Feature InterviewInterviews

Suzanne Happs Interview 3-5-18

Suzanne Happs
APD/Afternoon Co-Host

Career Capsule: In Christian radio since 2002, beginning in the traffic department, but, I’ve worn lots of hats in the building over the years. Worked with Bethesda Christian Broadcasting for most of those years in their different markets.  Now, back in my hometown of Peoria, IL and loving WCIC and New Life Media. 

Suzanne, tell us what’s new at WCIC… news, changes, & with YOU… etc?  

I have a great new co-host, Brian Williamsen. While he’s been in broadcasting before, this is his first full-time radio gig, so, I love looking at things through his eyes. It’s helped me to not do things because “that’s the way we’ve always done them” and to evaluate things with a fresh take myself. Brian’s fantastic!


Christian Radio has become very competitive… what do you do to stand out from the crowd? 

We are very intentional to play to our individual quirks in our personalities. It’s our uniqueness in our personalities that no one can duplicate.


What is the best programming advice you’ve been given? 

To get out of the building and listen. It seems so simple, but every time I forced myself to go sit at a coffee shop with the app or go for a drive to listen to the station things would just pop out at me. I think it’s a “can’t see the forest for the trees” thing. 


Some say more Christian stations in a market the better, do you agree with that, why or why not?

I agree to an extent. There needs to be sustainability, of course, but different flavors attract different listeners and the more people praising God through their own “flavor” of music, the better. 


What is the ONE thing you must have everyday to do your show? 

I’d love to say something really professional here, but, 5 minutes of silliness!  I tend to over analyze, so taking a “silliness” break really helps my creativity for prep ideas and energy for the live show. My co-host Brian and I have been known to bop around a mini-beach ball as a pre-show activity to get the juices flowing. 


Where will future Christian radio air talent come from? 

I wish I knew the answer or they could all be found in one place. We are always keeping our eyes and ears open for people who love God and are great storytellers. 


Generally speaking to the industry what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian radio?

Staying relevant and noticed in a world where so many other mediums are screaming for people’s attention each day. Keeping up with technology and keeping God’s truth alive in a world where things seem so subjective. 


Who are your radio heroes and influences? and why?

As a child I was definitely influenced by small-town radio. I remember playing in my Grandma’s kitchen and listening to her favorite local radio station. I’m dating myself, but I loved to listen to Paul Harvey. Even at 9 and 10 I would stop and listen. He gave my young brain a taste of the world outside of the rural town I knew and then the local “yard sale on the radio” type segment would follow. It was fascinating to me.