1. How did you wind up at WAYJ?
While working for Salem in Chicago, I was asked to
serve as the interim PD to help launch the FISH.
During that process, I met WAY-FM’s consultant John
Frost who was also consulting the FISH launch. John
and I became friends and kept in touch. After leaving
Salem, John contacted me about the opportunity to come
to WAY-FM. At first I wrestled with God over leaving
Chicago, but after a lot of prayer and a 3 hr. phone
call with Doug Hannah (network PD), John and Jeff
Taylor(GM/WAYJ), the deal was sealed.
2. What is the most fulfilling aspect to you
personally about Christian radio?
I hope this doesn’t sound trite, but for once in my
career, I feel like my talent is going toward so much
more than just helping to bolster a company’s stock
3. How has God used you in your role at WAYJ?
Varsity football game. Christian school vs. Giant
public school. We’re there with the van playing music
while watching the Christian school getting clobbered.
At half time a couple of the public school
cheerleaders come over to the van. I was expecting a
crude remark or at least a jab at the Christian school
kids for getting beat so bad. Instead this stunning 16
year old cheerleader, in front of her “in crowd”
cheerleader friends, broke down and started crying.
They were as shocked as me when she said, “I just want
you to know that your station is very important to me.
I depend on you to help me know what’s really
important. I listen to you guys every morning so I
don’t go crazy at school”. That story pretty much sums
it up for me.
4. What is the criteria that determines if a
song receives airplay on your station?
Again, not to sound overly simplistic, but we just
ask our target if she likes the song. If she says yes,
we play it. If she says no, we don’t. We spend a lot
of time and energy on research to find out what she
wants to hear.
5. What kind of promotions work best for your
Our listeners really enjoy rallying around events
that make their community better. They also enjoy
winning stuff, but the key is balance. Good promotions
are always truly beneficial to the listener. Getting
listeners to jump through a bunch of hoops to have a
“chance” at winning something is really self-serving.
Doing that makes it about you, not them. We try to
make our promotions very simple while letting
production values, and theater of the mind keep their
ears and minds entertained. People have heard all the
cliché radio gimmicks, so finding a unique approach is
key to making it different from all the rest on the
dial. A very small percentage of people will actually
try to play radio games, so you have to keep them
entertained in the process.
6. How do you think Christian Record labels can
better serve Christian radio?
I am always looking for creative and fun ways to
promote the artists and music we play. Good artist
audio is hard to come by. I’m not sure if it’s
possible, but as a programmer it would nice if labels
would give us access to quality (no fuzzy phoners)
audio for us to use in our imaging. I’m not talking
about cutting a million liners that say “this” is my
favorite station. It would be great if we could just
get fun outtakes of studio sessions where the artists
are just being themselves having fun and talking about
the music. I haven’t thought it all the way through
logistically, but if there was a way you could get
that kind of audio to me on a regular basis, it would
be all over my imaging and would make your artists
that much more relatable to my listeners.
7. In your opinion what are the biggest
obstacles facing Christian radio today?
I think we still have a ways to go in overcoming
the stereotype of what “Christian” radio sounds like.
I think a lot of people still think they’re going to
get thumped. Quality of the product is another issue.
For the most part, mainstream radio sounds good
because they have to in order to get ratings and
survive. Christian radio has to understand we are
competing for the same listeners. If we think all the
Christians are just going to listen to us we’re
8. What do you believe is the primary role of
the Christian radio air personality today?
To connect with his/her listeners in a way that no
one else can. I think you have to reflect and relate
what’s happening in their world through the grid of
being a Christian, and talk about getting through life
the best you can just like they do.
9. What (if any) other Christian radio stations
do you consider as innovators today?
I think Salem’s FISH format has to be included as
an innovator… not because of a unique sound, but
because they were able to get Christian radio noticed
in some very big markets. Many people are concerned
about the commercialization of Christian radio, but
for the listeners in those cities, the other option is
nothing at all. I think the AIR 1 network is trying
new things and doing a great job. I know there are a
lot of individual Christian stations that are
absolutely doing amazing things in their local
10. Where do you see Christian radio in 5
I think it will have grown into a genre that is
much more respected even than it is now. I think the
music will be even broader lyrically. I think more and
more talented people will come out of the mainstream,
and make the decision to use their gifts and talents
to promote a message of hope that is positive, upbeat