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Greg Steward Interview

Greg Steward
Program Director/Music Director
WWIB
Chippewa Falle, WI

 

Career Capsule: 2 years at Northwestern Bible College St. Paul MN. 48 years on air personality, MD and PD at WWIB radio. For over 30 years I hosted a daily sports interview show with professional and college athletes and coaches from across America talking about their faith and their sport.

 

Greg, tell us what’s new at WWIB… any news, changes etc… and what’s new with YOU?

We are celebrating our 50th year of broadcasting across Western Wisconsin at WWIB. We have event running all year including parking lot picnics with food truck, inflatable and live music at our communications center all summer. We also have a free outdoor concert with recording artist Jason Gray at the end of August.

 

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

I think a healthy work/family balance is incredibly important in our industry. Radio is so competitive and fast paced that most of us put a lot of pressure on ourselves to make the next event, the next promotion more spectacular than the last. This comes often times at the expense of our family and ourselves.

 

Overall, what is the best programing advice you’ve been given? The worst?

Build in your listeners a feeling that if they shut your station off they might miss something.

 

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

I think Christian radio became a lifeline for many people during the pandemic who felt lonely and isolated. I don’t think I fully understood the extent to which our listeners depended on the music, ministry and connection of our radio station.

 

What are your thoughts on AI in Christian Radio?

From what I am seeing the implications of AI from an air talent and commercial (we are commercial Christian radio) perspective are not necessarily positive for the industry. I could foresee numerous copy write court battles and a perhaps an eventual pinch on live air talent.

 

Where will new up and coming Christian Radio air talent come from?

I think more and more we will see air talent ‘discovered” in our own backyard. We are finding energetic, outgoing communicators who listen to us already and believe in what we are doing. We’ve found these people teachable, trainable and enthusiastic about joining the team.

 

Generally speaking to the industry what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian Radio?

I think one of the biggest obstacles we are trending towards is outsourcing the talent and personality of local radio stations to someone from some distant state or city who knows nothing about our market or our listeners.

 

Who are your radio heroes and influences? and why?

I’d say my Dad, Warren Steward. He had a radio show for years and connected in a deep way with his listeners. His life centered on inviting people to a life changing relationship with Jesus. He launched our WWIB 50 years ago when personality driven “commercial” Christian radio was almost non-existent.

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