Career Capsule: Bitten by the radio bug in high school, I was on the air before it was legal to get paid. One of my first jobs was in Cortland, NY running the board during Casey…when it was on record. After Ithaca College, I moved to Rochester, NY as an airborne traffic reporter with Metro. I put my feet on the ground to work middays at Oldies, Top 40 and AC radio before meeting my current GM, Rick Snavely, at a concert. Up until then, I had spent my entire life in the Family Life listening area, but never heard the station. I finally made the leap to Family Life, and CCM radio, in 2010 for middays along with programming duties. I transitioned to mornings in 2014.
- Terese, Tell us what’s new with Family Life… news, changes, & with YOU… etc?
A couple years ago we hired Dave Margalotti to be our Director of Radio. He is a master at balancing listener needs, employee needs and ministry needs. Around that same time, I became a part of the morning show. We had a huge void to fill when Rachelle moved to KSBJ. As much as I miss her at Family Life, I have never enjoyed my work more. It’s a gift getting up early and sharing hope first thing in the morning. This is my first morning position, and I feel like I’ve finally found “home.”
The past year I have been able to focus most of my freelance work into imaging for some of America’s greatest Christian radio stations like WPOZ, KDNW, and KDUV. I love being able to partner with programmers to deliver connection in between the songs.
A couple months back I was able to go to Haiti with my family and our church. We visited two Coreluv orphanages. This was my second trip and we have another planned with the teens at our church for August 2017. I love their focused mission of providing six basic needs: clean water, proper food, healthcare, education, job skills and a loving home. Find out more about them at www.coreluv.org.
2. What is your typical day like regarding getting ready to go on the air?
I wake up around 3:45am. I’m an extroverted introvert. That means I love people, but if I don’t get some quiet time at some point in the day, I just get overwhelmed. I do my devo and then hit about 35 prep sites. There’s also a Facebook CCM Prep Page I help admin, so I’ll post there and see what everyone else is working on. Around 5:30, my co-hosts and I start connecting with each other, filling in any gaps we have on our show sheet. At the end of each day, we have about 40% of our show planned for the next day. It allows us to mentally work through things the day before.
3. What is the best programming advice you’ve been given? The worst?
I’m on a big emotional connectivity kick right now. The ability to make your audience feel something engages them in a deeper way and builds a stronger relationship. Relationship is everything. It’s what allows us to share the Gospel and it causes people to love our radio stations deeper than we could ever imagine.
The worst? Once I had a PD tell me they wouldn’t hire me because I knew how to do too many things. That was back when everyone had just one job in radio.
4. Some say more Christian stations in a market the better, do you agree with that, why or why not?
It depends on your mission. If your mission is to bring more people to the Kingdom of God, your Christian radio competitor is your biggest ally in the greater war. Because Family Life has about 70 signals and covers a large portion of NY and PA, we have many great stations we overlap with. When I see other stations at events and festival, I do my best to encourage them.
Your station cannot be everything to all people. So know your target, aim well and let the others have the rest.
5. What is the ONE thing you must have everyday to do your show?
Prayer. And the Internet.
6. Where will future Christian radio air talent come from?
Man, I wish I knew. Since I moved to mornings I have also been covering middays. We just added a former intern to our Production Department. We hired someone for our News Department; they were from another station, and were looking to grow. Here’s hoping our next midday talent will come to us from reading an interview on His Air.Net.
7. Generally speaking to the industry what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian radio?
As an industry, we make great assumptions about women and Christians. Ask the right questions. Trust in the answers. Be an observer. You might just be surprised by what people want to hear—and what they don’t.
I look forward to Momentum every year. It’s a great way to get a big picture view of the future and hear what works at other stations.
8. Who are your radio heroes and influences? and why?
I am so proud to work at Family Life. This ministry was started in 1957 by Dick Snavely. He was obedient to God’s call and miracles happened. Next year we will celebrate 60 years of sharing the message of hope!
There is never a conversation I have with Chuck Finney that doesn’t leave me with something profound to think about. He pushes me by asking great questions.
Steve Smith and Randy Snavely are my co-hosts and teach me something every day. I am astonished by the grace they extend me.