Member Spotlight – John Bowen

What is your favorite song?
Ever??  Probably “More Than a Feeling” by Boston (yes, I’m that old).  For Christian music?  Probably “Alive” by Natalie Grant – just beautiful!  Also,  “So Will I” by Hillsong Worship.  Amazing lyrics!

What is the last book you’ve read?
Bible, baby!  Nothing like getting my head screwed on straight in the morning!

What led you to a career in radio?
My background is in music (I was the first Electric Bass major at the University of Wisconsin).  However, I found that career track a little wanting.  I went to trade school to learn audio production, and while doing that, the Lord was prompting me to aim toward Christian Radio as my profession.  My first job was at USA Radio Network (anyone remember Marlin Maddoux?)  From there, I have only been in Christian Radio.

What advice would you give people new to the business?

  1. Really focus on what you want to do in this industry. It’s great to be interested in “everything” but learn and know your strengths, and accentuate those.  That way, you are playing to your strengths and not your weaknesses.
  2. Stay flexible as the technology is CONSTANTLY changing. Changes are not about how much that will add to your workload, but about how many more people will be impacted.
  3. Finally, be professional, hard-working, and Christlike; giving everything your best. Christian radio is a small universe; it’s easy to burn bridges.

Give a shoutout to someone who is making a difference in radio and what are they doing to make an impact?
I have to tip my hat to KLTY Dallas.  Their #SpeakLove initiative is doing wonderful work around the DFW area – Renovating houses, giving cars to the needy, job training and opportunities to those who need it.  Really amazing work!

How do you refresh your creative energy at work?

  1. I am a bass player. Playing bass is therapeutic to me.  It clears my head, opens my imagination and calms my anxieties.
  2. The Christian AC format is heavily female-driven. Looking at the world from a female perspective is a creative venture in and of itself. It keeps the creative energy up as I think about how I can make her world easier, better, and lovelier.

Amazon Echo or Google Home?
I don’t own one (YET).  This is the tsunami on the horizon.  Pretend it’s 2006 and something called an “iPhone” is about to hit stores.  This is the next “iPhone” wave to transform our lives.  Watch for it!

What is your favorite part of your job?

  1. I love the creativity in working to minister to our audiences
  2. I love talking with and serving our Salem stations across the country
  3. One of my biggest buttons someone can push is, “making a difference”. I feel like, in my own way, I’m making a difference for the cause of Christ.

Who is your favorite air personality not on your staff and why do you like them?
I really respect what Wally is doing on Way-FM.  Fresh, funny, but he can also touch heartstrings when needed. I would like to meet him someday.

What was your last non-industry job?
I still freelance as a bass player around Texas.  It’s my other universe besides radio.

Tell me about a project or accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career.
I launched a women’s newsletter, sent out on behalf of the Fish stations, called “Reflections”.  It has devotionals and articles on marriage, parenting, saving money, singles, and making the most of life. We have just about doubled the number of subscribers since inception.  I believe that was a worthwhile contribution to the stations and the listeners.

Teach me something I don’t know in the next five minutes.
That might be hard; you know a lot! 😉

You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?
Black sparkle.  I’m not that bright, but Jesus shines in me.


John Bowen
Salem Media Group – Digital Program Director-Fish Music Stations
CMB Silver Member Since 2014


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