Tell us about your station:
The very first WAY-FM station was founded in 1987 by Bob Augsburg in Ft Myers, FL. Back in those days, Bob would say they had just enough budget to pay for operating the station for 2 weeks… but God provided then, and he still does.
WAY-FM has expanded into additional cities over the past 29 years. About 10 years ago, we decided to create an Org model that features the “best in the nation, national air talent” along with “still localizing our stations into their cities with local staff. ” This model is unique. We know that it’s still important to be local, and our local staffs make sure that we are involved with local promotions, concerts, and really entrenched in these communities.
Also, our on air brand and mission statement are unique for our industry. Rather than “safe” or
“positive” , we are “Uplifting, Upbeat, Real.” (Not alot of CCM stations are willing to be real. )
Your station’s most successful promotion:
We are VERY promotional.
We have a great promotional team, led by Network Program Director, Rob Wagman, and I think we keep taking things up a notch with every new promotion.
A big win for us this month was the Hot Husband Promotion on WAY-FM’s Carlos and Joy show. We asked listeners to upload photos of their husbands. (It sounds scandalous for Christian Radio, but it was not.) This was the perfect promotion for HER. She is proud of her husband. She finds him attractive when he is changes diapers, etc. We had over a thousand photo entries and it was great on air content, along with utilizing our website and APP, too.
Resources your station uses:
We are in the middle of a national Mark Ramsey Perceptual Study right now, asking “how can we grow.” I can’t wait to see what we find, and I am a huge fan of Mark in this area.
We also do an annual auditorium music test, and weekly online music research. One of the things I love about WAY-FM is that one of our core values is that we are “research driven.”
We’re also committed to meeting together at WAY… a minimum of twice per year. We’re spread out. All of the stations are working hard during the year in their city. These meetings are filled with times of brainstorming, strategy discussions, and vigorous debate, and I love it. It’s healthy!
One bit of wisdom to share with others:
Ask your spouse today “What’s it like be married to me?” (And brace yourself for the answer.)
By the way, when I asked my wife that question she said the following: “sometimes it’s like egg-shells” and I wasn’t proud of that.
That’s not necessarily what industry advice, but I do think it’s the most important thing you can do today.
Share an impactful listener story:
Here’s the one that I can’t get out of my head, with all that’s going on in the news today;
My name is Caitlin and I am a LGBTQ and Trans community advocate. I also am a Trans woman my self, I was wonder if I would be able to come on the Wally show or something and talk with you guys about trans and LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) issues. I know you are a christian radio station and I know the bible teaches that homosexuality is wrong and etc. but one of the things i do with my advocacy and with the people i work with is to educate people on everything and we try to brake down the walls that separate us all. even with in the LGBTQ community we have to educate each other on different issues and by doing that we learn from each other with in our community. that is why would like to come on the Wally show i want to break down the walls and stereotypes show everyone that we are not a sin and not men in dresses, we are people and that’s it. so what do you say will you give me a shot? can we plan a date for me to come on the air and talk with wally and etc? Thank you for your time I hope you have a great day and great week. 🙂
Tell us why you’re a member of CMB:
We love and value CMB, here at WAY-FM. We typically bring about 20 people to the September Momentum summit, because of the value of that conference. And the regional conferences are an in-expensive way to send smaller sets of our org for additional training, too. (Examples: Our Digital Media Content Specialist attended the recent CMB Regional Summit for Digital and Social Media, and loved it.)
I think Michelle Younkman is an awesome Exec Director for CMB and has led this organization to be exactly what we need as Christian Music Radio stations to develop, grow, strategize, etc. And I ‘m very thankful for her and the CMB board for all that they do for our industry.