board operator in 1987 at WBVM 90.5 FM after internship at a
local Fox television affiliate. I have been with WBVM ever
since wearing titles of announcer, traffic manager, sports
coordinator, program director and station manager. Changed
identity of station in 1997 becoming Spirit FM. Completed a
full station move and build out in 2009.
1. How do you keep the
ministry in the business?
Prayer is number one. Without the
Holy Spirit working through the ministry, we cannot make it.
Make sure that you have a committed staff that believes in the
ministry, the mission and goals for the station. Being able to
communicate the goals and mission to the listeners is also
2. How is Christian radio
different that it was 5 years ago?
Itís a different climate
economically and we have to be sensitive to our listeners and
their essential needs. We have to be more creative in our
promotions and outreach in what we can do for them.
3. What are the main
characteristics of a Christian radio GM?
I cannot speak for anyone else. If
I had to hire my replacement, Iíd say that they need to be
Christ-centered in their life and work. It helps to have good
family support at home also. The individual must be well rounded
in all aspects of radio operations. They need to be sensitive
to the needs and goals of each department of the station and
making sure that those goals mesh with the overall mission
vision and goals for the station. He or she has to be
accessible to the staff and listeners. They must have sound
economic stewardship values. Must be a good listener and be fair
4. What ways or methods work
best to keep your staff motivated?
Communicate what you want and
expect. Sometimes thatís easier said than done. Be fair with
them. Create a level of accountability across the board and
treat everyone with that same level of accountability. Show
genuine appreciation often or when warranted. Have
funócelebrate birthdays, have staff cookouts and participate in
events. In our economic climate, no one wants to lose a job so
that is motivation enough.
kind of promotions work best in Christian radio?
Knowing what it
is that impacts the target listener in their everyday life and
give them something that helps them in their daily grind. Fun
contests, lots of outside appearances and things that help
protect their kids. Anything that helps them financially. Back
when gas was sky high, we did gas card giveaways. When there
was a rash of child abductions in the bay area, we did ďsafety
schoolsĒ around the area and had huge turnouts.
your opinion is there any way Christian labels can better serve
the Christian radio?
More access to
the artists. There is a big issue though with music fees to the
recording industry that will be a major issue for stations in
the very near future. It is already impacting us with rising
licensing fees and with the internet and other technologies for
artists to be featured, it seems as though the radio stations
are being punished. We are the ones playing their music. The
labels need to be aware of what we as station managers are
are the biggest obstacles facing Christian radio today?
with your audience. Economic factors, music licensing, keeping
listeners tuned to the radio longer.
is the primary role of the Christian radio on air personality?
on Christ and the mission of the station so that they can bring
others along. People want to be entertained, but they tune in a
Christian station to be uplifted and encouraged. Finding a
balance between a Christ-centered message and entertainment of
meeting people where they are. Showing that being a Christian
can be fun and exciting! Keeping oneself grounded so that they
donít become bigger than the station or themselves so that they
can stay in touch with the listener. Living the life they have
been called to and not being someone else off mic.
if any Christian stations do you consider as innovative
donít listen to a great number of them other that whatís in the
Tampa bay area market. We have a fantastic group of managers in
this market (I had lunch with them today) and we all have a
passion for radio and all reach a different demo, but there is
certainly crossover. The bay area listener has a great variety
from which to choose and we all share listeners at some level.
do you see Christian radio in 5 years?
dictate. Various platforms of listening, especially though
phones. Iím old school, so I still listen through my portable
radio with the telescoping antenna. Will radios be in cars in 5
years? Yes, 10 years, probably. No guarantees after that.
Everything might be web based.