WWGN - Ottawa, IL (Moody, later AFR affiliate) hosted morning,
then afternoon drive show. 1997-2002
WCMY/WRKX - Mainstream Talk/Hot AC cluster - news, sports,
WKAN-AM - Mainstream Talk/Country/CHR cluster - news
Moody Radio - National Programming Assistant 2004-2005
WONU - Program Director/Morning Host - 2002-present
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1. How has
WONU evolved over the last few years?
We play better
songs than ever before....and continue to get a better understanding
of our audience (which should happen at any station). Ratings
success has followed with this "evolution" and we continue to hear
great stories of life change. In music selection, I care about
lyrics first, which may not have been the case here in the past.
2. Has WONU
made any changes due to economic situation, been affected in any
actually. 2008 wrapped up strong and so far, 2009 has been very
good. Maybe in some minor ways.
3. How is
Chicagoland a unique Christian market?
There is only one
Christian station (WMBI-FM) that covers the entire market. The other
(Christian music stations) each cover segments of the market, but no
one signal covers the whole thing. That being said, the stations
have a great relationship with one another and I appreciate very
much the fellowship and interaction that we have between ourselves.
criteria do you require for a song to be played on WONU?
I think we've got
quite a balance of songs and sounds on the air. While I am very
careful to guard the "sound" and brand of our station, I don't
always disqualify a song from having a chance on the air here simply
because on first listen, you "couldn't hear that on the air here."
Our station is not primarily about a genre or sound, but rather it's
made up by songs which are defined as connecting, great hit songs.
The song needs to be a seamless, easy fit for the life group of
those who listen and the audience we're going after.
5. What kind
of promotions work best for Christian radio?
Ones that feature
great prizes or payoffs, are easily and clearly defined and
articulated, that listeners feel like they can win, and are imagined
and developed with the listener in mind (first, not second or
6. How do you
think Christian Record labels can better serve Christian radio?
of the artist-type audio for promos, more information about new
artists, perhaps facilitating one-on-one conversations more often
with new priority artists either by phone or in person.
Additionally, some might need to be a little more transparent - a
little less programmatic in regards to the songs we're talking
about. I get turned off by memorized pitches of songs. And sometimes
there's an awkwardness when I need to bring up something negative
about a song. We should be able to openly talk about that - and
perhaps the label can reciprocate with struggles they have with
artists or promotions.knowing that we're in the same boat trying to
reach the same people.
Oh, and don't assume that because we're a CHR station that we
necessarily want a "hotter" song of lesser quality than the AC
single. If the AC single is a smash hit, I'll take that one.
7. In your
opinion what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian radio today?
-Content that isn't
very real (or just not very good). We're doing that to ourselves. It
doesn't have to be done in an annoying "I'm trying to be real so
look at how cool I am" type way, but I believe listeners appreciate
thoughtful content more than recycled content. And it needs to be
professional just like anything else we do.
- Not challenging
listeners in their spiritual walk simply because we need to let them
get away with thinking it should be all about them all the time.
Sorry, that's not "Christian."
-Inability to research our audience or potential audience
-Personnel (people) is not a priority for too many stations (Doing
too many things half-effort rather than a few things really well)
8. What do
you believe is the primary role of the Christian radio air
well-balanced program employing heavy and light content - all
designed and communicated in a digestible, relatable, God-honoring
way. (I'm sure I should try to use the word "Relevant" in here
somewhere too, right)? J
9. What (if
any) Christian radio stations do you consider as innovators today?
It depends on how
you define "innovator." I think that a lot of the stations typically
referred to when this question is asked are usually just doing a
better job of managing its resources, researching its audience, and
wisely, prayerfully, and systematically executing its vision and
stations are on my iPhone streaming app: (which doesn't mean they're
innovators, I suppose - several of them aren't even Christian
stations) WLS, WFRN, WONU, WMBI, WGN, Q98.5 in Rockford (because
Denise Pagano is cool) Mancow,(he's cool too) WVLI (they're in town
here), WAY-FM, KWVE
10. Where do
you see Christian radio in 5 years?