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Lorenda Rae Interview

Lorenda Rae
Morning Show host
KARM
Fresno/Visalia, CA

Career Capsule: My radio career has spanned over 30 years!   As a musician and actor, I fell in love with radio and voice-overs when I took a radio/TV course.  I was working before I even graduated at KZZU Spokane, I traveled to Dallas and worked at KKDA and KTFM in San Antonio and then to the coast where I worked at Hot 97.7 in San Jose as well as K104 in Fresno. After a major spiritual attack – (that little did I know would lead my to my deep walk with Christ) I moved back to Spokane near my family and hosted a morning show at 96fm. In 2003 I began having dreams of hosting a Christian morning show at what used to be Spirit 101.9 and long story short within a few months that is exactly where I began working in Christian Radio!

Interestingly I put together a package and drove to each radio station to drop off my package and I didn’t ask to speak to anyone, I just knew God had something he wanted me to do, So as I was dropping off my packages that voice came to me and said you will have a job offer before you leave the parking lot!!  Haha, I laughed because that never happens and as soon as I got into my car after dropping off my package at Spirit 101.9 the GM called me BEFORE I LEFT THE PARKING LOT and offered me the morning show!  I had goosebumps.  Two weeks later, Bryan O’Neal came and we hosted the mornings together.  God is so amazing!

Even though I was a Christian and was active in my Church and Praise Team,  I had no idea what I was doing in Christian radio and did not believe I was the person for the job, yet God puts us in places we least expect! Christian radio has transformed my own personal spiritual walk and I later took a morning show/ Assistant Programming Position at The Promise Fm in Fresno/Visalia where after 10 years I still host the morning show and the last 4 years I host the show remotely from Spokane Wa. I also currently host the Afternoon show at a top rated station Shine 104.9Fm KEEH in Spokane. Currently: Morning Show host at The Promise Fm in Fresno/Visalia, CA / Afternoon Host a Shine 104.9Fm Spokane, WA

 

Lorenda tell us what’s new with you … news, changes

I am so terrifically excited that God has placed me in a spot to share his kingdom! I love radio and Voice-Overs so much and to think I serve a king who has graciously directed my career that was so “worldly” based before and transform it into a career that honors our king!

Our listeners are so in need of positivity and encouragement, especially in 2020 and I am humbled and yet so thrilled to be able to a Voice of Encouragement and a “Rae of Hope” daily to our listeners.  The ratings of Christian radio today reflect that listeners are seeking a deeper meaning to life and seeking wholesomeness, hope & heavenly things.  The teams I get to work with are amazingly positive and also work from a heart of gratitude.

I am also currently working on my “Rae of Hope” website where I will share words of hope and encouragement, podcasts, interviews and blogging. I hope in the future to write a devotional. I am a survivor of a violent assault and also spousal abuse and I will also have a spot where I will share how God has been healing my heart and soul and got me from wanting to die to now wanting to live to serve him. How God took those horrific events in my life that were meant to harm me and turned them into blessings and has used them to strengthen my walk with him and to be a more compassionate person.

 

How has your show been affected by the pandemic?

Well, the pandemic has effected everything!   We are usually out and about in the community on a regular basis and with the pandemic we are not able to do many of the community events we normally do.  Also my interviews are over the internet as opposed to in person. 

Covid has brought us all into the wonderful reality that Christ is coming soon.  However, along with that comes a fearful heart from many. So, I along with my other team-members try to bring hope each day.   Staying out of the mud-slinging of politics and instead into the showers of blessings that God gives us each day.  I try to share some thoughts daily, that help equip and prepare our listeners in their walk.  God never promised a perfect world at this point, but he does give us a perfect savior and perfect promises that will get us through any situation.

 

What is the best programming/show advice you’ve been given? The worst?

“The worst advice I ever received was early on in my career in secular radio and that was: that listeners don’t care about our personal life, so just play the music“    Truly, how are we supposed to identify with our audience if we aren’t sharing our own experiences?

Some of the best advice I have gotten is from George Johns and that is to not feel like I have to sound “perfect” and allowing my own imperfections to come out. 

Truly – Life just is filled with imperfections – so embrace it and use it to allow God to show his mercy and grace to others.  I have learned in life that some of God’s greatest blessings are the trials I have endured and the imperfect times in my life. 

The trials have transformed my life and I am better able to share from my heart and share with compassion and empathy as a result. Listeners want to know that they serve a God who love’s them despite their imperfections and truly – if God can tolerate me and be so patient & so active in my life – He can work with anyone!!

 

Some say the more Christian stations in a market the “better”…. What’s your opinion?

I am excited with the influx of Christian radio today.  However, the number of stations needs to be in proportion to the market and the needs of the market.  What a blessing to know that a Christian can hear fun upbeat praise music while they are driving to or from work and also be able to flip the channel and listen to a sermon.   Our stations offer both – so our listeners never need to leave (haha) But I leave things like that in God’s hand. 

God knows what each market needs to reach hearts because that is what it is all about.  Yes, we love great ratings, but to know that lives are being saved for an eternal purpose, THAT is my personal hearts desire. 

To know that someone is getting through their cancer treatments, or the loss of a loved one and can turn on a radio station to help them through the darkest times in their lives, or just to get them through that long day and help replace their frown with a smile before they get home to their family. To be there when they need to call and have prayer – That is what matters.

 

What’s your opinion on podcasts… is it necessary to have one, are they a threat to radio… etc?

That is such an interesting question.  I am extremely partial to radio, however many are turning to podcasts for niche reasons.  I think there is a place for it all and I in no way think it will destroy radio.   The greatest advantage to radio is the “local radio station” partnering up with its community. 

There is nothing more powerful than going through life with your listeners in the same community sharing in the same experiences together.  However, podcasts can and do serve a purpose and I in fact am working on my blogging “Rae of Hope” website where I will also include podcasts. It will feature things that I am just not able to do on the radio in :30 seconds or less.

 

Where will new up and coming air talent for Christian Radio come from?

New talent will come from just about anywhere and from any direction you can think of.  Ask any talent, and they will share a different story on how they were led to Christian radio.   Many of us who were in secular radio were grabbed by the nap of the neck and placed in this Christian radio world feeling unequipped and yet God equipped us. I think 2020 will show it has sprung open a well of potential talent that has a passion for sharing the hope found in Jesus!

 

Generally speaking to the industry what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian air talent?

2 things to mention:

I think one of the biggest obstacles today is technology.  Technology makes our lives much easier on one hand as many of us can work from home if we have too, yet technology has led to the demise of many positions in radio.  

As large corporations buy up local frequencies, it adds to their inventory yet it eliminates positions for many talent.  That said, at the same time, it opens up inventiveness to expand into podcasting and other venues to share the gospel. 

The other obstacle is not putting God first.  If we come from the stand point of always thinking about our bottom dollar line and always thinking introspectively, we close the doors to the miracles that God can perform.  When we begin to worry or put money before God’s work, it becomes a huge roadblock to the success of the station and the effectiveness of God’s work through the ministry.   I try daily to stay out of God’s way so that he can lead and direct my life instead of me telling him how to do it.

 

Who are your radio heroes and influences? and why?

I have had the opportunity to work with and learn from some amazing people over the years, From Steve Smith to the late Michael Spears, Chuck Finney, George Johns and so many others.

Despite the huge successes of Michael Spears in his career, he never came from the stand point that he knew it all.   Our staff meetings were filled with anyone employed at KKDA.  No matter whether you were on air, management, or even the cleaning crew, everyone was welcome and so were their ideas.   He was a master and getting and ideas out of people & writing them all down on his huge paper easel! He considered and reflected on them all and would decide which ideas worked best for the goals of the station.

Chuck Finney is also amazing at getting us to look into our daily lives and our hearts and drawing it out of us to share it with the audience. Not to mention, Chuck is a kind person and has such a heart for God and radio ministry.

My General Manager at Shine 104.9 Darin Patzer is a current example to me, not only as a co-worker but as a person.  His genuine kindness and endless words of encouragement to our staff goes a long way.  His heart for what we are doing at Shine reflects on the air, such as through the “Shine gives back” program where we select several ministries throughout the year,  we award them for their hard work in the community and we make a donation to them on behalf of Shine 104.9 Fm.  It is fun because they come down to the station not knowing fully why they are coming down and we present a HUGE check and get a photo with them and it is a wonderful way to give back to the community that gives so much to us.

I have a heart for the community as well and several years ago when I was feeling disillusioned in my career, that voice of God came to me and said to “connect with local ministries and get them on the air more often and remember your show is not about you, it is about Jesus.”  So I have a commitment to interviewing local ministries and have developed lasting friendships with them and these folks who run local ministries pour their entire heart and soul and sometimes all their money into giving to the communities to which they serve and wow, what an example they have been to me and I am so humbled by their hearts and love for Jesus so I would say they are also huge examples and hero’s to me in my life and career.

One last thought, What an amazing time to be in radio ministry in this time where the world seems so chaotic and confused and to be able to be a light in the dark world that so desperately needs Jesus.

 Ecclesiastes 3:11 – He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

3 thoughts on “Lorenda Rae Interview

  • November 30, 2020 at 1:46 pm
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    Thanks for your testimony of you making plans for life but God directing your steps. How amazing when God does that with His chosen! Best wishes and the LORD blessings as you continue to serve Him.

    Reply
  • December 2, 2020 at 2:03 pm
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    You are truly doing God’s work and what your calling is Lorenda – Great interview!

    Reply
  • December 2, 2020 at 7:03 pm
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    Lorena, so proud to call you friend. Your interview provided me with even more blessings about you that I have ever known. You are a true Shine in my life and so many others. May GOD continue blessing you as you serve Him, and us, His children.
    Love you much,
    Linda Wagner Brown

    Reply

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