From the age of 15,
I've always had a desire to work in radio. I've dreamed
of working for the biggest station near my hometown of
Oakland, ME. I would practice being DJ, playing CD's at
home and announcing on my computer system for fun. At
17, I accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and my desire to
work in radio withered away for 3 years. I started
getting into Christian music, my first CD, PETRA "Beat
the System" then DC TALK's "Jesus Freak". At age 20, a
pastor friend of mine told me of a brand new Christian
station looking for DJ volunteers. I started
volunteering at WWWA-FM in January 1999 and was hired
full-time in November 1999 as an "everthing guy". In
March of 2000, I was promoted to Program Director and
have held that position since.
1. Tell us
about your market and how it is unique?
Being in the
Augusta, ME market is very unique. Augusta being
the state capital, there's a lot going on and
there's a lot of Maine heritage located here. When
I talk to people and say I'm from a radio station in
Maine, it seems a lot of people think that there's
not a whole lot going on here. But Maine and the
Faith community is growing quickly here and Maine is
blessed to have Christian radio from North to South
with about 8 stations (2 of them under our ministry)
2. What is
the most fulfilling aspect to you personally about
Christian radio is
so unique compared to mainstream radio. I've
volunteered at mainstream radio stations and my
perspective here is that it's not all about ratings;
yeah we want more people listening, but want them to
be encouarged by the music, the thoughts and most
important use this radio station as a tool to point
people to Jesus in a fun, worshipful way!
3. Here is
your chance to testify on behalf of your
station...How has God used WWWA?
This station started
out as a mix of all genres of Christian music. In
2001, I saw the importance of worship in my own
life and how it's demonstrated in lives around
me. Modern worship music seemed to draw listeners
into our station, so we streamlined that
particular format and has been the niche here in
Maine & New England with Worship 95.3 FM. We hear
testimonies day in and day out of how blessed
people are when they listen to worship from
artists they know and love. We've seen people
come to Christ, testimonies of marriages being
saved and God is using WORSHIP 95.3 now by
allowing our signal to expand into more areas of
Maine & New Hampshire. We're extremely excited
is the criteria that determines if a song receives
airplay on your station?
A few things.
First, is it a song that will be enjoyed 10 years
from now. That's the beauty of having people in
our mid-30's who work & volunteer here and they
can give their input of a song. Usually wiyh
artists that people know & love like Third Day
or Michael W. Smith it's easier but we like to
throw some new artists into the mix as well and
see what the respose is. Second, does it point
you to God. In other words, is there some worship
elements in the song that will draw you to the
Father. Finally, if it mixes well with our
classic mix ("Awesome God", "Trading My Sorrows",
etc), then it will definately get considered.
kind of promotions work best for your station?
They have to be
fun, simple and relate to our core audience. If
the promotion allows the listener to do less
work to get more, that seems to be successful.
The bigger the prize, the more incentive they
have to enter. Promotions that are "out of the
box" wacky ideas can grab attention to our core.
do you think Christian Record labels can better
serve Christian radio?
We have to
remind ourselves that we need to help each
other. What can our station do to help them?
Overall, I think Christian labels work very hard
to make sure radio stations play their music.
Some labels I work with are very generous with
their giveaways so our listeners can be
blessed. Being in a small market can be very
challenging. Often times, I don't get quick
reponse from bigger labels when I shoot emails
to them about promotion ideas, new artist info,
etc. Understanding they have a marketing focus
in the top 50 markets, I take that into
consideration. Overall, my desire is for our
team at WORSHIP 95.3 to continue to have a
strong relationship with record label reps and
let them know that we are working to help EACH
your opinion what are the biggest obstacles
facing Christian radio today?
I listen to a
lot of Christian radio stations over the
internet, when I visit out of town, etc. I
would say trying to keep a balance of the way we
speak on the air & the station's sound.
Sometimes I hear stations that in an hour, don't
mention the name of Jesus at all, other stations
tend to preach or sound like they're "talking
down" to you. We have to find that balance
where we have to glorify the Name of Christ yet
present it in a way that a seeker would be
interested in what you have to say.
8. What do you believe is the
primary role of the Christian radio air
the listener's friend. Yes, we do the daily
song announcements, time checks, etc.
However, what can we do to make the
person listening be more encouraged and say
something that will keep them listening or
give them another reason to come back? It
differs for each station depending on the
audience you're trying to reach, but we all
need to be transparent and real.
What (if any) other Christian radio stations
do you consider as innovators today?
I am a HUGE
fan of WAY-FM. I love their ministry. They
make themselves known as "Christian Hit Radio"
and as a Christian station, but their approach
is awesome! They can encourage their
Christian audience but make it very appealing
for the seeker. Also, AIR1 is up there as a
Where do you see Christian radio in 5 years?
Just to see
how God is using artists in the Christian
circuit now into mainstream outlets, I see
Christian radio making more of an impact
especially in a time where people are
searching for answers. Face it, we're living
in a tense time with all the wars going on and
issues are become desensitized to people, I
believe God is using Christian radio as an
awesome tool now and will have more of an
impact to draw people to Him and to keep
encouraginging those in their walk.
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