Paul Tipton Interview
VP of Operations
Christian FM Media Group
Vero Beach, FL
Career Capsule: Joined WSCF in 1990 as a part time weekend jock. Worked for WSCF as Music Director and Program Director for close to 20 years. Worked on the air at all Day parts throughout my career. In 2009, Changed roles to Vice President of Operations for newly formed, Christian FM Media Group, helping launch a National syndicated CCM AC format and build a team of talented personalities. Since then we have launched several syndicated shows, working with over 250 stations covering from coast to coast and border to border.
Paul, tell us what’s new at Christian FM … news, changes, & with YOU… etc?
CFM, has been growing and taking on new challenges. We have seen our format launching in some great new markets and our syndicated shows (Brant Hansen & Lisa Barry) continue to find new markets and we are so happy to work with these stations.
Personally, I turned 50 years old, celebrated 30 years in the biz, and will be a Grandfather early next year.
How has your job been affected by the pandemic, adjustments, modifications etc?
Really not that much. Our workflow and setup have most of our staff working from various locations. So the social distancing has not been an issue for our team. But it did affect a lot of our affiliates and CFM was able to help them when their local talent could not work we stepped in and kept the message of Hope going, I think somebody knew we needed this setup long before Pandemic and Social Distancing became a common term.
What is the best programming/show advice you’ve been given? The worst?
The Best advice, hire people who want to move the needle, let them take the wheel, and watch it grow.
The Worst, play your favorite songs and let everyone join your party.
Some say the more Christian stations in a market the “better”…. What’s your opinion?
I say better can be a very good thing, IF, all of the stations are executing their format the best they can. I love sports, I love competition and competing. Better executed stations can bring out the best in other stations. But if you have one solid station and the rest are just so-so then it’s not better for anyone. Competition can make you better, force you to work harder and not get complacent. If you have a Pharmacy in town, I bet you have at least 2-3 more. Same for banks, fast food, and the list goes on. Why is it that in Christian Radio we see one AC station in a marker that we have to do something else?
What’s your opinion on podcasts… is it necessary to have one, are they a threat to radio… etc?
Podcasts can really help your station not hurt it. Your On Air talent only gets a few minutes every day to connect with the audience on the radio. A podcast, gives them the chance to really connect with the audience more and can create a loyalty to the brand. But just like you don’t want to waste a break on the air, don’t waste it on a podcast either.
Where will new up and coming air talent for Christian Radio come from?
That’s a good question, I think it can start with just keeping your eyes open around your circle. You never know when someone will come along that just has that connection factor. Podcasts and Social Media, Youtube. But if you do find someone, I suggest letting them run a live show first and not voice track. They have to learn how the live element works before they can recreate it on a voice track. Give them a weekend spot or late night show.
Generally speaking to the industry what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian air talent?
Learning how to communicate the Gospel without using all the church slang.
Jesus is our best example of how to communicate the Gospel. He spoke to people using common language and parable to make a point. He also went to where they are not try to get them to come to Him. If we can do more of this then we will connect more with everyone in a greater way.
Who are your radio heroes and influences? and why?
John Frost, the guy just makes you think and I admire how he sees things in a different way than most.
Brant and Sherri, I’ve watched how hard they work to be the best they can be and don’t settle, EVER.
Jon Hamilton, is another out of box thinker. He asks, why not, and sees vision where most don’t see it. Yes, he is my boss. Yes, I am hoping this scores lots of points.