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Beth Bacall Interview 1-30-17

Beth Bacall
Air Personality

Career Capsule: I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to work as an on-air personality on many great radio and television stations for a very long time! My oldest daughter is 26 and I started a few years before she was a glimmer in my heart. Minneapolis, Chicago, San Francisco, New York City and Atlanta have welcomed me on some amazing frequencies like KFRC, KYCY, Jammin 105 (WWPR), WKTU, Star 99.1 (WAWZ) and now The Fish Atlanta (WFSH), where I work afternoon drive.

Beth, tell us what’s new at WFSH… news, changes, & with YOU… etc?

The Fish just finished another amazing Christmas season where our Fish Christmas Wish program granted at least 1,200 wishes to individuals and families in Georgia. This is such a special time where we see God’s orchestration to bless so many.

We kicked off our Christmas music during Fish Afternoons with an in studio wish that totally surprised a family who thought they were coming in to just  decorate the studio for the holidays. This family had come across some extra life challenges, and we arranged for the mother to get her wedding ring back, she had sold it to pay their rent. Even Jimmy from the Gold Buyers pawn shop was included to present this wish, plus we were able to bless the family with more wonderful Chirtsmasy things. Afterwards, the President of Emory Healthcare was listening and reached out to request the fathers resume, seeking a potential employment opportunity. I am so humbled to be a part of this movement.

Personally, I love doing Afternoons, and I’m ready for a New Year with new bits, and more ways to love my listeners better. I’m also talent coaching some special people. And, I’m hoping to train and run the New York marathon on behalf of National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI).

What are some programming issues that you find are unique to your market (station/network)?

The South has the favor of being an area where Jesus is a part of the conversation. I’ll joke and say that on every corner in Atlanta there is a Waffle House and a church, and inside that church they are singing a song we play on CCM radio, or the artist that wrote that song is the worship leader! But it’s no joke, we have incredible community that is not only familiar with the music, they love it and thrive on it.

What is the best programming advice you’ve been given?

Best: if what you are about to say or do is not as good as that well tested song you are about to play, or in-line with the station’s compelling focus, then segue. Be as good as the music.

The worst?

I’m not so sure “bad” advice was ever really intentionally given to me. The programmers in my career have always had their own approach to strategy and how things are presented, which was influenced by their own experience, research, and company culture.

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

If you have a plan and a radio station that desires to share God’s love, let it rock; there’s no competition when it comes to discipleship.

What is the ONE thing you must have every day to do your show?

A sure understanding of the focus for that day and that show, along with the openness to switch it up immediately should the audience have a sudden, new need.

Where will future Christian radio air talent come from?

As a talent coach I can’t stress enough how valuable and critical it is to nurture and grow the staff you have, and to keep your eyes open to see if there is anyone already on the team with a passion for people and the music. You can’t force ‘being yourself’ on the air. You can teach technical skills and give the opportunity for growth, but it’s translates well when a personality is already comfortable with themselves and has a love for the mission. A recent visit to the Apple Store had me asking my sales associate; Frank, if he ever considered getting into broadcasting. Frank’s personality, desire to serve, love and knowledge of the product and respect for my needs was so inviting and welcoming and could transfer brilliantly to radio.

We need to keep our ears open for people who are right for this, and take chances. I’m coaching an incredible woman who spent most of her career in television sales; on a whim she applied for a morning co-host position and wow, what a gift she is. Her personality is bubbly, fun, and she’s a long-time local. We need to actively seek genuine friends.

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

I think all radio has the challenge of molding and moving into the future as listeners keep connecting with more options. Time is a commodity. Leaders have the awesome opportunity to guide us into the future by giving a green light and providing the much needed support that enables stations to embrace what’s coming, especially technically. Great engineering is so important, our product needs to be heard clearly.

Who are your radio heroes and influences? and why?

With respect to all my talented friends and colleagues, I’ll say that I’ve learned by intentionally listening to all different types of radio and on air talents and media personalities, they have taught me and keep me inspired. My listening habits date back to the early radio pioneers, to the latest late night talk host. I love talent and personality and aspire to continuing growing myself and others. There is one female broadcaster I’ll name: The Slim One, she was fun, real, surly, funky, and took chances. I loved her!  Happy New Year!

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