First radio job
was in 1982 in the heart of the coal mine country (Gillette,
WY) at the height of the oil and coal boom in Wyoming doing
overnights on a rock station called “Rockin - KOLL”. From
there I moved through the ranks and formats and soon was doing
afternoons on a new AC station in town, where I also started
producing a weekly Christian music show called “Morningstar”.
It was then in 1984, as I sensed God leading me into Christian
radio, that a new station called KSLT out of tiny Spearfish,
SD (with a mammoth regional FM signal) came on the air. In
1986 I finally answered the call and was hired at KSLT as
Music Director. I left KSLT in 1990 as my wife and I pursued
our college educations at Montana State in Bozeman. She wound
up with a Doctorate in Plant Sciences, I settled for a BA in
Literature, but all the while I kept my feet firmly planted in
broadcasting at Montana’s lone PBS affiliate where I was a
Promotions Director. In 1999, sensing God’s direction again
toward Christian radio, on a whim one day I called KSLT (which
had since moved to new studios in Rapid City, SD). It turned
out that unbeknownst to me they were looking for a new Program
Director right then and they were just about to make an offer
to another person. The next day that person changed his mind.
It opened the door for my returne to KSLT as Program Director
and now doing mornings.
1. How did you wind up at KSLT? (see above)
2. What is the most fulfilling aspect to you personally
about Christian radio?
Mixing my passion for good radio with my passion for God is
pretty darn fulfilling. Also watching how God continually uses
the foolish things of this world to confound the wise (and how
He ultimately brings people to a realization of who He is
through that means) is quite fulfilling.
3. How has God used you in your role at KSLT?
I never envisioned myself as a leader (and still feel
uncomfortable in the role). But in seeing Him present me with
opportunities to lead others to channel there passions for
godly pursuits is an amazing, yet humbling thing.
4. What are the criteria that determine if a song
receives airplay on your station?
It has to meet our high production and musicianship
standards; lyrically it must be biblically sound; to the best
of our knowledge the artist must currently be living a
lifestyle compatible with scripture; and most importantly it
must have the potential to be very well-liked by our target
5. What kind of promotions work best for your station?
The kind of promotions that focus on super-serving who our
target is, what she and her family likes, where she shops,
what she likes to do, when she likes to do it, and how she
likes to do those things. Actually breaking-even or turning a
profit in the promotion never hurts either, but that is never
necessary for successful radio promotion. Don’t let any sales
manager tell you different.
6. How do you think Christian Record labels can
better serve Christian radio?
By maintaining the highest possible standards in all areas
of ministry, as laid out in scripture. When it comes to the
quality of artists (new and old), holding artists, executives
and employees accountable, crafting creative radio promotions
that are actually meaningful to my listener, or in choosing
relevant radio singles for my audience, “Christian Record
labels” should be the standard by which other labels are
7. In your opinion what are the biggest obstacles
facing Christian radio today?
The issues of effectively and efficiently maintaining a
local, relevant presence in the face of large group ownership
and out-of-market voices and show production is certainly no
small obstacle. How to maximize the use of the web, both in
terms of research and listener service, isn’t chopped liver
either. But in everything a station does, it will be way ahead
of the game in whatever market it finds itself by effectively
answering this one question: “Why does she (the listener) care
about what this station is doing?”
8. What do you believe is the primary role of the
Christian radio air personality today?
To be relevant to the listener while also facilitating,
articulating and endeavoring toward the larger vision and
mission of the station.
9. What (if any) other Christian radio stations do you
consider as innovators today?
KTSY-Boise, WCSG-Grand Rapids, and KSBJ-Houston.
10. Where do you see Christian radio in 5 years?
Wherever it decides it wants to go. If it decides to drivel
away into oblivion because of a lack of passion, a lack of new
blood, a lack of relevancy...or whatever, then it has made the
bed in which it will sleep. If, however, it decides to be
relevant in all areas of radio and ministry, to hold high
measures of integrity and broadcasting leadership, it has the
potential to be the most influential and listened-to format in
radio. The choice is ours.