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Bruce Matthews Interview

Bruce Matthews
Music Director/On Air
WGRC
Lewisburg, PA

Career Capsule:  Initial training at Connecticut School of Broadcasting.  I got my first radio gig as an announcer in Walla Walla/Tri-cities, WA at KTWY 93.3 WAY-FM.  (Thanks, Dave Arthur, for taking a chance on me). From there, I moved briefly to Tucson, AZ and served at “Family Life Radio”.  After that, it was time to come home to Connecticut for a while and work at mainstream Hot AC WDAQ in Danbury.  I left home again after a year, got back into Christian radio at WJYW 88.9 JOY-FM in Greenville, OH and served as Music director and Morning show host.  I have now been serving as Music director and Afternoon host at WGRC, a small and growing network in Central PA

 

Bruce, tell us what’s new at WGRC… any news, changes etc… and what’s new with YOU and the morning show?

It’s been quite an exciting year! More and more people are landing on WGRC to be encouraged and hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. We’ve seen a favorable increase in both ratings and listener support.  Just about a year ago, a local and home-grown friend of many in our community, Wanda Miller (no previous radio experience) came to be co-host of our morning show, with the newly branded “Dave and Wanda” in the morning” She’s killing it!  Wanda is amazing on and off the air.  Everyone loves her!  This year, WGRC has been out in the community more than ever, either by hosting or promoting many concerts, as well as other events in our footprint.  The most exciting news came in early 2023, when were able to add another full power station to our network, 97.1 WGJC in State College, PA.  That makes 5 full power’s and 3 translators.  God is good!

 

How do you balance work & family, how important is it for someone in Christian Radio to ‘have a life”?

My family is the community in which I live, as most of my biological family are living in Connecticut and South Carolina.  There are just a few visits a year to see them, and that time is very precious to me.  I have developed very close friendships with brothers and sisters in Christ from my home church and other ministries here in Central PA.  For me, it is quite easy to “shut off” work, once I leave the building, or not working an event.  To be the best, you can be at work, it’s essential that you “have a life” on the outside.

 

What is something about your market that would surprise outsiders?

In the 17 plus counties we serve, there is only one “Chick-fil-A. Sadness! lol

 

What’s something you’ve learned due to the pandemic, about Christian Radio, that you didn’t know before?

People want to be encouraged more than ever, and we focus on that here at WGRC.  Christian radio is defiantly a “breath of fresh air”, where you won’t hear the negative, scarry news that’s saturating our society.

 

What are your thoughts on AI & how will it impact Christian Radio?

Ask me in about a year, and I will probably be able to give a better answer to this question. Honestly, I don’t know enough about AI yet to even comment on it.  Only 4 months ago, my nephew was doing his best to explain “Chat GPT” to me.

 

In your Christian Radio career, what’s the most important lesson you’ve learned?

Don’t program how “YOU think the station will sound best. I have learned that the hard way.  Listen to your listeners!  Also, test your music frequently, find a consultant you really trust (Hi Rob Wagman), attend CMB events and other programming webinars.

 

You’ve interviewed many Christian artists over the years, who’s been your favorite and why?

Wow, that’s a tough one!  So many are awesome to mingle with!  One that kind of stands out is Jeremy Camp.  You can tell he’s been doing this for a while.  His life story, his purpose in ministry, and talking about the music and upcoming concerts really stand out!  Also, he requires very little editing once the interview is complete. Haha.

 

Who are your radio heroes and influences? and why?

Also, kind of a hard question to answer. Dave Arthur is the one who opened the door to this guy with no experience in 1997 in an industry that I absolutely love and am very passionate about.  We stay in touch to this day, and I respect his programming experience.  Frank Reed is also like a “radio hero” to me.  So many years of experience and is one of the most humble people I’ve ever been blessed to meet. 

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