What led you to a career in the radio industry?
I always loved music and growing up in Detroit, I listened to radio all of the time and was exposed to a lot of musical styles. When I went to college, a friend of mine worked at the college campus radio station, so I used to go watch him and eventually spent 2 ½ years working on the station. After leaving school and trying to figure out what I wanted to do in life, I worked as a purchasing agent and then as an architectural draftsman for Stanley Corp. It was during that time I heard an advertisement for the Specs Howard Broadcasting School in Detroit, signed up for classes and training and 9 months later went out and got hired on my first job interview at WCER AM/FM in Charlotte, Michigan….and I’ve been doing it ever since.
What advice would you give people new to the business?
Learn everything that you can…even in departments that you may not work in…but have to work with. These days, the more that you’re able to do, the more value you bring to your station. Be flexible and don’t think that because you have a broadcasting degree that you know it all. Be willing to learn from those that have gone before you and eventually you’ll find your strengths and areas where you can make the greatest contribution. Finally, if you’re on the air, be YOU….be REAL…and listeners will be drawn to you. Go to work every day knowing WE GET TO DO THIS and what a blessing and joy that is!!
Give a shout out to someone who is making a difference in radio and what are they doing to make an impact?
I’m amazed in the 13 years I’ve been in Christian radio at the growth of the format through artists that are bringing out fresh, new sounds. Having spent a long time in secular radio, and having worked at a number of different formats, I hope Christian radio continues to support AC, Hot AC/CHR and other varieties of the format rather than eventually blending into just one sound. If we’re truly trying to reach out into our communities and reach them through a music ministry, then we have to be careful that we are not continuing to just ‘preach to the choir’, but reaching them with music and lyrics that they can relate to.
Favorite part of my job?
I love interacting with people, both on the air and in person. I enjoy finding out about their likes and dislikes…and when they voluntarily tell me what they love most about our radio stations. And when a listener calls or texts or emails and tells me about a song that we just played that connected with them in some powerful way…whether it drops them to their knees, gets them jumping off of the ground or pulling over to the side of the road in tears…it’s the best because I know we’ve made a connection.
Tell us about a project or accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career.
Over the past 3 years, we have worked with Operation Warm and our local community each Fall to put new coats in the hands of kids who have the need for them. Seeing the smiles and looks on the faces of the kids as they get their new coat is one that you’ll never forget. This past year, Operation Warm celebrated their 20th year and have distributed over 3 million coats to kids in need around the nation. It’s just one of many annual projects that we’re blessed to be a part of…but I think it’s the one that gives us the most satisfaction.
Tell us about a story of a Christian song that made a difference in your life
I grew up in the church into my late teens, but like many, l left and lived a life far from God for many, many years. When my father passed away from Alzheimer’s, as I said goodbye to him I knew that the only way I’d ever see him again would be to get my life back on track, so I made a commitment to give my life back over to Jesus, if He would have me. A friend of mine that I worked with at the Country station I was at was a believer and gave me the Third Day CD ‘Wired” and told me to give it a try because the lead singer sounded a little like Travis Tritt. That was first exposure to Christian Music and it eventually led me to the Third Day song “Born Again” which became an early anthem for me. It says in part: “I was lost when you found me here, I was broken beyond repair, then you came along and you sang your song over me and it feels like I’m born again….living for the first time”.
WLJW– Operations Manager / Morning Host
CMB Silver Member Since 2016