Career Capsule: My work ethic was birthed on a Middle Tennessee dairy farm and further developed in the crucible of the “book field”. I have 25 years in the media management and sales with Salem Media Group Nashville which includes 94 FM The Fish. The Today’s Christian Music Network, CCM Magazine and the Word In Praise Network. I am Stephanie’s husband of 31 years, a dad of four grown contributors to the world and a grandfather of five. My mission is to help individuals find their worth, businesses develop their stories and teams galvanize around a purpose. I believe in doing well by doing good.
Kevin, tell us what’s new at The Fish Nashville.. any news, changes etc… and what’s new with YOU?
We have new leadership operationally and new talent. In one case they happen to be one and the same, Jayme Summers is our newly minted PD and afternoon cohost locally and on the Network. Kim Fitz has joined our national network team, another stellar Atlanta-based talent. Tim Hartlage is new to us but a seasoned Sales Team Leader. Our Digital Agency-Salem Surround Nashville continues to make a difference for our business partners and our content continues to make a difference in the community and the lives of our friends that listen. Me? I am in a real growth season. At 51 I love the opportunity I have now to consult with businesses and non-profits and to encourage their owners and founders along with my team towards growth. Beyond my wife and family it is why I wake up each day.
How do you balance work & family, how important is it for someone in Christian Radio to ‘have a life”?
I believe life “balance” is a myth. There are simply seasons in life, some more frenetic than others. When we were young parents, we felt out of balance but always remained intentional about raising those young human beings. That was season. Look at the life of Paul, someone we should all emulate. Would you consider him “in balance”? No. He pursued the Call intensely. A wise friend of mine says we should live a “full life”. Not “busy” but “full”. I am learning that there is a difference, but “balance” may be the impossible dream for many of us.
Overall, what is the best managerial advice you’ve been given? The worst?
I have had some great leadership over the years at Salem Media Group. I took from them all but I am a Mathew 6:33 guy and I believe in “doing the next “right thing”. Very often I can’t tell you the next five steps, but the Lord will typically show me the next one if I pay attention. Look for the next right thing and always hold myself and my team accountable for the results or lack thereof. I am an “Extreme Ownership” guy. The worst? “Fake it til you make it.”
What’s something you’ve learned due to the pandemic, about Christian Radio, that you didn’t know before?
There are many ways to run a media operation. We have found some efficiencies but I would say find the way that fits the players you have on your team but accountability will never go out of style. I do believe that “in person” exchanges are better than Zoom meetings. I am quickly getting to the point that I won’t take local meetings if they aren’t “belly to belly”.
What are your thoughts on podcasting, should all Christian broadcasters have a podcast?
Allen Power, Salem’s President of Broadcast Media said this to me concerning starting a podcast. “Don’t start a podcast just so you have a podcast. Start one if you have something compelling to say.” My advice is not to force this on your on-air talent unless you and they feel they have something compelling say. We don’t need more poor content.
Where will new up and coming Christian Radio air talent come from?
The overnight shift! Seriously I think we must always pursue authentic voices who connect. Where do you find them? For me its hard to say. I have not found the “Authentic Voice Farm” yet, but we know them when we hear them,
Generally speaking to the industry what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian?
Ourselves. We limit ourselves with limited thinking. We limit our message by being overly preachy or by using words “normal” people don’t’ use or understand. We need to “De-Christian-ease” our vocabulary. If we do, we will find a much more receptive audience. Never forget that audience desperately needs Jesus. Get them to Him whatever it takes.
Who are your radio heroes and influences? and why?
I have the honor of serving alongside my heroes and influences at Salem. Every time I travel to our Manager’s Meetings I have the honor of hanging out with guys like Terry Faye VP/GM for the Fish LA or Mark Durkin RVP/GM for the Fish Sacramento. I mentioned Allen Power our current President of Broadcast Media earlier. Val Carolin our GM out of Atlanta is also my new market RVP. His track record speaks for himself. I am an old school Roy Williams, Wizard of Ads fan but most of my heroes and influences exist outside of the industry. Any book by Patrick Lencioni feeds me. Podcasts featuring Craig Groeschel, Cary Nieuwhof or Rory Vaden challenge me. I am an avid reader, a constant learner, and an insufferable contemplator on what could be.