Feature InterviewInterviews

Julie Norwood Interview 3-31-19

Julie Norwood
Program Director
Rapid City

Career Capsule: I’m a homegrown tomato, my radio career has been in the 605 (South Dakota).  I started with Bethesda Christian Broadcasting in the late 90’s as an Office Manager who was asked to pray each morning on one of our sister stations, which was a Inspo/Talk Teaching station.  I had no idea what that entailed, so I said, “Sure, I can pray.”   That moved me into weekend voice tracking and in time, a Morning Co-Host on the same station for 5 years.  When that season ended, the next 3 years I did a Morning Show on a Soft Rock station

In 2006 I left radio completely to serve as a Lead Pastor of a church; where I still pastor (biglifechurchrc).  I was offered to come back to help during Fundraising and fill in on air as needed.  When an opening came up for mornings, I agreed to do the Morning Show in addition to my pastoring.  In 2015, there was a station format change to a new, 100% Worship format.  I was offered to be the PD and bring the station on.  I had little idea of what that entailed, but I was willing, and so I said, “Sure, I can pray.”  


Julie, tell us what’s new at KTPT… news, changes, & with YOU… etc?

97.9 The Breeze just started its fourth year of broadcasting on January 4th.  It continues to be my blessing to see the growth of the radio station in our community as this format touches people with encouragement through worship 24/7.  It’s humbling and amazing to be a life line in people’s lives and a source for hope and encouragement.  I have never been a PD before, so I rely on my relationship with the Lord to know the heart of God through the music and content of the station. 

Prayer continues to be my lifeline, so each weekday morning as part of my show, I host a live facebook prayer time as I pray on the air.  The beautiful thing is that this brings many people together from our listening area and beyond, even the US.  This is a relationship building opportunity.    

I remain involved in several things that keep me propelling forward, but the best times are those spent with my kids (14 years apart, God has a sense of humor). My daughter is grown and lives in Los Angeles, and my son is a freshman in high school.   I love to travel; there are so many great places, people and experiences to enjoy. 


Christian Radio has become very competitive… what do you do to stand out from the crowd?

Rely on the leading of the Lord and in our efforts to infuse and offer worship into people’s lives, always reassuring them that in His presence is fullness of joy and strength. 

We also concentrate on being a good neighbor and intentionally pay attention to what’s happening.  We bring current events and concerns into our format by offering people an experience while listening to the Breeze as opposed to simply listening to the Breeze. 

In addition, since we’re a new station with a new format, so on purpose, we initiate events and occasions that will highlight our worship format and include them in the process. 


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

Best:  Know what you’re talking about before you talk.   Know where you’re going to end and take the first exit to get there. Believe in what you’re saying.  


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

Totally agree because it’s above my pay grade to limit how God wants to infiltrate people’s lives, so the more stations offers more opportunity for God to move in people’s hearts.  It’s a WIN/WIN!


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

God! As long as He is with me, I’ll keep showing up.  And, my phone L it’s filled with so many resources and opportunities, and last, but not least….a big glass of ice water, extra ice, lemon and a straw. 


Where will future Christian radio air talent come from?

From the most likely and unlikely people you may or may not know.  I hope we in Christian radio are willing to teach and pass our passion and knowledge on to others, to cultivate those who are willing and called to Christian radio.


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

That we will become irrelevant in a world of so many other choices.  When you become irrelevant, you become invisible.  And, that will be on guard to not become so well adjusted to our culture that we fit into it, instead we intentionally fix our attention on God. 


Who are your radio heroes and influences? and why?

I’m grateful for Chuck Finney, he’s genuine in his passion and care and he has always been 100% kind to me. And…he knows his stuff!  

Suzanne Happs, has offered me her experiences, help and has shared her heart with me regarding radio.  I’m grateful for every person who is on the radio, as I learn from them. 

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