winning KXOJ in Tulsa. Additionally, Dave is heard daily
on KYTY in San Antonio and KCTR in Muskogee, OK.
Personally how do you keep the ministry in the “business”?
18 of my 22 years in radio have been at
Christian formatted stations. But, during the years I spent as a
general manager, it was more difficult to remain ministry focused
than I ever would have expected. So, now in an on-air and support
role, I pray for my GM and owners regularly – knowing the depth of
their responsibilities. Frankly, the ministry must come from the
individuals. If an individual makes a conscientious decision to put
“ministry” at the top of their priority list, it will not only be
“in” the business…it WILL be the “business.”
Overall, how is
Christian radio different today, from 5 years ago?
Before KXOJ, I spent the past few years
out of Christian broadcasting. So, the Christian radio I work in
today is quite different than the Christian radio I left. Here are
my observations as to how far we have come – keeping in mind .
tuned-in to our listeners.
playlist has more songs that are familiar to new listeners (from
Sunday morning worship services).
compete financially in many markets.
broadcast companies sampling “Christian format,” may ultimately lead
to more format flips.
What do you
think are the main characteristics of today's Christian radio PD?
I could come up with hundreds of characteristics of
the “super-effective” Christian radio PD. But, I will keep it to
On air…at events…when winners pick up prizes…on phones…hiring.
Meld with the GM.
If the two cannot read the other’s mind, it won’t work. The GM
hired you because you could do this.
of “the Line.”
Knowing where “the line” is…what it sounds like…what the results of
approaching it are…and, how to the keep all aspects of the station
away from it.
Absolutely NOTHING can fall through the cracks.
Sales staff, traffic, air personalities, label reps all have their
agendas. Your agenda (the success of the radio station) must come
Every employee (full or part time) must be hired to be your
How does a sports team win more games than their competition? By
committing fewer mistakes than their competition. Today’s Christian
PD keeps track of every detail on their station to minimize
…with management, staff, listeners, record labels, concert
promoters, peers, future employees, even the competition.
do you require for a song to be played on your station?
listener friendly music, good hook, artist lifestyle, etc. Those
are the expected answers. But, one thing that mustn’t be overlooked
is how quickly will our listener recognize the song when they hear
it again. If we are “their station,” we need to play “their
music.” We must pick songs that will become “theirs” quickly.
What kind of
promotions work best for Christian radio?
first promotions. For every promotion that has failed there was a
PD that should have pulled the plug, called a time-out, or pushed
the pause button long enough to re-invent it, or at least find a way
to minimize the failure. The ones that work get the listener
involved early and respectfully keeps their attention. Show the
listener that you care about their time – don’t make them “sit up
and beg” for every prize.
How do you
think Christian Record labels can better serve Christian radio?
opinion what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian radio today?
Here are six big ones.
and keeping top talent in all fields (upper management, talent, AEs,
new revenue streams.
the attention of our P2 listener.
the right image in the market.
yourself from like-formatted stations in the market.
these are the same obstacles that I faced while managing in
“mainstream” formatted stations. No change.
What do you
believe is the primary role of the Christian radio air personality?
going to be the simplest answer to this question ever. But, it all
boils down to this. The primary role of ANY radio announcer is to
keep the listeners who are listening to your radio station, at any
given time, from turning off your station during the next
commercial. The HOW TO of that is where a “super-effective” PD
comes in. The personality must be forward speaking – what’s coming
up that will keep my listeners from leaving my station, how can I
give them the information they want (the artist from that last song)
while keeping them listening during this 4-minute stop set. Other
VERY important roles include being the ”face” of the station at
events, when listeners pick up prizes, in front of clients, on the
phone (I know, they can’t see your face on the phone!).
(if any) Christian radio stations do you consider as innovators
away from Christian radio for several years, my desire was to return
to a station that IS an innovator. And, I was blessed to do that.
There are MANY others. I applaud the ones who can maintain their
“innovative edge” over the decades. Stations like KSBJ, WBGL, KLTY,
and several others, have been legendary for their on-going success
in the format. They are able to stay current - even slightly ahead
of the Christian culture for decades now. That’s what turned me on
Where do you see Christian radio in 5 years?
we’ll be super-serving our growing number of listeners with a
product that sounds better than any other option. I expect that
there will be more mainstream, mega-broadcasters trying out a
Christian AC format for a period. As this occurs, the talent will
change stations and new names will appear. Recently, a Christian
record executive and I were sharing suggestions as to who we thought
the next big artist in Christian music would be. Just as that will
only help grow the format, so will the development of the next
generation of radio talent.