Began broadcasting high school sports at WKBI-AM in my hometown of
St. Marys, PA, in 1982 at age 16. Stations I worked at
include WJET in Erie, WMJQ in Buffalo, KHYI in Dallas, WBZZ, WRRK
and WVTY in Pittsburgh, and WBOB in Minneapolis. My first
programming gig was at country station WBBS in Syracuse, followed
by WCOL in Columbus
1. How did God put you in His service at WZFS?
I was jaded by the radio companies I had worked for and had
lost most of my passion for radio, so I "retired" from radio in
2000. I always tried to attach a cause or mission to my job, and
it seemed to be getting more difficult to make a difference doing
radio. After a year of trying to find my "place in this world" I
was asked if I would be interested in interviewing for the PD
position at a new CCM station in Chicago. I didn't get the gig,
but was hired as a jock and Assistant PD.
2. What is the most fulfilling aspect to you personally
about Christian radio?
Knowing that what I do now is more important than just
entertaining and informing people.
3.How did your passion for Christian radio develop?
I was always a big fan of artists like PETRA, STRYPER, AMY and
MICHAEL W. The first non-inspo or talk Christian station I ever
heard was KLTY in Dallas when I was at KHYI in 1990. I used to
imagine doing what I do on a Christian station. It took years,
but now I can.
4. What is the typical day like in the life of a Christian
Trying to ballance music scheduling and show prep with record
company calls, local artists asking how they can get their songs
on our station, promotional tours, and listening to the new
music trying to find the right songs for our station.
5. What is your opinion on Christians working in secular
I believe it's critical to the ethical ballance of the industry.
For years I felt like I was on a little island. In Pittsburgh. I
was let go because I was "just too nice, too normal, and too
clean cut" for the CHR station I was at. But I always believed
it was important for me to be where God placed me, and it was my
mission to make a difference.
6. When searching for the new CCM hits what do you look
The songs Fish listeners in Chicago want to hear. Songs that
work in other markets don't always work here.
7. What would you say is the biggest misconception (if
any) the CCM record industry has of CCM radio?
That radio is a hit factory that just keeps rollin' 'em off the
assembly line. There are so many choices and so much competition
for people's time and attention. If the average listener hears
your station for 20 minutes a day how can they possibly get to
know a stack of new songs?
8. What in your opinion is the primary role of the
Christian radio air
That depends on the mission of each station. But I'm sure of
this, we need to give people quality alternatives so they don't
feel like they need to listen to something else because
Christian radio "isn't as good." We need to give them our best.
9. What preparation do you do before you go on the air?
I have a show planner and I chart out every song I'm going to
talk in front of. I try to have at least two breaks of artist
information prepared for each hour. I make notes about personal
antecdotes I might want to talk about. I read the paper and
check the most viewed stories on Yahoo and make a list of the
topics I want to talk about. It's always better to have too much
stuff than not enough.
10. Where do you see Christian radio in 5 years?
Hopefully giving the secular stations a run for their money
because the quality of the content, personality, and production
values are as good as they can find anywhere else, and we give
them something they can't find anywhere else.