Dave Jones Interview
Operations Manager/Morning Co-Host
Career Capsule: I started at WGRC in 2006 as a volunteer creator/host of a youth program called Get Real. Get Real continues to this day addressing youth-related topics. I then was trained to go live on the board during drive time where I filled in for sick or vacation coverage. In 2013 I came onboard as staff when I took a spot on the morning show.
Dave, tell us what’s new at WGRC… any news, changes etc… and what’s new with YOU?
It has been a year of big changes. After having been in the building in some form or another since November 2006, 2022 brought with it the opportunity to move into the role of Operations Manager. It has been a year of diving in and learning, and enjoying every minute of it.
A second change that took place in in October, was the hiring of my new morning co-host Wanda Miller. It has been a great transition and we look forward to some exciting times in 2023 on “Dave & Wanda In The Morning”.
How do you balance work & family, how important is it for someone in Christian Radio to ‘have a life’?
I am blessed to have a very supportive wife. Dottie is an amazing support and when I must be away with station events, many times she is right there with me. We are very intentional about creating family time, as we also have 11-year-old Sofia at home with us.
In ministry of any kind, you cannot let the ministry cause neglect of the family. In such cases, ministry becomes a negative thing and hurts your testimony for the Lord. It is super important to carve that family time out and enjoy and encourage each other. We have many family date nights, which include dinner out, a visit to an arcade, and movie and game nights at home.
Overall, what is the best programming or show advice you’ve been given? The worst?
Most of my show content comes from real life. Looking for content in everyday situations is probably the best advice I have ever been given. It is also advice I try to pass on. Prepping this way brings with it a sense of authenticity and connectivity to the listener. It shows that I experience the same highs and lows that they do.
The worst advice I would say is when I have been told to create content. This can seem forced and disingenuous.
What’s something you’ve learned due to the pandemic, about Christian Radio, that you didn’t know before?
I wouldn’t say I learned it during the pandemic, but it was certainly reinforced. People love the hope and encouragement that comes from Christian radio, that is missing from secular radio. Of course, this is a medium built on the hope of Jesus Christ.
Secondly the pandemic proved that Christians want to laugh. It is ok to be silly and crazy on-air. It is okay to talk about a messed-up order from a fast-food drive-thru or your most embarrassing moment. Christians are allowed to laugh and live life. We just get to do so as believers in Christ. We do not live in a vacuum. Listeners love it and let us know they do.
What are your thoughts on podcasting, should all Christian broadcasters have a podcast?
I am not into podcasting, and I do not listen to them. Mainly because if I am going to listen to something like that, I want to give it dedicated time, and I don’t do that. However, I know that there is a market for it, and that many people have their favorites.
I would say it can be a great tool, and if that fits an individual broadcaster’s wheelhouse, then go for it.
Where will new up and coming air talent for Christian Radio come from?
Much like show prep, which I believe real life produces the best, I would say new talent will come from the trenches of real life. I came to radio as a pastor and was able to adjust thanks to the mentoring by other individuals. I took speaking in front of a crowd and transitioned it to a radio audience. My real-life experience has been huge in this. I continue to pastor a church, which I believe bolsters my on-air content.
My co-host Wanda also comes from a non-radio background but has the heart to connect with folks. I believe that if you are about connecting with others, you can learn the broadcasting side and be successful. Wanda and I are proof of that.
Generally speaking to the industry what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian air talent?
The two obstacles that stand out to me are smaller budgeting and the fear of airing real life on air.
Christian radio does not always have the budgedts of secular stations and have to be more creative. This many times means more work and some do not like that. However, we have the greatest message ever, so we need to work in order to get it out.
The fear factor has to do with worrying that someone will get upset if you tell a joke or act crazy on air, so you therefore don’t allow it. I believe you wind up causing more people to tune out because programming then becomes disingenuous. You lose many people over “the one”. Christian stations need to get over this obstacle and again realize that our listeners do not live in a vacuum. It’s ok to talk about your trip to the grocery store, your flat tire, or your kid that had a tantrum in the store, even though these stories are not in the Bible.
Who are your radio heroes and influences? and why?
I don’t really have a radio hero. I do listen to air-talent from all genres to glean from what they are doing and how they present themselves. I listen to how they interview and conduct their shows and see what makes sense for me to adapt and apply.
I will say however, that Dawson McAllister and Bill Scott made an impact on me when I first started volunteering at the station and I would say lit the desire for me to pursue what I do. Hats off to them for laying the groundwork of my radio career.