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Radio Interview

                                     

Cari Kates

Promotion Director

WDJC

Birmingham

 

 

Cari's Career Capsule
1995 KBUY-FM (board-op), 1996-1997 KACV-FM (college air talent), 1998-2000 KWLD (college station manager, music director, air talent), 1999 WRRS-FM (intern), 2000-2002 Metro Networks, Westwood One (news bureau chief, anchor), 2000-2003 WQEN-FM (morning show producer, air talent), 2003-current WDJC-FM (promotions director, air talent)

 

1. Personally how do you keep the ministry in the “business”? 

First, prayer! Second, personal appearances. "Face time" with our listener is good to keep "why we do what we do" in perspective. Responding to listener calls and emails also play an important role in keeping ministry in focus.

 

2. Overall, how is Christian radio different today, from 5 years ago?

Christian radio is more focused on providing an intimate connection with our listener. Music is important, but she has a MILLION other methods to get music. However, Christian radio's personal connection to her is irreplaceable. I feel like our industry sees the value in that now, better than five years ago.

 

3. What do you think are the main characteristics of a Christian radio Promotion Director?

Integrity, creativity, team mentality, and organization. Promotions Directors should serve their listener with the proper agenda and in a memorable manner. Being a team player is also paramount. Without team input, nothing I do would be successful. I am surrounded by talent and I love to use my resources! Projects that include our entire team make me beam with pride, because our team beams with ownership of the project's success.

Promotions Directors are a strange breed in that we need to be detail-oriented and creative, a total dichotomy. If you're not strong in details, you need a team member who is working very closely with you, who is.

 

4. What criteria do you require for a promotion to air on your station?

First and foremost, it has to serve our listener. Secondly, it has to promote our station. 

 

5. What kind of promotions work best for Christian radio?

Community related promotions works best for Christian radio. Listeners expect community service from our format and they respond well to it. Artist-driven promotions also work well because our listener shares something in common with the artists by default...faith. When a listener spends even a little bit of quality time with an artist, the listener's love for that artist and the radio station then runs very deep and wide.

 

6. How do you think Christian Record labels can better serve Christian radio?

Building and maintaining relationships with Promotions Directors as much as they do Music Directors.  See above.

 

7. In your opinion what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian radio today?

The immediate gratification of ipods and myspace. Our music is very accessible...and on-demand. We have to be better, and more, than a music player for our listener.

 

8. What do you believe is the primary role of the Christian radio air personality?

To connect with our listener. That means laying our ego aside and surrendering to service. Everything we do on the air should be defined by how it serves our listener.

 

9. What Christian radio stations do you consider as innovators today?

When I travel, I LOVE listening to Air1. Their overall sound...from music, to imaging, to content...is solid. They are relevant with ministry at the forefront. And I have mad respect for WPOZ-FM. They're kicking butt and taking mainstream names.

 

10. Where do you see Christian radio in 5 years?

In five years, gone will be the days of, "How do we keep listeners from switching the channel?" The question will more likely be, "How do we keep listeners from choosing (insert technology) over radio?"

 

 

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