I grew up a farm kid. I worked in a chocolate factory after
school. I did construction, and then sold insurance over the phone
when I was bitten by the radio bug in 1998. I begged for a job at
any radio station I could find until one hired me to operate the
board for Milwaukee Brewers games. I’ve programmed News/Talk,
Sports/Talk, A/C and Christian A/C. In between I’ve run my own
business, dabbled at writing fiction and non-fiction, sold
advertising, hosted talk shows and landed at Family Friendly WIBI in
2005. I became Station Manager in January of the following year.
My wife Teka, daughter Abby and English Springer Spaniel Sadie are
my hobbies. I like long walks on the beach and music from the early
Personally how do you keep the ministry in the “business”?
I continually look to remind myself that my identity is not in the
accomplishment or an accolade, but instead comes from trying to
follow Christ. I’m a broadcaster and manager who’s been called to
serve at WIBI for this season and for these listeners. John 6 is
one of my favorite chapters in the Bible – Jesus turning to Peter as
He watched hundreds of people walk away from following Him and asks
“are you going to leave too?” Peter replied, “Where else can I
go?” As broadcasters who love God, our whole life (family, “the
business,” friendship, community) is ministry.
In the same vein, before I was saved, I had a perception that maybe
some Christians were lazy and not concerned with high standards. I
think it is ministry minded to give your all and strive for
excellence. A sign in a Church I saw once has become an axiom I
think of from time to time: “Don’t expect God to anoint your second
2. Overall, how is Christian radio different
today, from 5 years ago?
I’ve only been in Christian Radio for three years, and was a casual
listener before that. From everything I read, it would seem that
the adoption of many of the tools used by secular radio to build
audiences has been incorporated, along with some exceptionally
ground breaking ideas on how to communicate faith on the air without
sounding like a Clanging Cymbal.
3. What do you think are the main characteristics of a Christian
Vision. Belief in the mission. Passion for people (inside and
outside of your walls.) Willingness to admit your mistakes.
Uncompromised commitment to excellence.
4. What ways or methods do you think work best to keep your staff
How can I share these secrets when I know my team might very well be
reading this? Seriously, my staff has proven largely
self-motivated. That passion and drive to excel comes from their
belief that God has called them to serve at WIBI, coupled with a
creative, healthily obsessive, perfectionist streak that any Manager
would love. I have the greatest staff that I’ve ever worked with in
radio. There’s not many of us at WIBI and we’re all working very,
very hard to do our best.
5. What kind of promotions work best for Christian radio?
The ones that involve your listener and include them in something
experiential that only your station can offer, while connecting each
participant to simply and effectively join in meaningful ministry
are often the most successful for us. And they had better be fun
6. How do you think Christian Record labels can better serve
Since our Network Music Director Joe Buchanan handles this for me
and I have been removed from it for a few years, any observations I
might have would be ill informed. I would like to identify that INO
Records has consistently proven to be a valued partner in unique,
generous and creative ways.
7. In your opinion what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian
The items I often see listed as obstacles are many times
opportunities without a fully realized action plan. Lack of funding
is always a challenge – but am I doing all I can to build
relationships with my donors, making the case for support year
around and developing a large donor program? Lack of awareness is a
challenge – but am I using proven Pyromarketing techniques to reach
new listeners? HD, social networking, new technology … all very
confusing and daunting – but am I doing my homework and prayerfully
asking for wisdom? I see potential obstacles in governmental
regulation of broadcasting in general. Potential requirements
pertaining to localism on the horizon, licensing fees that are cost
prohibitive, and confining regulations regarding fundraising for
worthy Third Party Ministries are all challenges, but even these can
The only true obstacle: there is never enough time to do all the
things I would like to do.
8. What do you believe is the primary role of the Christian radio
Everyone has their own style, and I think there is a place for a lot
of different approaches to creating a show based on your own unique
personality – but for me – the main objective has been to openly and
candidly live my life alongside my listener… to talk about my hopes,
fears, mistakes, dreams, experiences, opinions and then ask them
what’s going on in their world.
9. What (if any) Christian radio stations do you consider as
I see a fair number of great stations nationwide doing unique
things, but I would have to reserve the term “innovative” for my
friend Mike Schlote formerly of Pulse 99.5 in Iowa. Their efforts
to reach a CHR audience with a secular / Christian music mix, offer
perspective on culture that wasn’t demonstrably and reflexively
negative, (in fact it was engaging, funny and compelling – what a
concept!) use all available technologies and yet not compromise the
truth of the Gospel was a fascinating effort at innovation.
10. Where do you see Christian radio in 5 years?
Nationwide there are several stations doing an amazing job
connecting with their listeners, pulling together ministry focused
and engaging promotions, investigating and implementing the latest
research tools to better understand the audience and studying the
latest technology to see how radio might best exist in every area
that the target might live. Because I believe in the format, and
I’ve taken phone calls and read emails from people who God has
touched using our station and stations just like WIBI, I see
Christian radio THRIVING. We’re offering something to people that
they don’t get very often: authentic, entertaining friendship and a
place that people can connect with God for a few moments in the
middle of their busy life. I think from time to time, it is
important to remember that we were never God’s back up plan. We’ve
always been the way He chose to reach others for The Kingdom. As
long as we know why we’re doing this and for Whom – Christian Radio
will be broadcasting in different incarnations until the Trumpet