Career Capsule: I began as a weekend DJ at WAFT spinning records and flipping carts (yes, I am that old) and helping at special events. After homeschooling our 4 children, I started working in the office, became the office manager and co-host of the morning show with my husband, Jumpstart Your Morning with Bill and Terry, weekdays 7-9am.
- Terry, tell us what’s new at WAFT… news, changes, expansion, with you… etc?
Wow! Where do I start?
NEWS – February was super busy for us. We partnered with TWR (Trans World Radio) to give our listeners the opportunity to “Cover Cuba with the Gospel”. Funds were raised to help increase the power of a transmitter from 100,000 watts to 450,000 watts. There was such excitement among the listeners and joy in giving. At the same time, we invited listeners to bring their new/used Christian materials to the station for a ministry called Love Packages. Materials are sent around the world for believers with little to no access to resources. Listeners brought materials, sorted them and packed them. At this yearly event, we generally collect between 13-15 tons. Of course, we still had our usual station events – like an 800+ women’s conference, working with local ministries, etc.
CHANGES – We are updating our legacy Smarts automation to the new Skylla system. Benefits include making remote voice tracking much easier. We will also be finishing out a steel building that we use for Love Packages so we can have more listener events on the grounds (like our girls night out event coming up in May).
EXPANSION – (This is where we are really excited.) WAFT is purchasing 29 acres to expand the ministry. We want to be more than just a radio station doing the regular stuff (festivals, concerts, runs, etc), but look to this as an opportunity to engage with more people on a regular basis. Our tentative plans include a community garden, some retreat homes for missionaries on furlough, a counseling center, something to do with health/exercise and much more. We are in Phase 1 –digging a pond.
2. What is the best programming advice you’ve been given? The worst?
BEST – I could say it’s as easy as ABC…but in reality it’s more like QRS. Is the technical Quality there? Is it Relevant to our listeners? Is it theologically Sound?
WORST- Ignoring the above in the hopes of gaining more listeners. For instance, accepting a poor quality local program just because it is local, doesn’t mean it’s the best option.
3. Some say more Christian stations in a market the better, do you agree with that, why or why not?
More Christian stations in a market are great, UNLESS they are duplicating each other. Then, what’s the point? A VARIETY of music and programs can reach more people.
4. What is the ONE thing you must have everyday to do your job?
5. Where will future Christian radio air talent come from?
Great “catch 22” question! The majority of the younger demographic aren’t listening to radio as much and have less skill and work ethics. The age I would love to use are working full time and do not have time for another job or we cannot afford them.
6. Do you feel syndication is good or bad for Christian radio?
Actually, it can be both. Often the quality and skill level is higher in syndication, on the flip side, it takes away from being local.
7. Generally, speaking to the industry what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian radio?
Getting listeners to tune in….there are so many media options available.
Money….is there ever enough?
Spiritually…..there is a decline in wanting more of God’s Word.
8. Who are your radio heroes and influences? and why?
Honestly, this is a pretty easy question. Jack and Frankie Tidwell started WAFT in 1971, the first Christian station in our area. They stepped out in faith (with nothing) built the work (physically and spiritually) and sacrificed much. As a result, what started as a part time 30,000 watt station is now 24/7 and 100,000 watts. For almost 45 years, countless lives have been changed through the obedience of those two people.