What led you to a career in the radio industry?
I was studying to be an elementary teacher (mainly so I could coach volleyball and track) and was working part-time at a clothing store the summer before my junior year of college. A country station had a remote at the store next door, and I chased down their GM as he was leaving. I explained that I needed an additional job and was interested in radio. He hired me the next day, and I started my radio career in 1993 working overnights on weekends. I wrote obits, checked the rain gauge and tower light, erased carts and actually got to be on-air. I was hooked, so I changed my major to radio.
What advice would you give people new to the business?
Be coachable. I’ve worked alongside people that weren’t open to critiques, so they never improved on-air or advanced within the ranks. Always listen to your own shows so you can continually improve. Practice. Put in the work. Managers appreciate your coachable attitude.
Give a shout out to someone who is making a difference in radio and what are they doing to make an impact?
I don’t have to look very far for someone making a difference in our industry! Mike Couchman gets lots of love from industry peers because of his forward thinking and knowledge of the biz. It’s fun to watch Couchman and Sandi Brown as they expand BOOST 101.9 and develop a syndicated version of BOOST available to any market. In September when JoyFM won CMB Station of the Year, BOOST was the first ever non-Christian AC station in the history of those awards to be nominated! Mike and Sandi are both a creative mix of old-school radio AND visionaries for the ministry.
Tell us about a project or accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career.
I made what some people thought was a crazy decision in 2010, when I left the number one rated morning show in my market and went to a low power non-commercial Christian station. I had been working mornings for 11 years and had two small children, so I took a leap of faith and a pay cut to have better hours for our family. Not long after I moved there, our small listener-supported station received word of our impending doom. A very large Christian broadcasting company had purchased a signal in our market and was set to launch a station with the exact same format on a much larger signal.
One night I woke up at 2AM remembering the name of a nice gentleman I had crossed email paths with a year before, who worked for that company. So I reached out to him asking if they would be willing to sell the signal to us. I had no idea when I called him that he was their Director of Signal Development, and exactly the right person to contact. They sold it to us, and our station grew from 43 watts to 12,500. It was exciting to watch how God worked out all of the details!
Tell us about a story of a Christian song that made a difference in your life or the life of a listener.
The one that hits home for me and my family is Mercy Me “Even If.” I have a four year-old with special needs, and it expresses perfectly what a family in our situation lives and prays every day. Most days I still can’t listen to it without crying. Last summer JoyFM was part of a very powerful story with a listener named Kaitlyn. She was struggling with addiction and had been contemplating suicide. Driving in St. Louis one night, she hit scan on her car radio and it stopped on 99.1 playing Ryan Stevenson’s “No Matter What.” She wasn’t a listener of JoyFM, so she had no clue what the station was…all she knew was it spoke directly to her and she felt the need to drive to the first church she saw with lights on. She ran in and fell at the altar, sobbing. A bible study group happened to be there that night, and they were able to pray with her and get her the help she desperately needed.
Bobbi Ann Mason
99.1 JOY FM – APD/MD
CMB Gold Member Since 2018