Career Capsule: Taylor was born in Azle Texas, relocating with her family to Houston in the 2nd grade. At the age of 24 she decided she was ready for something different. This began a journey to several cities and formats in her 30-year radio career. Taylor’s spin into radio began with Country Music in Texas, and then on to Binghamton, New York. Being young and adventurous, she “knew” there was no place to go for the real Country vibe but Nashville, Tennessee. Eventually, Taylor’s deep family roots landed her in Tri Cities Tennessee doing Top 40 Morning Radio for 12 years before going onto Christian Radio where she says she intends to stay.
Taylor is a divorced parent of two children under the age of 15. She knows the joys and challenges that arise in everyday life. Taylor truly rejoices in the success and happiness of others while also sharing compassion and understanding as she spreads positivity and hope to others dealing with harsher life situations. She felt pain and frustration herself, walking the path of her own painful and unwanted divorce. She now realizes that this journey brought her closer to God. She says that as her faith grew she learned to put all things in HIS hands and could feel HIS love surround her. Taylor can be heard on the radio relating to the realities of today’s world and spreading encouragement.
Taylor, tell us what’s new… latest news, changes & new with YOU… etc?
Afternoons are growing and it’s going to be a new adventure to be part of expanding my show for Cincinnati and hopefully other markets as well. We are looking to hire a producer for the show within the weeks ahead. Adding that position will lift the level of involvement with the friends who join me in the afternoons. I am in a reflective mindset and growing as a person, changing my thinking, patterns, and life, in doing so my approach in connecting with people is becoming more powerful and it’s on a different level compared to the past 26 years of my career.
Christian Radio has become very competitive… what do you do to stand out from the crowd?
I had to ask my PD and Assistant PD about what makes me stand out because I am just me. I don’t see myself in an objective way to answer that question.
Rob Lewis – Radio tries too hard to “stand out.” What the listener really responds to is a connection. That’s something you can’t fake or learn. It’s about being your real self and communicating authentically. You won’t connect with everyone but the people who do feel the connection will feel it strongly. That’s an instant P1. That’s what Taylor does best. Connects authentically in an open, often vulnerable way.
Jeff Evans – Being real. Being brutally honest. Some radio personalities say they are being real, but they still put on their entertainment face in front of the microphone.
What is the best show advice you’ve been given? The worst?
The best show advice was from John Frost = He said, get a picture of your boyfriend and tape it to the mic = look at him when you are talking on-air as if he was sitting in front of you and you were telling him a story. I did it for almost a month every day and all the sudden I wasn’t a DJ, I was a person talking to another person face to face and people could relate.
The worst advice = DO NOT EVER TALK ABOUT YOUR DIVORCE ON AIR. I look back and think to myself, how sad that was because I missed the chance to give hurting people hope. It confused me being new to Christian Radio. I think telling the world about your mess, your pain, your struggles and saying DO NOT GIVE UP there is HOPE is what Jesus is all about = We all have our own messages to give over the air, I don’t want to be the poster girl for pain but it’s something people can relate to and giving HOPE is something I want to pass out every day!! I also want to celebrate pain because it’s what brought me to know Jesus and without it, I wouldn’t be on Christian Radio. I often think about the underdog when doing breaks, I think about the person who thinks God is mad at them and I want to remind that person that Jesus is right next to them. When we as Christian Radio Personalities go on air and sound all cheerful, perfect and fake it sends the message that if you are listening and don’t have it together you don’t belong here. I want everyone listening to me to feel they belong no matter what they have done or are going through. There is no shame in the love we pass out at STAR. During my Divorce all I felt was shame and no love, that isn’t what Jesus is about! When I finally opened my Bible and started to learn it… all it said to me was LOVE, this book is about LOVE!
Some say more Christian stations in a market the better, do you agree with that, why or why not?
I say more Christian stations in the market the better! I like to think about it like this. I love the Dallas Cowboys, what if their team was nationwide – well there would need to be tons of cheerleaders to get the crowd going right, some in each state, well we are all on the same team and part of God’s Cheer-leading team, some cheer one way and other’s another way, whatever it takes to get someone’s attention, it doesn’t matter as long as we all are getting people interested in wanting to be part of God’s team. In general, yes. If the mission is truly to bring hope to your market, the more people who can be impacted the better.
You do a lot of voice tracking for stations, what’s your advice to making this work?
I say it’s hard to really connect with people in different markets…. you have to take time to answer all social media and comment on all posts in all the markets you are in. I am on mainstream as well so it can be a challenge but I love what I do so it doesn’t feel like work. It feels like connecting! I am not trying to sound braggy, I am just saying what works for me and what I would say to someone young wanting in radio. I think with voice tracking, social media, blogging etc. is the most important part. I say community and trying to make yourself part of every community is important. When someone clicks the follow button on my page they are saying you have the power in my life to somehow impact me daily, I want to make sure I am doing that in some way. I choose to make 4 hrs. every Saturday be about the content, comments and in the DM’S of my social media pages. I always go in on a Saturday just connect with listeners. Taking time to call someone who has sent me a private social media message. I spend time connecting with my community that way and in other town’s that I am not physically there. Your thoughts and captions on social media need to be real and authentic. We don’t always know what to say but the fact is you are dealing with content every second of the day, you have thoughts going in and out of your brain every day, you have influences all around you, the problem is we think we will remember them, you won’t, change the way you capture your thoughts, in the middle of a conversation with a friend I will write down thoughts to use in my show or on my social media, and those are things you use in your show to voice track. People connect with that no matter if you are live on air in their town or not. When you have done the writing, thinking and you post it online and someone sees the cool photo and reads your post, they think wow she just said what I am thinking, that’s connecting and we just did it through social media and then maybe they will listen to my show online if I am not in their town. There is a man in Florida right now, he listens to me on Saturday’s on Christian FM, I called him last week after he sent me a private message, I called him just to connect. Connecting with him allows me somehow to fell connected in Florida when I am not there. I think people want human interaction and with text, social media we all are lacking that aspect of life. People no matter where you are just want to know you care! I have always heard if you want anything to be successful do more than the average person period and I try to apply that to my work life. Now if I can only get that mindset in the gym!!
In your opinion, where will future Christian radio air talent come from?
I don’t know where it WILL come from. It probably SHOULD come from places where people are connecting with others already. Podcasts, bloggers, etc. As media proliferates, content will be king. That is authentic content that connects with the listener. The tolerance for minutia and filler will plummet in the next few years. Communicating that authentic content is more important than radio polish. (Polish doesn’t hurt, though.)
Generally speaking to the industry what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian radio?
A lack of urgency in addressing the new media landscape. Also, an ever shrinking circle as we focus more and more inwardly on programming mostly to people who are already listening. Also, the biggest obstacle I see is not investing in what’s coming out of the speakers, the programming is what connects with listeners and gets the attention of this big busy over-stimulated world. What can you do to stop someone and say, hey turn up the radio, I am interested in what this station is pouring out of their speakers.
Who are your radio heroes and influences? and why?
I loved Dallas Radio and Houston Radio – I grew up listening to Ron Chapman at KVIL and then KRBE in Houston and John Lander and Q Morning Zoo, Casey Love at KRBE, I think Kurt Wallace sounds big-time radio to me, my father in law says when Kurt comes on the air he feels like it’s an old friend and all the above gave me the same feelings. I wanted to turn on my radio every day to hear them!