Brant Hansen Interview 4-23-18
Radio host, speaker, and advocate (cure.org)
Career Capsule: Formerly a youth pastor, in addition to working as a radio host in mainstream talk radio and at WBGL, KSBJ, Air1 and WAY-FM. Author for HarperCollins. Advocate for CURE International, a global hospital network that heals children with correctable disabilities and tells them about Jesus.
Brant, tell us what’s new at The Brant Hansen Show… news, changes, & with YOU… etc?
Here are some things:
1) We’re offering a new version of the show! This version is for stations who prefer only the more “meaty” breaks, the ones that are specifically spiritual. We do mix a lot of humor and spiritual on the show that we hope is wonderful, but recognize some stations might want only the more overtly spiritual content.
2) We did a comedy tour. I’m not sure if this is a first for a radio show. Probably not, but I don’t really know. We went to a bunch of our markets. It was WAY more successful than I thought it would be, honestly. We got to personally connect with many thousands of listeners. Radio personalities as the “headliner” is a different concept for a live show, but it totally worked. Thank the Lord. Big sigh of relief.
3) We’re moving the operation to Florida! I’ll still be working for CURE, just not from Pennsylvania anymore. It’s nothing personal against Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania is a fine state with a rich history.
… that I want to leave immediately. Please because WE’RE FREEZING TO DEATH SOMEONE WHO IS READING THIS PLEASE SEND HELP PLEASE
4) I’m working on a third book. The first two have been really helpful for the radio show, I think. Just deepens the relationship with existing listeners, and new people are finding us on the radio after reading the books. That’s been cool.
Producer Sherri has written a book, too, and it’s going to be a smash. Just wait…
Christian Radio has become very competitive… what do you do to stand out from the crowd?
We just sound different. Some people listen for the first time and think, “YES! This is what I’ve been waiting for!”, and they immediately get it. But that’s not the usual. The usual is, “Seriously what is wrong with that guy?”
That’s why we’re always telling listeners, “Look, we know we sound different. But we want to be friends.” We want to speed the process from, “Whaaaa?” to “Oh man, now I get it! I love this show so much.”
We hope it’s completely refreshing and insightful and just good, tight radio, too. I know I sound like Garfield and I’m on the autism spectrum. Sherri knows she’s loud and has a big laugh. We both know that Jesus is good, and He’s still working through messed-up people.
What’s more, we’re a syndicated show, but we want to be even more “local” than local. We don’t want to be just a few miles away. We want to be part of your family.
What is the best programming/show advice you’ve been given? The worst?
This going to sound Jesus-juke-y for a “show advice” question, but I’m serious: Paul wrote that we can be awesome at everything, and if we don’t have love, we’re just noise. Annoying noise, at that. Solid advice. I presume that applies to radio.
If I’m not motivated by love for the person listening – genuine love for them – I’m just adding a bunch of ego-racket. I have to be motivated by love during my prep, even: “How can I actually encourage people today?”
Some say more Christian stations in a market the better, do you agree with that, why or why not?
If everyone’s doing the same thing, with the same music and the same general strategy, I guess I don’t see the point of it. But I don’t know, honestly.
What is the ONE thing you must have everyday to do your job/show?
Producer Sherri and this lamp. And that’s all I need.
Generally speaking to the industry what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian radio?
Maybe I’m just missing it, but I don’t hear the industry addressing the 370-million pound elephant in the room: Our culture totally just changed.
Seriously, it did.
Evangelical Christianity is on the way to marginalization, and people – our listeners – can feel it. Fortunately, the New Testament speaks to this reality in beautiful ways. It takes on even more meaning. It was written to people on the outs.
This means radio has even MORE hope to offer! And will be even MORE of a beautifully Jesus-centered, counter-cultural voice, if we so choose.
I guess I see this less as “obstacle” than “opportunity.” But it will be disappointing if we see ourselves primarily as marketers of the latest Nashville products, rather than beacons of a very real, counter-cultural hope.
We should use the songs and our hopeful voices to alleviate anxiety, and give people courage to love in a culture that is increasingly self-righteous, insecure, angry, intolerant, and even despondent.
Joy is a beautiful thing!