Tell us about your market and how is it unique?
The most obvious uniqueness is the size of Chicago and
its many suburbs. There is a great deal of in-car
listening because it is always ‘drive time’ in
Chicago. You’ll find traffic jams at any time of any
day on any given road or expressway. There are also
70-something stations to choose from, though not every
signal covers the entire market. It’s a real challenge
to get noticed and make your mark here.
2. What is the most fulfilling aspect to you
personally about Christian radio?
Having the chance to do positive things every day
at my job is a dream come true.
3. How has God used you in your role at WZFS?
I don’t know how I could honestly answer that
question. I hope I’m a bright light in people’s day,
both in the office and on the ‘other side of the
radio.’ I do know He’s used me to fill a lot of space
(PD, MD and air talent,) and hopefully I sometimes do
something that matters.
4. What is the criteria that determines if a
song receives airplay on The Fish?
We look for hits. Fish listeners have told us what
kinds of songs they like, and we try to find more of
those kind. Occasionally an independent artist will
get airplay. It’s all about the song.
5. What kind of promotions work best for your
Promotions that are family centered. Kids are
powerful motivators for moms and dads.
6. How do you think Christian record labels can
better serve Christian radio?
I’d like to give you an intelligent and insightful
answer, but honestly, I’m pleased with how most labels
serve The Fish.
7. What are the biggest obstacles facing
Christian radio today?
I am concerned with Christian stations being spread
too thin in the personnel department. People need time
to think and talk with each other. The daily
multi-tasking routine doesn’t leave room for
creativity and compassion. There just isn’t enough
time to get all the work done and still be available
if someone is in need. Something has to give.
8. What do you believe is the primary role of
the Christian radio air personality today?
It should vary from market-to-market, based on what
your listeners want from you. At the very least, I
believe you should offer a positive, entertaining
alternative to what people hear on secular stations.
You’ve got to be a reflection of your listeners and
their lifestyles. You also have a huge responsibility
because you’re representing our Lord, so you better be
bursting with joy, and you better not be lazy!
9. What (if any) other Christian radio stations
do you consider as innovators today?
I know there are many great Christian stations
doing wonderful things, but I don’t have time to
listen to them. Back in ‘90 and ‘91 when I was doing
CHR at Y 95 in Dallas I used to listen to KLTY and
wished I could work there. It was the first
entertaining Christian music station I had ever heard.
I’ll never forget the first time I got to play MICHAEL
W. SMITH’s crossover hit “Place In This World” on Y
95. I was so excited and privileged to play a song
that mattered so much on a CHR station that I dropped
a few tears while it was playing. A few weeks later
Smitty actually came into the studio while I was on
the air. Those were two of the most memorable days of
10. Where do you see Christian radio in five
In every major and medium market, and hopefully,
even in most small markets. I recall my first year in
radio back in the early 80’s when CHR stations began
sweeping the nation. My town never had a station that
played the hits, and when our FM flipped from Country
to CHR the whole town thought it was the coolest
thing. We had no idea that it was happening in every
market. It would be wonderful to see the same thing
happen to CCM.