Bill Ingram Interview 12-11-17
Career Capsule: I started my career December 21, 1975 at KSPL in Diboll, Texas. I was hired by Phil Parr (Texas only blind disc-jockey) to work part-time during the Christmas Holidays. Dabbled in TV Production for several years, from 1976-79 Three Star Productions, bringing 24 hour television to Houston, on KDOG TV Channel 26. In March of 1979- 84 I went to work for Jessie C. Howard, and Glen Dodson, at KJCH in Cleveland, Texas. In 1980 KJCH was sold to Tommy McDaniel, and I was promoted to Program Director/Morning Show Co-Host. 1984-85- middays at WTAW in College Station. 1985-90 I was at KFRD in Rosenberg, Texas- I was the Music Director for the FM Country Station and the Morning Show Host. 1991-92 KILT AM/FM Houston- I was a part-time utility guy, and worked a regular Saturday night and Sunday shift plus Production. 1991-96 I was on the national network for Metro Traffic/Roadwatch America, with Traffic, Weather, and Highway condition reports for some of the largest 50 thousand watt grandfather stations in America. Some of the stations included WABC NY, WJR Detroit, KOA Denver, KWKH Shreveport, KVOO Tulsa, and in Texas on WOAI San Antonio. 1997 to Present- KSBJ Houston- I did the Evening Show for three years, drove the Original Remote Van for 15 years, with daily remote broadcasts assignments, and was in charge of all technical set ups on remote broadcasts for all talent. In 2008, I started doing Afternoon traffic… and in 2013 I started doing Morning and Afternoon Traffic.
December 21, I will celebrate my 42nd year in broadcasting.
Bill, tell us what’s new at KSBJ… news, changes, & with YOU… etc?
The big news right now, is God has answered many prayers. KSBJ is moving its 89.3FM signal from Plum Grove to NW Houston to reach even more people with the Voice of Hope. This is an historic opportunity as a result of God moving miraculously to bless KSBJ with approval by the FCC in just 9 days. Normally, this process can take up to 2 years. Signal improvement is also planned to ensure KSBJ continues to be clearly heard in areas north, east and south of Houston.
Strengthening KSBJ’s signal will cover all of Houston for the first time in KSBJ’s history and will strategically increase listenership. Currently, the KSBJ signal is available to 4.7 million people throughout Greater Houston. By moving the signal 30+ miles southwest, KSBJ will increase its reach to 6.4 million people – an increase of 1.7 million people.
We are all so thankful to God for this blessing.
For me personally, I was just inducted, in to the Texas Radio Hall of Fame earlier this month.
Our President and General Manager, Tim McDermott, and his beautiful wife Trudy, were there, as well as most of our Programming Department, including our PD Ty McFarland, and our APD, Troy West, and his beautiful wife Tricia.
It was very special too me, that they all made the two and a half hour drive, to support me, up to Kilgore, Texas, where the Texas Radio Hall of Fame, now makes it home at the Texas Museum of Broadcasting and Communication.
Christian radio is a very competitive,, what strategies do you use to stand out in the crowd?
I’m just me. I don’t know how to be anybody else. I just come in everyday with a good attitude, I do my best, try to be concise, informative, and entertaining all at the same time. That seems to work for me. I can’t speak for anyone else.
Having said that, you do have to offer something to your listeners. You’re asking them for their time, so make their time worthwhile. Craft your breaks, so they are meaningful, and/or entertaining. They can hear the new Casting Crowns song, on another station, or on their IPOD, so we have to give them a reason to stay with us.
What is the best programming advice you’ve been given? The worst?
The best- It’s just good basic radio 101- Keep your break to one thought, and craft it down to less than a minute if possible.
The worst- I have a list, but I’ll just share a couple. On this break, mention the Reba McEntire Concert, The remote this weekend at Joe’s Burger Barn, Hair Care, and Tire Center, and you have the new George Strait song coming up this hour.
Another example of the worst- Commercial Copy- I know this is :45 seconds, but can you do it in :30, and not make it sound rushed? Yea… right.
Some say more Christian stations in a market the better, do you agree with that, why or why not?
Yes I do agree. I think competition makes you better. Knowing your audience has a choice to be with you or not, makes a big difference. Your breaks are going to be cleaner, more meaningful, and more heartfelt. It just helps you craft the breaks better, knowing your listener has a choice.
What is the ONE thing you must have everyday to do your job/show?
Beside the physical stuff we all need to do our jobs, you know, the equipment and hardware… I personally need to know I have the support of our team at KSBJ. It’s important for me, and I think all of us here at KSBJ, to be on the same page, and have the support of each other, and our management.
Besides prayer, you have to have everyone on the same mission… to reach as many people for Christ as you can, and realize, we can NOT do that alone. We need each others support.
Where will future Christian radio air talent come from?
That’s a good question. When I started out in radio in the mid 70’s, there were still a number of small radio stations in small markets where new air talent could get their feet wet. You could go on the air, get your first time jitters out of the way, make your rookie mistakes, and learn how to smooth out your patter.
There are not near as many smaller stations now days. Even still, I hear some great young talent on the air. One of the best young talents I know, I get to work with every morning… Carder Price. Even though he is the youngest Morning Guy ever at KSBJ, he is blessed with great talent, he has a lot of common sense, so he knows what will work, and what will not, and he is mature way beyond his years.
Carder and Rachelle both make up the best Morning Show I have ever been a part of, and I am proud to work with those two, and the legendary Pam Kelly every morning.
Young talent is coming up through the ranks, and I think radio will be in good shape, and very healthy, for years to come.
Generally speaking to the industry what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian radio?
Technology, I think is the biggest. All of us have to realize, listeners have a choice. Whether it’s your station, the station across town, there are also the IPODS, and other devices, that listeners can make their own playlists with. Therefore, we have to offer something meaningful, they will not find on their IPOD. We have to offer something different, stories, that they will not hear anywhere else. Stories, that will make them laugh, make them cry, make them wonder, and make them want a closer relationship with Jesus Christ.
Who are your radio heroes and influences? and why?
I have a number of them, all for different reasons.
I have to start with my Dad, Bill Ingram. We had a studio in our home, and he used to give me assignments, and then he would critique them, and tell me what I needed to work on.
When I was in the 6TH grade, I knew I was going to be in radio. So I started listening to some of the very best. Chuck Dunaway, Bill Young, Barry Kaye, Beau Weaver, Captain Jack (Rick Candea), all of the Hudson and Harrigan teams, Jim Carola, Robert B. McIntyre, all from KILT. I also really liked a young talent on KENR, Mike Cannon. Mike “The Loose” Cannon now works with us part-time at KSBJ, and I am thrilled he is part of our crew.
I also liked Buddy Clark and the late Hal McClain from KENR.
Another dynamic duo I really liked, that were Hudson and Harrigan on KILT for a time, was Mark Stevens and Jim Pruett. They went on to have very successful morning show on KLOL.
I still listen to other talents, for something, I can apply to my style. My dad used to tell me, if you ever stop learning, and lose the desire to be better, you might as well, hang it up, and retire, because your career is over.
I am not retiring, therefore, I keep trying to learn and grow.