Member Spotlight – Jarrod Graetz

What led you to a career in the radio industry?

I grew up in regional New South Wales (Australia) in a town of 700 people. My dad used to string a wire up with a coat-hanger and connect it to his AM radio so that he could listen to a Country Music radio station almost 1000km away. When I was in high school, I was intrigued by how radio even worked. Later I got the courage to call a radio station and wow a CD (even before I had a CD player) and taped myself. I played it back over and over again and realised I enjoyed the adrenalin rush of the experience and so called the radio station up again and asked if I could work there to learn radio. They amazingly said yes! However, listening to my friends rather than my gut, I went to study IT before I realised I was no good at it (lol) and then God led me to follow my passion in radio. This started off in commercial radio and now I’m working as the CEO of the most listened to Christian radio station in the southern hemisphere inspiring and influencing 1,200,000 listeners each month. It’s incredibly surreal and such a humbling experience. 

What advice would you give people new to the business?

Radio will ALWAYS have a spot for people of talent. Don’t rely on anyone else to build you into something, take the reins and invest in yourself. Study the craft, copy the best, make plenty of mistakes and overall have a lot of fun while you develop as talent. Once you get there, don’t quit.. that’s where the real magical part of radio clicks in. When you’ve been on air at a station for 3+ years, the audience know so much about you, they feel like they know you. That’s powerful influence used in the right way for Him.

Give a shoutout to someone who is making a difference in radio and what are they doing to make an impact?

Can I cheat and name a few people? Largely the team at Sharemedia led by Jason; Jeremiah, Bill, Dave and Melody. We started working with Sharemedia about 5 years ago and what I have really loved is that their passion for connecting the mission of 89.9 LightFM with the audience. The strategies that they have implement have helped take the connection with our audience, and subsequently fundraising, to a whole new level. The sharpness of their ideas, their collective experience and their passion to impact through our radio station has been tremendous. They have taught our team many lessons and our radio station sounds significantly better now than it did five years ago thanks to the partnership with them.

Tell us about a project or accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career.

Prior to working at 89.9 LightFM I was incredibly blessed to be called to work on a startup venture in Sydney, Australia. The year was 2007. The project was initially to bring radio to mobile phones in Australia, much like Sirius XM in the US has done via Satellite. This was the starting point, but we were working on some pretty cool technology that, if it wasn’t for the Global Financial Crisis in 2008, we would have been the first to launch a Spotify/Pandora style service in the world. But, the GFC hit and the funds dried up, which is when God lead me to 89.9 LightFM.

Tell us about a story of a Christian song that made a difference in your life or the life of a listener.

Historically, “I Was Made to Love” from Toby Mac is one of my favourites. My wife, Jackie, and I had this song at our wedding 10 years ago. It’s a song that connects us together as husband and wife and brings us closer with God – not to mention is a really catchy tune. At the moment my favourite is “Amen” from For King and Country. I love the music values of the song and the film clip is very powerful. It was great to have the boys perform here in Melbourne, Australia in February 2019!

Jarrod Graetz
89.9 LIGHTFM– CEO
CMB Member Since 2015
Jarrod.graetz@lightmelbourne.com.au

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