Juan Carlos Reyes Interview
Juan Carlos Reyes
Afternoon Host/Community Relations/Promotions Coordinator
Career Capsule: In college, I did a sports radio show has was the editor-in-chief of our campus newspaper at Texas A&M University – Kingsville. After college, I worked in several media outlets, including a news reporter, sports reporter, television news editor, morning show television producer and camera operator. I got into radio in August of 2014, as a volunteer DJ at 91.7 FM KBNJ, in Corpus Christi, and became employed in May of 2015. I’m married to my wife of two years, Heather, who works as a Kindergarten teacher. I’ve been with KBNJ for almost seven years.
JC, tell us what’s new at KBNJ … any news, changes etc, plus what’s new with YOU?
Well we just wrapped up our annual Mother’s Day Diaper Drive, which we do every year. The drive benefits the Pregnancy Centers of the Coastal Bend, helping mothers who are in need of diapers and wipes for their newborns, infants and toddlers. This year, we had more than 30 local churches and businesses that served as collecting sites. Our collection site caused an overflow from our drop off box, which really excited us. We can’t wait to hear the final total of how many diapers and wipes were collected across the Coastal Bend
We’re very excited to have live music, again, with two concerts coming in August and October.
I’m also preparing Season 3 of our Facebook Live show called “Almost Friday with Juan Carlos.” Thursday evenings I go live with an artist and talk Jesus, music, family, and life.
I’ve done 27 episodes, throughout the first two seasons, and I’m having the best time chatting with these amazing people.
My wife and I recently celebrated two years of marriage, and I recently celebrated a birthday. I turned 40… plus 1.
In your experience, what ingredients are needed to make a Christian Radio music show work?
You got to have an engaging personality. Listeners want to hear someone that feels like a best friend. It is also important to talk about what is going on in your life. Let the listener get to know who is really behind the microphone. Authenticity is important. No need to fake it till you make it. Be real with the listeners. I have no shame in sharing any struggles I am facing. We have to let the listeners know we are not perfect. Most importantly, have fun. If you are not having fun, you’re doing it wrong.
Overall, what is the best show/programming advice you’ve been given? The worst?
Enunciate when you are talking. If you are a fast talker, like I tend to be, the listener can soak in what they heard. Since my show doesn’t have a co-host, a great piece of advice is to talk like there is someone in front of you. The listener always knows whether you are addressing them or not, so talk as they are right next to you. Most importantly, don’t put yourself in the spotlight.
As Christian Radio DJs it’s important to practice humility. If you start making it about yourself, you’re saying you are more important than how God is trying to lead you.
What’s something you’ve learned due to the pandemic, about Christian Radio, that you didn’t know before?
I’ve learned how needed we are to our listeners. During the pandemic, our listeners have stepped up in giving and we have had successful Sharathons. One time a listener came in and gave her stimulus check to support the station. It was so amazing, because you never know who is listening. Receiving the type of thanks we receive because we stayed on the air, through all of this, was overwhelming. I am beyond grateful
What is your opinion of podcasts for stations & air talent, are they necessary, must have one, etc?… Please explain…
Yeah. I highly recommend adding a podcast to your station’s repertoire. I’ve never been a podcast guy, until last year. I’ve been very intrigued by it. People consider my “Almost Friday” show a podcast, which I thought podcasts was just audio only. I think anything that adds something extra to any media format is awesome. I’m all for new ways to reach people besides hearing on-air talent on the radio. “Almost Friday” was created to enhance our social media presence, and it has succeeded.
Where will new up and coming air talent for Christian Radio come from?
It’s crazy to think how much “easier” talent has been discovered. YouTube, TikTok, Instagram and Facebook have become outlets where talent gets to shine. People who think talent shows like “American Idol,” “The Voice,” and “America’s Got Talent” are dying are sadly mistaken. We’ve been introduced to artists like Austin French, Jack Cassidy, Jordan Smith and Koryn Hawthorne over the last few years because shows like these. The possibilities of getting discovered are endless.
Generally speaking to the industry what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian air talent?
The biggest obstacle with being a Christian air talent, is knowing there are people listening, and waiting, to throw stones whenever they hear something we say that made them uncomfortable.
When I first started, I paraphrased a scripture, and I let them know beforehand that I was. A listener let me have it, and it actually shook me. I want to make sure I’m very confident in sharing God’s word. But knowing it’s happened to my co-workers , they reminded me of this thing called “grace” which comforted me, and built up my confidence. We have listeners that expect us to be perfect, but we are all imperfect people that serve a perfect God. We are all a work in progress.
Who are your radio heroes and influences? and why?
Many of us grew up on Casey Kasem. I wanted his job so bad. Apparently, they thought Ryan Seacrest was a better choice to host “America’s Top 40,” so their loss. Casey had a way of catching your attention. Besides counting them down from 40 to 1, I loved whenever he gave a backstory about an artist before he played their song, so that we can feel like we can get to know them behind the scenes. I always thought that was really cool.
Another hero of mine is my station manager Joe Fahl, not just because he gave me my start at KBNJ, but because he embodies what it says in 2 Corinthians 12:9 (ESV) “ But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” Joe battles from a slow form muscular dystrophy. Despite what his body is going through, he remains faithful to God, and has this upbeat attitude that is filled with encouragement, laughter and joy that wakes me up to God’s presence. If he’s not going to let his trial stop him for being faithful to Christ, and sharing his love, then I have absolutely no reason to complain about my struggles, because we serve a mighty God.