Mark Daniels is
a 26-year veteran of radio and television. Currently (since 1994)
the Program and Marketing Manager of the NRB’s 2006 Talk Station of
the Year (WFIL) and Salem's Philadelphia NewsTalk station (WNTP),
Daniels has received honors from the PAB for his “On the Mark”
commentaries and his daily “Mark Daniels Show.” Mark also serves as
the host of two nationally-syndicated Christian teaching radio
programs, "The Bible Study Hour with James Montgomery Boice," and
"Every Last Word with Dr. Phil Ryken." Career
highlights include serving as the announcer for a
nationally-syndicated TV game show ("Yahtzee," with host Peter
Marshall), and finding success as a GM, OM, PD, morning host, and
talk host in both the general market and Christian media.
The father of a college
senior (Alex) and a third-grader (Jessica), Mark serves as worship
leader of his church, an actor and playwright, and president of a
Bible conference. Mark, wife Susan, and their children reside in
Personally how do you keep the ministry in the “business”?
through honest relationships...most importantly, my marriage. My
wife is the most discerning person I've ever met! She is an
excellent sounding board...eager to help me keep my eyes on Jesus,
when I start to lose my focus and priorities.
2. Overall, how is
Christian radio different today, from 5 years ago?
It's much harder
than it was, even 5 short years ago...whether you're commercial or
listener-supported, music or teaching-formatted. A lot of it is
spiritual warfare, of course; our enemy is well aware of the impact
of Christian radio. Also, our industry (radio) in general has
changed so much; advertising and donor dollars, as well as
listeners, are being stretched across many different media
choices. But we have an advantage, I think. As the general market
broadcasters are just beginning to grasp the realities of
programming and selling a "niche," Christian broadcasters have been
there for years.
3. What do you think
are the main characteristics of today’s Christian radio PD?
That varies with
each and every unique situation. The job description is more elastic
than Silly Putty! There are similarities, though, between successful
Christian radio PDs...be they teaching/talk, or music programmers.
It still comes down to one's facility to be organized, proactive,
disciplined, mission-focused, and thick-skinned. Oh...and always
carry a pack of Rolaids...:)
4. What criteria do you require for a song to be played on your
It has to be within
the confines of Gaither's "Homecoming Radio," "Let us Worship," or
"Haven Today!" Seriously...we only play music at Christmas.
5. What kind of promotions work best for Christian radio?
Those that are
meaningful to the listener (not just the advertiser or underwriter),
simple to understand and participate in, laser-focused on only one
objective, fun to hear and talk about, and those that fit your
target demo. Anything that violates listener expectations is not
worth doing...even once.
your opinion what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian radio
complacency--a moral "dumbing down" that has, sadly, reached into
the church 2) Any station's unwillingness to embrace the
opportunities of new media 3) Economic pressures that can force us
into making wrong decisions about what we do, or how we staff 4)
The risk of burnout, from the incredible stresses of our calling.
What do you believe is the primary role of the Christian radio air
To do whatever his
PD tells him or her to do...:)
Seriously: in these days of voicetracking,
syndication, and automation...anyone privileged enough to be a
Christian radio personality should reflect the awe of his or her
good fortune every time they open the mike. Here's what has always
worked for me: when I played music, be it Country, AC, CHR, or
whatever...I would always be sure to share my love for the music
that I was playing, every chance I had. It was the one thing I knew
for sure I had in common with the audience. In the same spirit...if
your love for Jesus is perceptible--even viscerally--by what you say
on the air...you will have something very special in common with
What (if any) Christian radio stations do you consider as innovators
A tough question to
answer--I have so many friends, at so many stations, that are truly
out ahead of me--I'm afraid to leave out even one. But a short list
would have to include KKLA, WMCA, KPRZ, WJTL...oh, and did I mention
Where do you see Christian radio in 5 years?
locally-focused, trend-savvy, God-centered and tenacious stations
will survive and thrive. They'll have unique content that's
available on-demand at a well-maintained website, and they'll
be constantly aware of what their listeners like, and expect.
Everyone else will be under more stress than they've every
experienced...or, will have left for a career at Wal-Mart.