Always loved radio. Pretended to be an announcer as a kid (loved
doing school closings.) In tenth grade, I was invited to join an
Explorer Post that was sponsored by my hometown radio station, KMOM
in Monticello, MN. Became president of the club my senior year of
high school. Took a brief broadcast training course in Austin, MN
in 1984. In 1985, I got my first professional job at KUXL-AM in
Minneapolis that had religious programming and Contemporary
Christian Music. The station later became KYCR. Was there through
1991 in various positions while I returned to school for my
Bachelors at Northwestern College.
Due to budget cuts, I was let go at KYCR and was able to work PT at
Northwestern College Radio doing productions and network operations
until I graduated from college in 1992. Shortly after that, I took
a job in Wisconsin at WGNV. Became Program Director for the
station, plus served in network leadership until 2004.
In February 2004, I rejoined Northwestern College Radio as the first
Program Director of Life 107.1 KNWI in Des Moines. Enjoyed the
opportunity to birth a new station, and the chance to work for Dick
Whitworth and Reid Holsen! In 2006, I was asked to move up to the
network headquarters in St. Paul as the Assistant Network Music
Director. My main jobs were music directing for KTIS, and to guide
the network Program Directors in making music decisions for
themselves to best serve their markets. Prior to this, music
decisions were made corporately. By 2007, all our stations were
programming individually, and my role morphed to being the KTIS
Music Director and Network Music Coordinator.
In early 2008, I joined the staff of Life 97.9/Legacy 92.7/Faith
1200 in Fargo-Moorhead as Morning Host, while retaining the Network
Music Coordinator role for the Network. Shortly thereafter, the
title of Program Director for our Fargo group was added.
has KFNW evolved over the last few years?
Our Fargo group has had a lot of changes recently. Our staff is
almost all new. We were gifted with a second full power FM (Legacy
92.7) which is formatted more of a Classic Inspo/Lt. AC. This
allows Life 97.9 to become a slightly hotter AC.
2. Has KFNW made any changes due to economic situation, been
affected in any way?
The Fargo-Moorhead area has been only mildly affected by the recent
economic downturn. Still, our giving has been down in recent years
compared. We think that may have been due to some audience
disconnect that we have recently address, and are seeing some
positive response. Still, we've had to keep our staff smaller than
we would like for the time being. I solo host the morning show.
Most of us pull double duty with our other two stations.
3.What criteria do you require for a song to be played on your
First, stylistically it must fit the overall AC sound. Then, the
lyric must be solid and fit with our Northwestern College mission
statement. After that, we make sure songs test well to stay in
kind of promotions work best for KFNW?
try to focus in promotions that are of a real value to "Melissa's"
(our archetypal listener's) life. Practical things (family
entertainment, personal/relational enrichment, etc), as well as
opportunities for her to make a difference in her family and
community. We try to partner with area ministries that have a solid
track record in the community. For example, working with area youth
ministries for food drives, or our local pregnancy help clinic with
a month long "baby shower" in association with a large grocery store
chain in town.
are developing a "helping hands" series of promotions where the
listener is more personally involved in touching lives.
do you think Christian Record labels can better serve Christian
Being at a station this is not yet a reporter, we do occasionally
struggle with getting certain songs on Play MPE. Apart from that, I
understand their financial limitations. I feel they do a good job
your opinion what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian radio
Unwisely copying what works in other markets. I've seen stations
that see an idea, a promotion, an imaging theme, and blindly copy it
to their market without thinking how it fits into the relationship
they have developed with their listener. Unless you speak your
listener's language and their regional "dialect", you will always be
limiting your effectiveness.
The next is really developing that relationship with the listener
with a view to helping her grow closer to God. Do we pursue a
friendship with her, address her needs, concerns, and hopes with an
eye to life changing relationship with Jesus?
What do you believe is the primary role of the Christian radio air
a friend to the listener.
What (if any) Christian radio stations do you consider as innovators
Life 107.1 KNWI, Z88.3, WCSG..there are several more.
Where do you see Christian radio in 5 years?
Don't know because I don't know where Radio will be in 5 years?
Between Fairness Doctrine, the early 20-somethings tuning out, and
licensing issues, I'm not sure about radio's future. I think it will
still be there, but a lot of change is probably in the wings. I
can only hope and pray that we'll be in the thick of it!!!