1. Your're one of the most "heard" voices on
radio...how has God blessed your voice over business?
What started out as a handful of clients in the late
eighties developed into over 100 clients in radio and
television. Today God blesses me with radio voiceover work
in dozens of markets, television promo work for CNN and
MSNBC, Universal Studios, and Sony. Concurrent with growth
of my secular stations has been growth with Christian
radio. Today I work with nearly two dozen Christian
broadcasters as well as The Worship Network/Praise TV and
2. Why do you think radio stations, Christian in
particular, should have a signature voice?
If you look and listen to the world around you, youíre
bombarded with thousands of messages everyday. Itís not
enough to have a consistent message; you need to have a
consistent messenger. The logo you see on a Ford car is
the same one youíll see on an original Model T from 1919.
Coke shares the same type of history. I give stations a
logo; a consistent sound; a familiar voice. In addition to
on-air personalities, you need a thread to bring it all
together. A station voice can accomplish that. Christian
radio has sometimes suffered from sounding small. Spirit
FM in Tampa should have the opportunity to be imaged just
as well as WKTU in New York.
3. How has your voice over business expanded into
While I donít remember the first Christian station I
worked with, I do remember the joy in realizing there was
an entire market where I could use my God-given talents
with voiceover work directly for His glory. One of the
first stations was WCIE in Lakeland. I was living in
Philadelphia at the time and loved talking with Rick
Elmhorst and Dave Kirby about how Life 91 was positively
impacting young adults around Lakeland and Tampa. Another
relationship I enjoyed was The Way Network based in
Nashville. That led to many other opportunities from
people who would hear my voice on another Christian radio
station and inquire if Iíd have interest in working with
them. Recently weíve helped some Christian stations with
fully produced imaging from my other company,
The same guys that produce for Clear Channel, Infinity,
and many others in markets one through twenty are making
Christian radio come alive.
4. What is the typical day like for a voice
over/production talent like you?
I get up at 6:30 and spend a couple hours with my two
(soon to be three!) kids. Working out of the house causes
many people to wonder ďcan you just voice stuff in your
pjís?Ē You have to feel good about your self to sound
good, so a hot shower and fresh clothes are a must. I make
my 30 foot commute and get into the studio before 9 a.m. I
spend 30 minutes collecting faxes and emails then my first
sessions usually start at 9:30 by ISDN. My day is now very
mixed between ďliveĒ ISDN sessions and mp3 delivery. Iíll
voice projects for 20 to 40 clients each day. Usually Iím
done near 6:30 and occasionally push 7 p.m.
5. In general how is the on air attitude (image) of
a Christian station different from secular?
The best part is itís cleaner and much more palatable
for the entire family. Christian radio is usually
uplifting and positive with its content. The same canít be
said of much of secular radio. Iím very uncomfortable with
some of the borderline words and phrases I may be asked to
read. Iíll refuse anything that walks the line. You wonít
hear me say ďThank God itís Friday.Ē I had to refuse some
lucrative work that was in conflict with my Christian
values. On the other hand, secular radio does promote
itself more thoroughly than most Christian radio. I donít
hear many morning show promos on Christian radio and Iíd
like to be voicing more weekend and week long promotion
pieces for Christian radio. Many Christian stations are
constrained by finances (and if you talk to people in
secular radio, they, too might be spending less
recently!). It doesnít take much money to give away a cd
three pack or send folks to the new Veggie Tales movie and
each station should be looking for new promotion ideas.
6. What new audio production technology has caught
your attention recently?
Iíve recently made the move to Cool Edit 2 (www.syntrillium.com).
For years I was a user of SAW Pro and after hearing many
respectable producers mention Cool Edit I decided to give
it a try. If you combine it with some direct x plugins
from Waves or TC Electronics, you can get a great sound
with a system thatís more efficient than Pro-Tools and at
a quarter of the cost. Iíve also entered the recordable
DVD scene for audio archiving and the ability to create
copies of some of my video projects.
7. I understand you've recently launched a
website to discuss Christian radio. Please tell us about
was recently launched to
my clients and some friends. While I havenít publicized it
yet, there is a small group of Christian radio people
participating in the ďChristian Radio forum.Ē When you
sign up, you also get access to a ďCopy DropĒ area that
allows creative types to share copy ideas.
8. What do you believe is the primary role of the
Christian radio air personality today?
The same as secular radio: to Entertain! Itís how you
entertain thatís different. It can inform the listening
audience about the music, upcoming community events, and
station events. Christian radio affords the beauty of
sharing many similar attributes with your listeners-a
desire to be fed through Godís music, close families,
shunning much of todayís popular culture. As a Christian
air personality, you can know much more about your
audience than most secular personalities do and be able to
entertain them more effectively.
9. What Christian radio stations stand out to you
All of my Christian clients have impressed me in one
way or another. Spirit FM WBVM in Tampa has improved its
sound with more time for personality driven music radio.
The Massive Network of stations based at Calvary in
Albuquerque is aggressively imaged and growing fast. WONU
in Chicago brings in great concerts and artist signings.
KDUV in California impresses me with their community
involvement. WYSZ in Toledo is very connected to the youth
in the area. They have a performance theater where bands
come to play and kids express their love for the Lord.
WQFL in Rockford is in the middle of the dial and sounds
like they belong there with a strong morning show and a
well programmed station all through the day.
10. Where do you see Christian radio in 5 years?
Christian radio continues to grow each year. Every week
new people tune in and learn the value of Christian radio.
I see more markets learning commercial Christian radio is
a viable format which can enrich peopleís lives and make
money at the same time. Non commercial Christian radio
will continue to do well, improving its sound as they
borrow the tools that work from secular radio and leverage
the power of the Lord like no secular station can. As the
world continues to struggle through the mire of sin, the
message of Christ delivered by radio becomes all the more
needed and desired.
Sean Caldwell can be reached at