Feature InterviewInterviews

Meg Geissinger Interview 12-24-16

interview-meg-geissinger2016Meg Geissinger
Program Director
The Word FM
Sellersville, PA

Career Capsule: 1991-1997 Mainstream radio formats including Top 40, News/Talk, Rock, and Sports.  Positions held include DJ, reporter, anchor, talk show producer/call screener, traffic reporter, and program director.

1997-2002 Computer networking, hardware/software installations, and website design.

2002-2008 Raised my children from birth to school age while a self-employed contractor voice tracking for Word FM on weekends and providing computer maintenance and website design.

2008-present Program Director for Word FM Radio Network in central and eastern PA and Maryland

Meg, Tell us about what’s new with Word FM… news, changes, & with YOU… etc? 

We’ve departed from longer stopsets throughout the hour in an effort to get back into music faster, lessening the opportunity for her to change stations or revert to an app or player.  I based our music clock template on one I found from a mid-70s top-rated music station in California where a different element aired between each song and commercial breaks were no more than 60 seconds.  Content breaks, underwriting/PSAs, or imaging airs between songs – never piled up together.  When asked, listeners tell us we’re playing the same amount or more songs per hour.

What are some programming issues that you find are unique to your market (station/network)?

Songs that reportedly test well around the country don’t necessarily have the same results in the northeast.  It’s important for us to consider new music in light of what she’s told us about songs and artists currently on our playlist.

What is the best programming advice you’ve been given? The worst?

Best:  If you can make your on-air product better right now, why wait?

Worst:  A wider variety in programming makes more people happy.

Some say more Christian stations in a market the better, do you agree with that, why or why not?

Christian stations with varied formats in one market serve a wider audience.  Christian stations with similar formats in one market compete for the same demographic and, in many cases, the same donors. When it’s the latter scenario, it’s an opportunity to improve your on-air product.  For us, it’s iron sharpening iron.  

What is the ONE thing you must have everyday to do your show?  

Material that doesn’t waste her time.

Where will future Christian radio air talent come from?

As much as YouTube serves up a glut of mediocre talent in all forms, it also provides us personalities who are organically gaining their own following.  We’d be wise to search out people with a fan base already creating content worth hearing and developing them into great on-air talent. 

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

The obstacles are what they’ve always been – how to remain relevant and worthy of our listeners’ time when there’s so much competing for their attention.  When we lose focus of whom we serve and the gift that it is to do this every day, it’s time to do something else.

Who are your radio heroes and influences? and why?

* I’ve always appreciated the owners and managers who could do my job as well as I could yet never made me feel less important.  Not only did they put in their time early on, but their expectations were realistic and example obvious.  

* It used to be a slick edit or hitting the post that impressed me; now I’m challenged and captivated by talent who can tell a story that makes me lean in at the very beginning and takes me along on the journey until the very last words spoken are the ones I didn’t see coming.  

* Writers of great lyrics, music, and imagery are vital to what I program – I’m grateful for people whom God has gifted with these talents and for those who work with them.  

* As an implementer, I wouldn’t have anything to do if it weren’t for the people who have a vision for what could be and it is a joy to work at making the station become what they envision.

* The people who work at or around the station who aren’t on air and don’t want to be – they remind me that no matter what we’re called to do there is no less joy in serving God than when we are giving our best.

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