Feature InterviewInterviews

Bill Grimmeisen Interview 4-24-17

Bill Grimmeisen
Operations Director

Career Capsule: I’ve been working in radio for more than 28 years.  Doing everything from on-air, production, programing to sales, did that for 10years.  Most of it in secular radio.  I felt a calling into CCM in 2012, even started a radio station WYPH in Hartford, CT.  I’ve been at WAY-FM Alabama for more than 2 years now. (Huntsville, Birmingham and Gadsden markets).

Bill, Tell us what’s new with WAY FM Huntsville… news, changes, & with YOU… etc?

We are actually in the middle of a number of Changes here, I just Hired a new Operations Coordinator,  Brent Sears a month ago.  He actually runs the CCM online radio station “The Static Breaker,” plus giving the entire building a makeover.  Rumor has it we might actually upgrade the on-air studio this fiscal year as well.  I continue to run WYPH in my off hours remotely with a small staff in CT. 

What are some unique characteristics you’ve discovered about your market?

Huntsville is a very transitional market.  The biggest employer is the Redstone Arsenal and it’s supporting businesses.  So people are being transferred all the time.  Because of this we work hard to be out in front of people.  Most weeks we are doing 3 to 5 events-.

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

The best advice I was ever given was to always think about not only who the station is targeting but what they are doing. Employment, free time, family; understand their lifestyle and how best do we impact them.  Worst advice, well let me just say changing your slogan every 2 months because you think using “The Best Variety of music on the Radio” is better than “A Better Variety of the Best Music on the Radio.”  Oh do they really know the difference, and how are we supposed to say that and something compelling in 14 seconds.

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

I agree, competition is good; it keeps you on your toes.  I think too often when there’s no competition we get lazy and comfortable.

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

Coffee, lots and lots of coffee. 

Where will future Christian radio air talent come from?

Secular radio. There aren’t enough independent stations anymore for people to learn.  There seems to be one company that keeps buying stations, letting go the entire staff and just rebroadcasting the same programming.

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

We are getting boring, too predictable.  We need to be honest about our lives, our struggles.  Not every day is perfect.

Who are your radio heroes and influences? and why?

Damon Scott, he’s the afternoon guy and production director at WTIC-FM in Hartford, CT. He’s always thinking bigger ideas.  Different angles to look at things and he’s a master of theater of the mind. 

As for someone in Christian Radio, I’d say Nate Thomas at WLCQ, He’s taken a station that played full length CD’s to a huge player in Springfield and Worcester.  He’s built a great staff with a real heart for the mission in a part of the country where being an out spoken Christian is frowned upon. 

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