10 Questions with ... Kris Byerly
February 24, 2014
1. Brief history/synopsis
Born and raised in Bradenton, FL. Beautiful beaches and entertainingly unique people.
The Byerly clan consists of myself, my wife Elisha (who is a modern dancer/choreographer for a local dance company) and my son Kieran ... who owns Instagram (#adventureswithkieran)
2. What was it that made you "catch the bug" for radio? When did you realize that it was what you wanted to do for a living?
I found myself in radio after a botched graphic design partnership that went south. I needed to pick up some extra work and took a position as a board operator.
I was already volunteering my time with "Lightforce Radio" and making funny/cool sounding audio snippets I would later find out were called "imagers"
After working my butt off and doing anything I could do become better, I found myself as The JOY FMs Production and Imaging Director.
Production gave me the same ability of creating something that can invoke some sort of feeling, that graphic design did. I could make someone see, feel, interact with sound.
3. What's the most successful on-air bit/break you've ever been part of?
That's a hard one. The Morning Cruise's adaptation of "A Christmas Carol" - Voiced and produced our version Radio Theater style.
Jayar has "Story Time with Jayar's Kid" where we sound design around a story she tells ... we're over 50 episodes and it's fantastic
I'd say THE MOST successful on-air bit, probably because it's still so fresh, is our Tampa signal expansion. The production was weeks in the making.
Designing a simulated "shut down" and "reboot" in tandem with our engineers ACTUAL shut down and power up. It sounded HUGE and THEATRICAL.
4. With the advent of "instant everything".....what do you do to show prep? How do you prepare?
On-air, besides Creative Cardio, my life is my show prep. The most universal thing that speaks across the board is our relational empathy to one another.
As a Production Director ... Everything from what makes me laugh to the latest viral video on my news feed ... and how to translate that to The JOY FM brand.
5. What would you categorize as your greatest personal challenge in radio?
Lethargy ... Radio is one of the most unique mediums of entertainment. (and it is that, entertainment)
If I'm just skirting by on things I've already done, if I'm not being pro-active in my creativity and producing an excellent product that represents the brand and heart of The JOY FM, than I'm merely collecting a pay check.
Thankfully I have a great collective of people who challenge my creativity.
Dave Cruse, for example, is a great mentor. If I produce something and he says "cool" ... I've done my job.
6. Who are 3 people that you look to as mentors/leaders?
Funny you should ask ... That's probably the hardest question. There are a number of people in CCM Radio that I look up to and would consider a mentor like person.
- Dave Cruse ... Creative and an "out of the box" thinker when it comes to copy and direction. Plus, I think he actually likes me .... he'd never admit it though.
- Carmen Brown ... I've never met a person so passionate about what CCM Radio can be. She always pushes The JOY FM to be a difference maker. She also gives me candy when I dance like a monkey on command ...
- Jeff Connell ... Besides just being my friend, this guy is one of the smartest, determined and passionate people in CCM Radio. If there were some sort of congress to CCM Radio, I'd vote him into office ... maybe.
7. What do you believe is the single greatest factor in building audience share/cume?
Community ... Not just the word, but the action and practice.
Live life TOGETHER with your listeners and be genuine about it.
Chances are, your listeners aren't biblical theologians, pastoral counselors, Satan worshipers or cult members ... well ...
So live your life with them, share your doubts with them, find those commonalities and build community. If there's one thing listeners can spot, it's the church smile ... the insincere, sideways head tilted smile that says "everything is hunky dory"
Also, be the hands and feet WITH THEM. Get your hands dirty in their community.
8. Most successful station promotion ever
Again, SUPER hard question ... The JOY FM is fortunate enough to have amazing promotion minded individuals on staff.
From our T-shirts for Turkeys campaign (trade a custom designed JOY FM shirt for a frozen bird that's donated to local food pantries for the holidays)
Shoes for Orphans Souls ... Collecting NEW shoes that will be hand delivered by Carmen Brown, Buckner international and a group of JOY FM listeners
Team Freedom ... The JOY FM staff and over 250+ JOYFM listeners running half marathons and raising funds for Abolition Internationals fight against human trafficking.
9. What's the last book you read?
HA! Really? ... Alright ... Last book I read. "Exegetical Fallacies" ..... Google it.
10. Radio 101....in 101 words or less, how would you guide/instruct/advise a radio programmer/air talent who wants to get better at their craft?
Push through the lethargy, the mundane and be creative in what you do.
If you're an air-talent, find other talents that you like, that sound like you ... listen to how they talk, how the shift the focus of a topic, and practice.
Mike Couchman gave me a great bit of advice when I just started tracking for WAYFM. He said "write out 6 different ways of introducing yourself, then write 6 more"
The idea is to say the same thing, in different and more entertaining ways. Also, Creative Cardio is a great resource!
If you're a producer like myself ... Mentors are there for a reason. Find producers that create stuff that make you laugh, make you think ... experiments with sounds, with EQ, with copy ... just keep creating and work your butt off.
1. Favorite cereal, favorite cartoon character and favorite fast food choice?
My office is littered with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Batman, Dr. Who and other toys, knicknacks and junk ...
2. You've got one last live break on air....and then the radio will go silent. What do you say, and why?
This ... all day this ...