Robert Baltodano Interview
WRDR – The Bridge Radio
Old Bridge, NJ
Career Capsule: I have been in Christian Radio for 20 years. In those 20 years I have managed full power stations in Upstate New York (WJIV), Southern California (KWVE-FM) and now The Bridge Radio (WRDR & WJUX). My experience in Christian broadcasting includes sales, promotions, operations and on-air. I have hosted and created multiple live call-in programs. In addition to my radio experience, I have been in pastoral ministry since 1998. I planted and became the pastor of Calvary Chapel of the Hills in Upstate NY. I have a passion for expository preaching and have been teaching the bible for over 20 years. I graduates from Calvary Chapel Bible College and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Biblical Studies. I am currently in an online Grad school program going for my Masters in Theological Studies at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Robert, tell us what’s new at The Bridge Radio.. any news, changes etc… and what’s new with YOU?
God is doing a sweet work at the Bridge Radio. The number of our staff has increased due to some growth in listenership. Our needs vary from our technical department to the business side of things. One specific area that we had to hire for was for our two-year-old call-in program, “Bridge Bible Talk” This is our live program where Pastor Lloyd Pulley and I take calls from all over the states and answer Bible questions for one hour. We have developed a BBT team that handles call screening, podcasts, editing, and board operation of the program. This has made things busier for me. As I host and answer questions too I find myself doing live remotes at different locations. I also attend pastor conferences to promote the program to pastors and their congregations.
How do you balance work & family, how important is it for someone in Christian Radio to ‘have a life”?
That is a good question. I am still learning. However, I tried to include them in the events and sometimes trips I take for business. At home I am more intentional. We have dinner together and after dinner we have a family bible time. I like family movie nights and game nights. I make sure I am available to my family. This is important. If you are not intentional you won’t do it. We are all busy. And as a GM of a radio station in the New York market I can get pretty busy with phone calls, emails, texts…etc. You have to be intentional in having a life with your family.
Overall, what is the best managerial advice you’ve been given? The worst?
The best managerial advice I have been given is to make sure I never lose sight of why I do what I do. I do this for God’s glory not for the bottom line or for fame or competition. At the end of the day being in Christian radio is for the purpose of reaching the lost with the Gospel using the biggest megaphone I can ever have…radio. The worst advice? I really don’t have one.
What’s something you’ve learned due to the pandemic, about Christian Radio, that you didn’t know before?
I learned that radio was an important part of many people’s lives when we were shut down. When churches closed their doors, radio was a lifeline to many wanting to hear the Word of God. I didn’t realize how important radio was in times or crisis.
What are your thoughts on podcasting, should all Christian broadcasters have a podcast?
Absolutely. We live in a digital world where many young people are digesting content via podcast. As a radio broadcaster you want to create content to reach the younger generation. In fact, Bridge Bible Talk programs are on all major podcast platforms just for that reason. And we are seeing thousands of downloads!
Where will new up and coming Christian Radio air talent come from?
If we don’t have training schools to train new voices we won’t have much talent to choose from. What I have done is train young people that have a good voice and are outgoing that attend the local church. I trained one recently who doesn’t have any radio experience but I trained her and now she’s my mid-day host. I take a risk but I also trust God’s guidance.
Generally speaking to the industry what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian?
The biggest obstacles facing Christians is the government. If our government turns against Christians, then Christian radio will be limited in what programs are put on the air. Hate speech can easily be a pastor preaching that Jesus is the only way. It may sound insensitive and mean to other religions.
Who are your radio heroes and influences? and why?
Richard McIntosh was one of the GM’s I learned a lot from. He’s with the Lord now, but watching him and learning from him how he balanced the business side of radio and ministry was impressive. He was good at what he did but he never lost focused on the reason why he did what he did.
One thought on “Robert Baltodano Interview”
Thanks for sharing, Robert. I’m slowly getting convinced that we need to do podcasts. Keep up the great work for the Lord! I appreciated meeting you last year. Us Bridge stations have to stick together 🙂