Career Capsule: Started in radio September of 1989. Have worked all over including stops at WAY-FM, Spirit FM (Missouri), Bott Radio Network, 88.7 The Cross in Monroe, LA along with several others. Currently at Renew 96.9 in Magee, MS (between Jackson & Hattiesburg)
Jack, tell us what’s new at Renew 96.9 … any news, changes etc… and what’s new with YOU?
My wife, Teresa, just joined the Morning Show a few months ago which is something I have envisioned for several years. Renew also prides itself as being the “local” station & we are in the process of moving our studio out of the church & into a prime spot on Main Street. Our studio will be visible for those who are walking or driving down Main Street. We will be there for the big fall festival every year, parades & other events they plan for Main Street. The station has also been playing on Main Street for the past few years thanks to a great relationship with our local Chamber.
How do you balance work & family, how important is it for someone in Christian Radio to ‘have a life”?
We value our family time. In the past I leaned toward workaholic but we now make family time & “off” time a priority. In Christian radio, I consider it a ministry & we can’t pour out to others if we don’t take time to rest & get refueled. Being connected with our local church family is also a priority as well.
Overall, what is the best programming advice you’ve been given? The worst?
Be real. Be authentic. Develop a relationship with the listener/donor.
The worst? Wasn’t advice but rather learn how NOT to do Christian radio through bad leadership examples.
What’s something you’ve learned due to the pandemic, about Christian Radio, that you didn’t know before?
I always knew the importance of Christian radio but the realization of the hope we provide is more real than ever before. And we have seen that all over the country, with the uncertain financial landscape, stations who share hope hit & exceed their fundraising needs.
What are your thoughts on podcasting, should all Christian broadcasters have a podcast?…
Podcasting is a way to go deeper with your listeners. Something you can’t do in 60 seconds. Not everyone should do a podcast unless you have a purpose. Our podcast is for the local connection only. We are very much so a grassroots, local station with relationships with local city/county leaders so we use our podcast as a platform to build & strengthen those relationships.
Where will new up and coming air talent for Christian Radio come from?
This is a tough one. We need to find the younger generation with a desire & groom them. We have plans in place to recruit, train & groom interns. It’s a lot of work but it’s needed. I’m grateful for places like Shine.fm, a part of Olivet Nazarene University, who teaches & grooms young talent. They are a great example of cultivating new, upcoming talent.
Generally speaking to the industry what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian air talent?
Wearing too many hats! It’s hard to prep when you are working on 10 other things at the same time. Prep time always becomes the last thing we do.
Who are your radio heroes and influences? and why?
My radio heroes are the guys who have been in one spot for several years, unlike me. My heroes are also the guys who retire from radio. At one time I didn’t think that was possible. But my biggest heroes & influences are Chris Weatherred & Steve Hawkins. Who are they? They were the ones who invested in me when I was 16. Chris was my first PD & after 6 months of being in radio he said one day when has kids, he’ll encourage them to stay away from radio because it’s an addicting career. He encouraged me to do something different. I told him it was too late so we moved on into the aircheck session.