Career Capsule:First got into radio in high school, when I was 17 at WATH/WXTQ in Athens, Ohio. I continued to work at area radio stations until I graduated from Ohio University, when I went to Hot 105 in Columbus. When I began that job, I heard they had a sister station, The Light WTLT. It was a contemporary Christian station. I had never heard contemporary Christian music before. Since I had been a Christian since I was 7 years old, I found that completely fascinating. Within 3 weeks, I was MD/APD and doing afternoon drive. About 2 years later, I moved to West Palm Beach to help with sign-on at Way-FM. I did afternoon drive and was MD. After a few years, I got married and started doing voice-tracking and audio production at home so I could raise children. Over the past *ahem* years, I have done spots, on-hold messaging, and narration across the U.S. and around the world.
Recently, I came out of “radio retirement” to be Operations Manager and morning drive personality at Hope 106.3 in Melbourne, Florida.
Penny, tell us what’s new at WCIF… news, changes, & with YOU… etc?
Hope 106.3 is the new positioning statement of WCIF. Since coming onboard in December, I am working with my GM, Martha Root, to update the music. Music isn’t the only thing that’s new at Hope 106.3. We have begun a personality driven morning show with myself and my co-host, Mark Patterson. So far, we have had excellent response!
Christian Radio has become very competitive… what do you do to stand out from the crowd?
One way, that we want to distinguish ourselves at Hope 106.3 is by not just doing typical Christian events. Do we do Christian concerts? Absolutely! And we love it! But we make appearances at non-Christian events in our area and beyond to just do ministry. Because, at the end of the day, isn’t that the most important thing? Not just playing what’s on the charts, or doing give-aways, but just blessing people and letting them know that Jesus is our Hope. ?
What is the best programming/show advice you’ve been given? The worst?
The best programming advice was given to me by Dusty Rhodes a very long time ago. Talk to one person. Be their friend and companion. Each listener wants to feel that connection with you. They don’t just want their favorite song, or news…they want a connection, they want a friend.
Some say more Christian stations in a market the better, do you agree with that, why or why not?
I absolutely agree that the more Christian stations in the market the better. I do not look at other Christian stations as competition. Don’t we all have the same Boss?
Actually, I have approached a few other stations in the area to talk with them about doing some promotions together. We all have our place in the Kingdom, and if a person comes to Jesus from another Christian station, shouldn’t we celebrate that as well?
What is the ONE thing you must have everyday to do your job/show?
What one thing do I need to do everyday before my show? Pray. I give every shift to Jesus. Another thing…crackers. Don’t ask.
Where will future Christian radio air talent come from?
The future of on-air Christian talent I believe will come from the kids at the Citizen Way and Newsboys concerts, jumping up and down, praising God, the kids singing along to Cory Asbury as tears stream down their cheeks. They truly GET IT! It’s not just about how amazing your radio voice is, or how tight you can run a board…it’s about being on a mission to serve Him every day. In everything you do. On air, off air, on stage, and on the streets.
Generally speaking to the industry what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian radio?
I believe one of the biggest obstacles facing the Christian radio industry is lack of focus. Or, rather, focusing on the wrong things. I think we get SO caught up in numbers, charts, who’s on the top of the food chain, etc., that we can lose sight of why we do what we do. The whole point of doing our best, isn’t to be the best. We do our best to spread the gospel, to every person, of every age, for His glory.
Who are your radio heroes and influences? and why?
My radio heroes are Bill Scott, Dusty Rhodes, and Bob Augsburg. (Can you tell I come from a Way-FM background?)
These men know the industry inside and out, can do every facet of radio, and have skill, wisdom, and are trailblazers in the Christian radio industry.