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Radio Interview

 

Paul Perrault

PD/Network Music Coordinator

KFNW

Fargo

To contact Paul click here
 

 

Paul's Career Capsule
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.

 

1. How 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 station?

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 rotation. 

 

4. What kind of promotions work best for KFNW?

We 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. 

We are developing a "helping hands" series of promotions where the listener is more personally involved in touching lives. 

 

5. How do you think Christian Record labels can better serve Christian radio?

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 overall.

 

6. In your opinion what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian radio today?

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? 

 

7. What do you believe is the primary role of the Christian radio air personality?

Be a friend to the listener. 

 

8. What (if any) Christian radio stations do you consider as innovators today?

Life 107.1 KNWI, Z88.3, WCSG..there are several more.

 

9. 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!!!



 

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