Chandler Kitchen Interview 3-19-18
Career Capsule: I got my start in radio when I was 15 and wanted to work at the local classic hits format station. I started where most people do, as a board op. for high school games (side note: still work for this station.) That soon developed into me working for The Praise Network with KPRD and taking over the evening shift. After being with KPRD for almost 2 years I was offered to come on board with our sister station KGCR. I now do weekend afternoons for both stations. One of my recent accomplishments was starting my high school’s internet based station that has become a local success.
Chandler, tell us what’s new at KPRD… news, changes, & with YOU… etc?
I’ve been with KPRD now for going on 3 years now. Recently I’ve also gotten the chance to work with our sister station KGCR. In these last 3 years God has been good and I have learned so much about the biz! As far as changes go for KPRD, my Station Manager, David Kumer, and myself have worked hand in hand in the process of growing our station using social media, brainstorming new ideas, and just trying new things. Social media is a new thing that we have really tried to work with a lot more. The people are on Facebook and we should be too. To be successful you have to reach the people.
Christian Radio has become very competitive… what do you do to stand out from the crowd?
Standing out from the crowd. How do we do it? How can we adapt to our society in Christian radio? One of the many ways we stand out from the crowd is doing remote broadcasts. Here in Midwest Kansas some towns have populations of less than 1,000 people. It is important to us to broadcast in these communities, because no other station in our market will broadcast in these smaller towns. We give these towns something they want, and that’s a voice. They want real people that will have a conversation with them.
What is the best show advice you’ve been given? The worst?
Be yourself. As simple as that may sound, it’s so true. Everytime I run into someone who listens to the station they always remember me from a time I messed up, said something silly, or just plain expressed how I felt about something. People love real. When people hear you talk on radio and when they hear you mess up it helps them to go “Wow! He’s a real dude too.” Don’t talk like a robot, you’re talking to people. Act like it.
The worst advice I’ve ever been given is “Use your radio voice.” Like, what? No. That doesn’t exist.
Some say more Christian stations in a market the better, do you agree with that, why or why not?
From a Biblical and radio perspective, yes. Competition creates powerful radio. If a station in my market tried something that worked…guess what? I am trying something similar but bigger. Competition allows me to have a greater impact on our community. I’ve learned that perspective is so important in radio. Having not only Christian stations but secular stations in the market helps me to approach things with different perspectives.
What is the ONE thing you must have everyday to do your show?
Coffee. Sometimes, I seriously cannot even turn on a microphone until I have a coffee. Of course, my version of coffee is a bunch of sugar with a HINT of coffee. And have you tried hot cocoa in your coffee? David my station manager got me into it….
Where will future Christian radio air talent come from?
The future comes from the current. Delegation is very important in the aspect of creating powerful radio. Someone who is 58 in radio needs to realize in order to keep radio alive you HAVE to pass your station off. I don’t like the thought of ever passing my job off, but we have to. If you love radio enough you’ll delegate so it can prosper.
Generally speaking to the industry what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian radio?
Not changing it up. Taking it away from the personalities. I’m not saying let a DJ talk for 15 minutes, but what I am saying is let a personality let loose and have fun. The only thing different from us and Pandora is personalities and local. Take a chance. I’ve learned that trying a new game on Facebook or even on the air can be a big success.
Who are your radio heroes and influences? and why?
One of my radio heros hands down has to be David Kumer. David manages KPRD & KGCR. David continues to remind me what christian radio is all about and why we do it. It’s for Jesus who died on that cross for us. David has done a fantastic job of helping our staff point to Him because it’s all for His glory. My biggest influence in christian radio is hands down Brant Hansen. Brant continues to create powerful radio is so many different ways by taking a chance. Taking a chance is something I think many stations miss out on. We forget to take a chance get out of our bubble!