Career Capsule: I’m a graduate of Moody Bible Institute in Chicago and graduated with a diploma in Radio/Communications in 1974. I finished my education at Malone College in Ohio and graduated with my BA in speech in 1975. I met my wife, Becky, at Moody. We’ve been married 46 years and have three grown children. I’ve also worked with Moody Radio for 46 years. My first experience in radio was at WCRF in Cleveland in 1975. I worked part time evenings and weekends and filled in for full time staff during vacations and time away from the station.
I began working with Moody full time at WMBW in Chattanooga, TN in September 1976. I was an on-air announcer and worked there for 2 ½ years. We transferred back to Cleveland in early 1979 and have worked there since then. I have been a senior announcer, assistant manager and currently the operations manager. My responsibilities include the on-air computers and software, scheduling our music and spots, and overseeing downloading our programs and features via satellite and internet. I also oversee the day -to- day operation of the station.
When I began in radio everything was live on air. We signed on early in the morning and signed off late at night. I played records and loaded reel to reel tapes with our programs and used cart machines for our spots. Then back in Cleveland satellite came in, our records transitioned to cd’s, our cart machines went away, and so did our reel- to- reel decks. And now today we have satellite, internet, on air software and computers, and voice tracking.
Paul, tell us what’s new at WCRF … news, changes, & with new with YOU… etc?
At WCRF we are doing some remodeling of our facilities and have upgraded our audio boards in most studios. We set up a (TOC) Technical Operation Center) where most of our satellite receivers, on-air computers, and other equipment are. Our on –air system has been RCS’s Master Control. We are at the beginning stage of transitioning to RCS’s Zetta and upgrading our network and system.
You recently announced your retirement after 46 years at Moody Radio… Congratulations!
I will be retiring at the end of September 2022. I can’t believe it’s been this long and yet the time has gone by quickly. I’ve adapted over the years to technology and what we do in radio. I’ve come from everything being done live in radio to much being voice tracked. I’ve used everything from records and CD’s to now everything being digital and using our digital platforms. I’ve stayed at Moody because of the prominence of God’s word, the high standards that Moody Radio has always employed, and the commitment to help listeners take that next step in their walk with Christ.
Over the years, what are some of the most significant changes/events that affected Christian Radio?
Over the years the medium of radio has changed but the message has stayed the same focused on God’s word, at least for Moody Radio. Using different ways in presenting the same message. Satellite brought in 24 hours round the clock broadcasting. Digital has allowed us to do so much more than we were able to do in the past. More people can listen outside of our local coverage area from anywhere in the world. Digital platforms have allowed more resources to be available to anyone.
Some say the more Christian stations in a market the “better”…. What’s your opinion?
We certainly have many stations in our market. We have always felt that we are not in competition with anyone. We are, or at least should be, doing what God has called us to do. I think more ways to spread God’s word and truth is a plus.
What is your opinion of podcasts for stations & air talent, are the necessary, must have one, etc?
Moody, and we at WCRF, are using podcasts in our ministry. I think podcasts have fullfilled a need and have enhanced our ministry. They give an opportunity to expand the ministry in areas that may be different from what’s heard on the station. There seems to be a high demand with listeners for podcast and we need to be ready to go where people are at and what they want to hear. It maximizes our ministry.
What is some advice you would have to someone desiring a career in Christian radio (media, broadcasting) ?
When I started in radio a degree and experience was important. Now education is not necessarily needed but is still useful. Get as much experience in a radio environment that you can. Technical aptitude is huge today. You will need to understand computers and software. Everything is digital today. And everything continues to change rapidly in our culture today. Stay up to date on what is happening in our word today. Be aware of where technology is at today and where things are moving. Radio continues to be a moving platform. As we keep radio in step with technology, we will stay relevant as a medium. But technology does not drive the message, the message is driven by technology.
Generally speaking to the industry what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian air talent?
As Christian air talent don’t get stuck in the ways you’ve always done things. What worked yesterday might not work today. Always look for different and possibly better ways to communicate your message. Don’t be concerned with building “your” audience. It’s really not about you at all, it’s about God and the message he wants to give through you. That’s not to say you don’t want to have an audience, you do. But be careful not to build your ministry and not God’s ministry.
Who are your radio heroes and influences? and why?
My radio heroes are Bob Devine, who I worked with for many years at WCRF. He was a mentor and an unbelievably talented individual in children’s programming. He always sought to please the Lord in everything that he did. My second hero was my first station manager in Chattanooga, Dean Sipple. He took the time to train me in ministry and I learned from his example. He poured into me his experience so that I could be all that God desired for me. And my third radio hero is Chuck Colson, one of my main teachers in communication while I was at Moody. He was very gifted and encouraged me in my training at Moody. He was also a pioneer in Christian radio as being the voice of Ranger Bill and Sailor Sam at Moody Radio. Each of these men poured into me their love for the Lord, their passion for reaching others for Christ, and their passion for using radio to do that.