Career Capsule: 17 years ago when I started out as a part-time receptionist at WCLQ I never dreamed I’d be where I’m at today. Unlike most in this career field, being a host on the radio was nothing I had ever aspired to be. I’m a chatty person and can keep a good conversation going, but you’ll typically find me in the back of a room at any social gathering. Being a part of a small staff pushed me to take on new responsibilities outside of my regular office duties. That led me to become the office manager and doing some work in the areas production and promotions. Then Chuck Finney walked in the door for a consulting session. The rest is history. He, along with station manager, Coy Sawyer, tried to convince me that I could do well on the air as a morning show co-host, with some coaching. I resisted at first but finally surrendered. I’m so glad I did! I also became the promotions director during the last couple of years with the station. It was a privilege to be a part of WCLQ for 12 years, in my hometown, where I was born and raised.
4 years ago God called me to WAFJ to be on the morning show with John Bryant. Moving from Wisconsin to South Carolina has been an adventure, but it’s been fun learning to become a Southerner! Last January I was promoted to assistant program director, as well, so the learning continues in many areas.
April, tell us what’s new at WAFJ… news, changes, & with new with YOU… etc?
About a year ago my co-host, John Bryant, was promoted to station manager. Since then we have hired two new air talents, Jenny Bender and Ethan Milburn. They are a wonderful addition to the station!
In March I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I prefer to see this as a speed bump in my life journey and another opportunity to connect with our listeners. Everyone has been affected by cancer in some way. I believe that with the right attitude, my current trial can be used for God’s glory. I’ll start radiation treatment in June for 6 weeks. Your prayers are appreciated!
You work as a morning show co-host, what ingredients are important to make that work with a partner?
I’ve worked with four different hosts in the past 12 years. I think patience, trust, humility, vulnerability, teamwork and having a sense of humor are necessities. As co-hosts, you not only work together as a team but you do life together as well. Many say you need good chemistry with your partner to be successful. I think even more important is developing a friendship and having mutual respect for one another. You can only be a winning team if you have each other’s back. Being able to laugh at your mistakes or at those crazy days when there’s a full moon helps you get through the tough days too.
What is the best show/programming advice you’ve been given? The worst?
The best: When you’re faced with more than one good decision and don’t know what to do…Pray about it and then go with your gut instinct. God will guide you.
The worst: I was once told I would never be able to do radio outside of the Midwest because of my accent. Look at me now y’all!
What’s something you’ve learned due to the pandemic, about Christian Radio, that you didn’t know before?
Our listeners want even more spiritual content than what we thought. Many new listeners turned to us for hope during a dark time. Not all of our audience is Biblically literate but that shouldn’t stop us from sharing encouragement from God’s Word. The world needs it now more than ever! We need to be relatable and creative though with how we do that so we connect with a variety of listeners.
What is your opinion of podcasts for stations & air talent, are they necessary, must have one, etc?
Podcasting has become very popular over the last few years. It’s one element of programming that can enhance what a station has to offer its listeners, IF it’s done well. I don’t think it’s for everyone though. If it’s a passion of yours and you’re gifted at it, I think it can be a great benefit.
Where will new up and coming air talent for Christian Radio come from?
This is a good but tough question. I think as a whole the industry has lacked in coming alongside the next generation. We need to start looking/thinking outside the box and finding talent in unexpected places. Who knows…You might have a listener or volunteer (or your station receptionist) that has the potential to be coached into a great on-air personality.
Generally speaking to the industry what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian air talent?
Our culture is a huge hurdle. Every day we have to armor ourselves with grace, truth and love as we share the hope of Jesus. No matter what we say, we’ll always be under a microscope. People are easily offended and they’re not afraid to let us know. That can hold us back from being real on the air. God has called you for such a time as this though. Stay strong in Him!
Who are your radio heroes and influences? and why?
I am so proud to be a part of 88.3 WAFJ and the RTN network. I work with some amazing people that have become my family. A lot of people have influenced my journey, too many to mention. To name just a few though: Chuck Finney was the one who saw my gifts and encouraged me to see them in myself. Matt Deane was the best teacher I could have asked for as I started out on the air. He was a very patient co-host and taught me a lot of what I know today. We had a blast together and he became a treasured friend! My current co-host, John Bryant, has been doing this longer than me and is such a pro. I’ve gleaned a lot working with him. He challenges me to strive for excellence and to keep working on my Southern drawl.