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Jeremy Cruise Interview – Sponsored by Curb Word

Jeremy Cruise
APD/Morning Show – Caryn and Jeremy in the Mornings

Career Capsule: Radio was a passion for me immediately out of high school. I volunteered at a local music/teaching hybrid station until staff changes opened the door to more opportunities. After a brief stent as PD, I left MO and moved to Nashville, TN. I took a job with Salem Music Network and over 15 years held various roles including, on air, APD, Affiliate Relations and Program Director. In 2021, My wife caryn and I moved to Dallas to take on the honor of hosting mornings on 90.9 KCBI.


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

KCBI has an intense focus on the North Texas community, and that continues to expand through the new Faith hope Love It is an acts of kindness effort to grow hope though generosity in the metroplex. Listeners have distributed thousands of kindness cards around DFW that have been given to those who need hope in Jesus’ name.

This has been a whirlwind year for Caryn and me. We made an unexpected move to Dallas, TX. After living in Nashville 16 years, we joined the work God is doing through the ministry of 90.9 KCBI. We are approaching the end of our first year as a married morning show.


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

This is a unique question for us now as a married morning team. Our day is split in to two parts. Executing a show in the morning – free time in the middle part of the day and preparation for the next day in the afternoon and evening. It’s difficult to detangle work from life. Since we are both doing the same show and creating within the same space, we’ve had to appreciate the needs of the other person to have time to decompress alone. Individual interests are important to the mental and emotional health of each of us, so we try to understand the benefit that brings to our relationship and our creativity.


What adjustments did you make when joining KCBI.. new location, new morning show, new role?

Morning hours are a real adjustment. Being asleep by 8pm is weird in the summer when it is fully light outside. Caryn went from being a network solo host and production director to sharing a local show with me. That was a huge adjustment. I sat aside the strategic planning of a Program Director to return to air with my spouse. There is a lot of instinct that you have to redirect and use for a new discipline. I felt it would be an excellent leadership exercise and growth opportunity, and it has been.


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

The absolute lifeline that Christian radio is to people. People are alone or they are feeling lonely. They need a constant encouragement source and a community. It is not only the music and teaching, it’s the human element. People need to feel a connection to other people. They need to feel seen and understood. We have to minister to them, but we also have to relate to them. Their lives are not one dimensional. They need someone to trust who they believe is like them. Someone who shares the same struggle and has the same values. A true friend.


What are your thoughts on podcasting, should all Christian broadcasters have a podcast?… 

No. I think it depends ultimately on the company’s goals. Podcasting is an opportunity for niche exploration and tribe building. If you have the time and something to say that falls in line with the company’s strategy then a podcast might be a good option.


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

I think some will come from general market. There are a lot of wonderful christian people in secular media that would love a healthier, faith-forward environment. I think it will come from PD’s finding people organically in their markets with the raw skills that make a good radio talent.


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

Speaking in terms of radio talent and growth I would say time and resources. Radio talent are stretched thin at a lot of stations. Their show is the last thing on their mind after they get everything else done. Financial struggles do not allow for growing the talent through consultants or professional development.


Who are your radio heroes and influences? and why?

On air, Bobby Bones, because he challenges me in how hard he works on every show, and how he creatively approaches his character role in the show. I’ve learned so much from skilled Program Directors such as Vance Dillard, now at Family Radio and Mike Blakemore VP of Programming at Salem. I appreciate all the consultants…Finney, Frost, Kramer, etc. for how they share their knowledge.

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