Career Capsule: Half century on the radio last 28 years at KLTY and not done yet! Formerly WWDJ New York, WOCL Orlando, WNBC New York, WMJX Miami, and others.
Frank, tell us what’s new at KLTY… news, changes, & new with YOU… etc?
We are celebrating and praising God for three #1 PPM’s in the last 5 months, a first for our format in a top 5 market. Humbled and grateful. As I write this we are navigating through the coronavirus situation offering the latest info, hope, encouragement, and even some lighthearted moments to help ease the tension. What a tremendous opportunity for CCM radio. Heads up to my colleagues in the biz; Seize the day! At no time in my many years in the format have I seen anything like we are going through at the moment. People are hurting, fearful. This is our time to step up. I’m praying for you! Personally this is the most fun and fulfilling time in all my years here. ‘Frank, Starlene, and Hudson in the Morning’ (the brainchild of my boss, Mike Prendergast) is breaking barriers and reaching a very diverse and mainstream audience. I’ve always enjoyed what I do, but now so more than ever.
KLTY has a great heritage… how important is that, and why do you believe the station has lasted so long, and is doing so well in the ratings recently?
If you look at the history of KLTY, we’ve always raised the bar pretty high when it comes to quality of the product and the execution. We’ve been consistent year in and year out, with virtually no turnover with air personalities. All of the years of goodwill, promotions like our annual Christmas Wish, and other things we do throughout the year to make a difference are just naturally going to pay off over time. We are firing on all cylinders; Programming, promotions, social media and sales. We have great leaders in management like GM Jeff Mitchell and Mike who give us the tools to win. We strive to better than everybody else, period. Our own research had shown us doing a lot of things right, and now the meters are reflecting that. Of course whoever gets a meter is God’s territory, so he gets the glory.
What is the best programming/show advice you’ve been given? The worst?
Play the hits, only the hits. Research is not worth the money.
Some say more Christian stations in a market the better, do you agree with that, why or why not?
Well KLTY is one of four, so the spiritual Frank is grateful the message of the gospel is reaching a bunch of people. The competitive Frank would appreciate any one of them going hip-hop!
What’s your opinion on podcasts… is it necessary to have one, are they a threat to radio… etc?
Anything that can further endear you and your station to the listener, be it podcast, social media, etc is a win. While other options could eventually cause some erosion, the goal should be to build a product and listening experience that the listener cannot live without.
In what area do you believe Christian Radio needs to improve most?
Investing in the emotional and spiritual health of our people on the air. The more vulnerable, transparent, and authentic one can be, the deeper the connection and relationship will go with the listener.
Generally speaking to the industry what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian radio?
Fear of change. You have to adjust or your dead.
Who are your radio heroes and influences? and why?
Jerry Clifton, Program Director WMJX Miami, who taught me to believe in myself. The late Don Imus who named me Captain Frank, and continued to reinvent himself. Joe Battaglia, who moved me back to NYC at WWDJ, longtime mentor and friend. Brother Jon Rivers, who would not take no for an answer and moved me to Dallas and KLTY.
**Check out all of his stories with Howard Stern, Wolfman, Imus, and others in ‘Frankly Speaking’ A Memoir on Amazon.