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Tim Dukes Interview

Tim Dukes
General Manager
WAY FM/Dallas

Career Capsule: On-Air: WYHY/Nashville, WFLZ/Tampa, WTFX/Louisville. Management: WEBN/Cincinnati, Jacor/San Diego, Clear Channel/Atlanta, WLUP/Chicago, Tribune/Chicago,  Halftime Institute/Dallas, Gateway Church/Dallas… 

1. Tell us what’s new at WAY FM Dallas… news, changes, expansion, with you… etc?

Everything is new. We signed on 10/1, taking over KVRK after its long run as a Christian Rock station. We now have 4 strong full-time staff members and are doing all we can on and off the air every day to prove ourselves to believers and seekers in DFW.

2. What is the best programming advice you’ve been given? The worst?

Best: Listeners bring clients, not the other way around.

Worst: I’m not sure, but it likely came from a record rep, Sales Manager, or General Manager… ;>)

Being in those latter two roles now here, hopefully my view won’t become distorted. Perspective is everything.

3. Some say more Christian stations in a market the better, do you agree with that, why or why not?

Certainly the more stations you have in your format, the sharper you must become which results in a positive. My family and I have lived in DFW nearly 5 years and KCBI and KLTY sound better than ever in that time since Air1 and WAY-FM came along. But at some point the law of diminishing returns takes over and it can become problematic. Each station just has to differentiate and offer something the others don’t. WAY-FM does that by having a great airstaff that’s transparent, vulnerable and believable. The topics they can take on impresses me every day, and often its real life content and the messiness of it that even secular stations avoid for some reason.

4. What is the ONE thing you must have everyday to do your job?

Good people (unsweet tea is a close second).

5. Where will future Christian radio air talent come from?

 From anyone Rob Wagman coaches. He’s a great programming talent that sees the whole picture and gets the best from his people.

6. Do you feel syndication is good or bad for Christian radio?

Both. If you have great on-air talent and a programming ace like I do in Bryan Johns to incorporate local content, its fantastic. If you don’t, well…

7. Generally speaking to the industry what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian radio?

Yesterday’s thinking. For example, perhaps the bias against worship music on CCM stations was valid at some point in the past, but there’s something going on with it now that we should be paying attention to. Maybe this is only happening in Texas, but I doubt it. When Bethel Music can pack the same venue that Toby Mac just played here, and the former had far less promotion than the latter, there’s something in the water.

8. Who are your radio heroes and influences? and why?

Marc Chase gave me my first radio job and has been a close friend and mentor for nearly 30 years. Randy Michaels has made interesting headlines for decades but if you’ve worked for him, you’d know that on top of his giant IQ he cares deeply for his people and has as close to a photographic memory as anyone I know.  But long before I worked for them, listening to Gary Burbank in the late `70’s on WHAS/Louisville made me want to pursue radio as a career. Gary taught me as a 10 year old how to dream and imagine, and Marc and Randy inspired me by giving permission to do both of those things on the job. After God Himself, I owe my career to those three legendary radio guys.

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