Carrer Capsule: I got started in radio 35 years ago and I’ve been in and out of radio ever since. I’ve worked in the mainstream as the PD at KISS-FM in Fargo, and also worked for Z-103.3 in the Lakes Region of Minnesota. Most of my experience has been in Christian radio working at WSOR/Ft. Myers, Power 92/Fargo and the WAY-FM Network. Currently, I do Mornings at KCBI/Dallas-Ft. Worth.
Jeff… Tell us what’s new with KCBI… news, changes, & with YOU… etc?
KCBI in Dallas-Ft. Worth has undergone an extreme makeover since 2003. We used to be known as a teaching station that played some music. Now we’re a music station that plays some teaching programs. Our audience has more than doubled in the last four years and we now reach nearly 400,000 people each week in DFW. Also, we were grateful to be named 2017 Radio Station of The Year by NRB. For me personally, I’m excited about releasing a new book next month – SAY GRACE: 40 Days of Good News. It has been endorsed by Candace Cameron Bure and For King & Country. I hope it encourages folks.
Dallas is a very competitive Christian Radio market, how does that affect your approach to your morning show?
Our morning show is unique in Dallas-Ft. Worth, known for having transparent and sometimes messy conversations about real life, and we see ourselves as competing against ALL stations in the Metroplex. “Mornings with Jeff & Rebecca” is a show that highlights the brokenness we all share. But it’s not a heavy downer. We laugh a lot with our listeners.
What is the best programming advice you’ve been given? The worst?
Best Programming Advice: Make sure what you’re about to say passes the “Who cares” test. Worst Programming Advice: Research is overrated. Listen to your gut.
Some say more Christian stations in a market the better, do you agree with that, why or why not?
I don’t think it’s possible to overserve listeners in a market with Christian radio. There are several Christian stations in Dallas/Ft. Worth and each one is unique, I think. We force each other to be better all the time.
What is the ONE thing you must have everyday to do your job/show?
I’ve always said that a good morning show host is someone who lives an interesting life and surrounds himself/herself with interesting people. We also look for stories to tell that reflect her life, values and interests.
Where will future Christian radio air talent come from?
Good question. Since people don’t like disc jockeys, I would say that future talent will come from the world of ordinary folks who can tell stories and be entertaining.
Generally speaking to the industry what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian radio?
The main obstacle for most Christian stations is marketing money! People won’t listen to us if they don’t know we’re there.
Who are your radio heroes and influences? and why?
Bob Augsburg, who gave me my first job at 17. Joel Burke (one of the most decorated and successful PD’s in America), who makes me a better air talent every day. Bryan Johns, who works harder than anyone I know in Christian radio and inspires me. Ty McFarland – great PD and great guy!