What led you to a career in the radio industry?
Fun fact, I absolutely wasn’t looking to get into radio…like AT ALL, lol. I did the whole band thing, and after that ended I thought having any kind of connection to music was done so I went and got a “real job”. After spending too much time in Corporate America an opportunity opened up to get into Christian Concert Promoting. I did that for several years and absolutely loved it, but as my kids got older I realized the level of travel was too much for a single dad with young kids. I took two years away from music again, and then a door opened up to join the River Family. The story of moving into my current role is for another day, but it’s pretty fantastic and has God’s providence all over it!! I’ve now seen the Christian Music Industry from three different angles (artist, promoter, radio) and I can say unequivocally that I LOVE our industry from all sides, and believe God is using it to bring hope to the hopeless and light to dark places. So while I wasn’t looking to get into radio, it found me, and I’ve never been more passionate about going to work every day.
What advice would you give people new to the business?
Be real. Think outside the box. Takes risks. Radio, and music consumption in general is fluid. It’s rapidly changing. I was in a car recently with Mike Couchman and Mike Blakemore (both of whom I have MAD respect for) and they were talking about the “old days” of radio. I’m sitting there going, “wow these guys are a virtual GOLD MINE of knowledge”, and yet I would guess both of them would say they don’t know for sure what radio is going to look like in 10 years. I think we have to be willing to do things differently, and be agile, otherwise we might find ourselves looking like Blockbuster or Kodak one day.
Give a shoutout to someone who is making a difference in radio and what are they doing to make an impact?
See now you’re putting me on the spot because there are so many people I respect and I don’t want to exclude anyone, but I’m going to go off script and throw some love to a station that maybe not a lot of people know about, Shine FM in Bellefontaine, OH. What I love about them is that they didn’t double up on a major market looking for transfer growth. They took Christian Radio to people who are hungry for it, in markets that didn’t have it. That’s organic growth. That’s finding NEW listeners. Not only that but they are doing large scale events like bosses, and are really planting deep roots in the community. Mark Boyer has done an incredible job being missional. If we truly want to get to 50 million listeners, we as an industry need to follow his example and get our format into areas it isn’t currently.
Tell us about a project or accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career.
It’s going to sound like a “humble brag”, but my greatest accomplishment was a team effort. We’re blessed to have a very forward thinking President who trusted the team to push the limits on where we could go. It started by placing a greater emphasis on current music. Our playlist wasn’t moving, so we added another entry point for new music (Light Category), along with a place to move songs that still test well, but are no longer considered “current” (Power Recurrent). We made several additional tweaks that are too detailed to list here, but we’re now seeing a really nice flow for songs coming in, and moving through. Additionally we empowered our young leaders to start taking the reins in their sphere of influence and we’re seeing our Digital, Promotions, and Social Media teams really expanding our reach as a station. I don’t manage the DJ’s, but I have to throw props to Josh too for what he’s done with them. I played team sports my whole life, and I believe we win and lose as a team. It’s exciting for me to see what this team is doing, and I feel like we’ve just scratched the surface on how far we can go.
Tell us about a story of a Christian song that made a difference in your life or the life of a listener.
I’m very passionate about the format. I mean that, I absolutely LOVE and believe in the music we play. There are countless examples of songs we play wrecking me just like they do our listeners. I probably single handedly inflated the streaming stats of “Reckless Love,” “Build My Life,” and “Living Hope,” lol. Tauren Wells “Hills & Valleys” though really became the anthem of my life for a season because I’ve gone through a time of such intense frustration and trial, while simultaneously experiencing levels of joy and blessing that are genuinely MIND BLOWING. That song reminds me of the beautiful paradox that God is good whether I’m on the mountain or in the valley.
Chief Creative Officer / Music Director, WCVO
CMB Gold Member Since 2018