Career Capsule: I started doing this online thing called Solid Rock Radio in June of 2006 after God called me into this ministry. At first, I had no idea what I was doing, I had no microphone, equipment, let alone a voice for radio. Just like God, He showed up, doors opened things began to move, maybe not as fast as I wanted them to, but over the years awesome people have been put into my path that have helped me along the way with their expert advice and encouraging words. It was not until 2019, that I gained my official title, President of Solid Rock Radio after taking the ministry to the next level and going non-profit.
William, tell us what’s new at Solid Rock Radio … news, changes, & with YOU… etc?
What a rollercoaster year this has been, 2020 has been one for the books. Here is to hoping 2021 will be better for all of us.. This year we gained a new Friday night host, Cindy Blankenship, aka Mothership. She has been a great addition to our volunteer team. Cindy has a passion for the Christian Rock community. She has a heart for taking care of musicianaries and sharing their stories. She is also the co-founder of The Grizzly Awards, which serves to honor faith based rock and metal. We also said goodbye to our awesome and talented afternoon host, Dustin Tatro, he is moving to syndication with his own new show, The RockDown Show with Dustin Tatro that will be carried by NewReleaseToday.com. He too, has a true heart for Christian Rock and we wish him well with his new venture that God has called him to do. Changes with me? I am trying to live better. I am on a mission to lose 100lbs as of this interview I have lost 32lbs so far. It has not been easy, but I know I can do it with God’s help.
How has Solid Rock Radio been affected by the pandemic? Listeners, shows, technical etc…..
I would say it has somewhat affected our overall daily listeners. Internet radio is funny. Talk about a rollercoaster. Even without a pandemic it is hard to predict.
What is the some advice for someone wanting to start an internet station… and something you learned after that you didn’t know?
RUN! Just kidding. Get ready for a ride. Don’t give up. Make sure you do your research on how to stay legal either by going with a third party or direct with each of the performing rights agencies. If you are on a budget seek out services like Live365. Connect with groups on Facebook to talk with others to get advice and ideas. We are all here to help. To answer your second question, I learned there is so much rules and regulations that goes into how much a given song can be played in a certain time period. It is really interesting.
What are some unique challenges facing internet stations?
I would say the complexity of some regulations to make sure you remain legal. Unfortunately, there is no worldwide uniform system. Each country has their own set of rules and If you want to have listeners in that country you have to have some sort of agreements in place to make sure artist, writers etc are getting paid.
What’s your opinion on podcasts… is it necessary to have one, are they a threat to radio… etc?
Podcast are a great compliment to internet or FM/AM radio. Definitely not a threat to radio. They allow for some great programming that cannot be heard anywhere else.
Where will new up and coming air talent for Christian Radio come from?
They are going to come from the kid or young teen going to a Christian Rock concert and seeing the DJ on stage representing their local radio station or even an internet station. The Mom or Dad who turns on the radio or internet station for their Son or Daughter and hears their new favorite song from The Protest, Disciple or Collision of Innocence playing. It is going to be today’s generation. That is why it is important to be more than just DJ’s, we have to be influencers, so they are inspired to be apart of a Godly generation.
Generally speaking to the industry what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian air talent?
Workloads, with staffing cutbacks across the entire industry so much extra work has been put on talent than before. This may not allow time for prep in some markets causing strain on those DJs.
Who are your radio heroes and influences? and why?
Wow, great question. I don’t want to alienate anyone. If I had to give one, I would say Britt Dillard. I remember hearing him on the radio as a teenager thinking it would be cool to one day host a radio show. Britt like many others has a heart and passion to serve and I saw that.
There is one more, and that would be Dawson Mcallister, I would hear countless stories of teens calling in to his radio show pouring out their heart looking for help and guidance. As a young teen, I knew advice was not my calling but something deep down in me wanted to be apart of broadcasting one day.