Career Capsule: I started in college radio in 1990 in Jacksonville, AL. After a year, I received a job offer at a local station doing weekends and being the color guy for Friday night football. After a year, I got the call to full-time doing Afternoon Drive. I had to get permission from the professors to leave class early to be on the air. They thought that was pretty cool. From there, I worked in Gadsden, AL for a CHR; Birmingham, AL for an AC; Amarillo, TX for a CHR; Rome, GA for a Country; back to Birmingham for Classic Rock, and finally landed the job at WDJC fifteen years ago this July.
Justin, tell us what’s new at WDJC… news, changes, & with YOU… etc?
The biggest thing going this year is our 50th anniversary! WDJC went on the air April 22, 1968. We are celebrating all year long. We are featured in the April issue of the Birmingham Family Christian Magazine.
Christian Radio has become very competitive… what do you do to stand out from the crowd?
Live and local is how we stand out from the crowd. Even though there are several Christian radio station signals in the area, we are the only live presence in town with studios and live shows. When listeners come to pick up a prize, they can see us in the studio on the air. Our talent also are very involved in the community and at events.
What is the best programming advice you’ve been given?
Live your life on the air. That took me quite a while to get comfortable with.The worst? A former GM told me to “Just read the card. There are either good voices or personalities. You have a good voice so just read the card.”
Some say more Christian stations in a market the better, do you agree with that, why or why not?
Personally, I would love for us to be the only Christian station in the market 😉 But as far as “iron sharpens iron”, I think it helps us to be better. You have the ability to listen and possibly hear a song that you are not playing and it makes you ask if you think you should play it or not. Any time you can analyze what you are doing and why you are doing it, it gives you a chance to grow makes you better.
What is the ONE thing you must have everyday to do your job/show?
Definitely the internet. I am live and local and depend heavily on traffic updates, local news and staying on top of artist news using Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. That, and coffee!
Where will future Christian radio air talent come from?
That is the million dollar question. It seems that the pool of talent that had a passion and was willing to do what it takes to get on the radio and strive to move to a bigger market has gotten smaller and smaller over the years.
Generally speaking to the industry what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian radio?
I think it is really easy to put the ministry second and be overly focused on the money. Christian Radio is a business and businesses do need dollars to stay in business, but it is too easy for that to become the main focus and forget the ministry, or at least put the ministry second. Put the ministry first and trust God to provide.
Who are your radio heroes and influences? and why?
My first radio hero was Dr. Johnny Fever, but then I found out he didn’t exist J I admired Casey Kasem, Shadoe Stevens, and the local dj’s I grew up listening to. The afternoon drive host and PD of Q104 was Leo Davis. I had a dream of one day working there, and I was able to attain that time slot and position on that station. That was a big career win for me personally.