1. Tell us about
your market and how it is unique?
Seattle (with Portland)
is regularly called "Least Churched City" in
America. A Couple of years ago we did some research
with Alan Mason of Audience Development Group, and
we discovered that about 65% of Seattle's population
had some kind of Christian background. That was our
first real glimpse into the whether we'd be able to
build some respectable ratings. Since then we've
doubled the cume and have become one of the top
stations in Seattle among Adults in all formats..
2. What is the
most fulfilling aspect to you personally about
The format is about
"loving God and loving people." With any other
format you play music, give away a prize, and make a
few people happy. With Christian radio you're
providing a type of accountability ... the kind
early Christians gave each other. We are
accountable to share the Good News and encourage one
another with the promise in Jesus for whom we live.
I like that Christian radio can model authentic,
joyful accountability and uplift people
through encouragement in word and music.
3. Here is
your chance to testify on behalf of your
station...How has God used Spirit 105.3?
I recently asked
that question of our Listener Advisory Board, and
quickly received about 600 responses. The Lord has
used Spirit 1053 to show Christians who listen that
they are not alone. Spirit 1053 is also non-profit,
all proceeds from spot revenue go towards Crista
Ministries to reach even more people for Jesus,
4. What is the
criteria that determines if a song receives airplay
on your station?
The song can't sound
like something else that is already
in "currents." Mostly we leave it to a small group
of people in what I call the "Hallway Advisory
Board," we pass the music around, score it and then
Tom Pettijohn (MD) and I figure out what the
"inside" favorites are. This methodology projects
us past many of our own biases.
5. What kind
of promotions work best for your station?
I would have to say,
the promotions that put the listener first, from
their point of view. Everything we do has to answer
a question that listeners should be asking: "Why
should I care?" If we can answer the question in a
way that we think will satisfy the listener, we have
6. How do you
think Christian Record labels can better serve
I believe Christian
labels are doing a remarkable job in providing
diverse product. I only wish that we could play
more currents without sacrificing ratings. The
labels are doing a stellar job.
7. In your
opinion what are the biggest obstacles facing
Christian radio today?
Lack of relevance
because of an attitude of "I'll preach and play
the music they need to hear." It's
the same attitude that you'll find in many
Churches. Too often we resemble the Apostles at
the Last Supper who still didn't "get" that we are
to serve. "He who is last will be first" stuff.
All we can really do is wash listener's feet with
our music and words and tell them the benefits.
Pretty easy because the listeners themselves have
already told us the benefits!
8. What do you
believe is the primary role of the Christian radio
air personality today?
To encourage and uplift
the people listening in as real of a way as possible
reflecting their (the listener's) life, so that
they'll know they are not alone. People want to be
with those they are like. You want ratings? Then
become the listener. We are
essentially Missionaries. We need to go to the
listener's culture and be like them.
9. What (if
any) other Christian radio stations do you consider
as innovators today?
KXOJ is pretty amazing
don' cha know! Way to go Bob. Look at Chuck
Finney's work at KLTY, Kevin Avery at the Fish,
Atlanta, KSBJ, Houston. Ok, there are others, but
I'm dizzy with those I've already mentioned.
10. Where do
you see Christian radio in 5 years?
Bigger than ever
because secular "Wall Street Radio" is not fun for
anyone working for it. If Christian
Broadcasters remember who our boss really is, don't
be afraid to say His name on the air, and if more of
us start "winning in the hallway," there will be no