Career Capsule: A true radio nerd with over 22 years of experience. Hailing from Jamestown, NY, Geoff’s career has graced great stations like WKSN & WKZA in Jamestown NY, WMTX in Tampa, WFLS & WWUZ in VA and WGYL in FL. “It took 22+ years of secular radio, marketing and professional development training to bring me where I am today. I didn’t see that coming, but I’m ecstatic that it happened this way. I thank God every day for what I’m doing and the people I get to work with.” With a heart for Christian Radio and an unwavering commitment to top-notch broadcasting, Geoff’s impact goes beyond the frequencies.
Geoff’s path isn’t just about radio – it’s a source to help connect the station to the listener and make an impact via the music and the personality that becomes the positive encouragement everyone needs.
Geoff, you started in January at Christian FM Media /Smartradio Suite so tell us – any news, changes etc. ?
Yes, so many things…where do I start? We have put together an exciting nationwide promotion that will start sometime in September that our affiliate stations and their listeners will be a part of. There’s nothing else like it in CCM and I can’t wait to debut it. Multiple families from around the USA will be selected to enjoy a CCM music immersive event that is unlike anything else. Can’t say any more on that for now.
Smartradio Suite has diversified it’s portfolio with additional talent like Brandi Lanai and Andy Youso. We’re also embracing advancements in tech to enhance the listener experience. We’re integrating AI-driven content curation to personalize everything so there’s a deep connection with the music and messages they hear from seasoned talent.
As for me, I’ve embarked on a journey of continual growth. I’m sharing my insights and experiences from over two decades in radio with those I consult for the content we provide. This new opportunity allows me to connect with Owners and PDs, sharing stories that resonate beyond the airwaves.
How do you balance work, family, and having time for yourself?
Balancing work and family is an art, and it’s essential, especially in Christian Radio. Our mission is to inspire and uplift, but that starts with maintaining our own well-being. Being present for our loved ones fuels the authenticity of our time together. By setting boundaries and making quality time for family, we recharge our spirits, ultimately allowing us to better serve our affiliates and talent.
So far, what is the most surprising thing you’ve discovered about Christian Radio?
The most surprising aspect of CCM has been its incredible ability to forge connections across diverse communities. The stories we share transcend barriers, fostering a sense of unity that goes beyond “business”. It’s inspiring to witness how Christian Radio can bring people together, offering solace and hope in a world that often feels so broken. The true difference between secular jocks and Christian jocks is crazy. You have to have so much more talent and mindfulness to be a CCM jock. Secular jocks almost never have to watch what they say, yet Christian jocks have to be careful of the content delivery, that it’s neutral when it comes to denomination, and even the jokes have to be thought out due to interpretation. I really appreciate the job they do.
What is the most important lesson you’ve learned so far in Christian Radio?
That CCM stations CAN BEAT OUT every station in the market – even secular. I didn’t know that was possible until I saw KEEH do it in Spokane. Another lesson is authenticity. I am honest and genuinely passionate about what my mission is – to help make great CCM radio. Authenticity resonates, creating a meaningful bond between the PD and I. It’s not just about getting another affiliate; it’s about sharing stories, experiences, and formulas for success. Because I can’t be successful unless my affiliates are.
What are your thoughts on AI and how it will impact Christian Radio?
AI is a powerful tool that can be used in CCM, but only to a point. As technology continues to advance, AI can assist in content curation, allowing for data analysis, helping us better understand our audience and tailor our messages to their preferences. However, it’s important to remember that while AI can enhance efficiency, the human touch of compassion, understanding, encouragement should always remain at the core of CCM. It’s even more effective when you have a seasoned talent to deliver content and connect it to the listener.
Where will new up-and-coming Christian Radio air talent come from?
The future of Christian Radio talent will be found in a diverse range of sources. Traditional broadcasting programs and media schools will always be essential, but with the advent of digital media, aspiring talents can also gain experience through podcasting, online streaming, and social media platforms. The key is to combine technical skills with a genuine passion for spreading the word through uplifting and encouraging breaks.
Generally speaking to the industry, what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian Radio?
One of the most significant challenges is staying relevant in an ever-evolving media landscape. Adapting to the listener as they change, trends and platforms while maintaining the core values of Christian Radio. Additionally, finding innovative ways to connect and addressing unique needs and concerns is crucial for the industry’s sustained growth. The last obstacle has to do with “I have to have a local person in the studio“. Having people in the studio is great But, if they can’t connect to the listener – is it worth it? Some say “I can’t afford to get better talent”. You can afford it, you just have to be willing to have them remotely. Seasoned talent can be local. One example is KEEH. They have the perfect combo. They use remote seasoned talent and some local talent that are in the studio. I really think they’ve found the right combo to get the success they’ve achieved.
Who are your radio heroes and influences? And why?
I’ve always drawn inspiration from a mix of radio pioneers like Paul Harvey, James K. Davis, Billy Graham, John Garabedian and Jimmy Steele. Paul Harvey’s storytelling prowess captivated listeners. Jim Davis has broadcasted in more legendary stations than anyone I know and is great at coaching. Billy Graham demonstrated how radio could be a tool for spreading faith and hope on a massive scale. John G had a laid back smooth approach to his show that connected with me and Jimmy Steele taught me how to talk to the listener and live their reality. These trailblazers remind me of the immense impact radio can have, motivating me to continuously strive for excellence in what I do now.
I just want to say thanks to all that are in CCM and for what you do. You really do make a difference in someone’s life each day.