Tommy Dylan says he and on-air partner Brook Taylor have received all kinds of warm wishes over the last three months hosting the new "Tommy & Brook" morning show on Christian radio JQ-99 (WJQK-FM 99.3).
"There's been a lot of new listeners that have come over," said Dylan of fans who have followed them to their new radio home.
The veteran team spent more than nine years doing mornings at cross-town "Star 105.7", a mainstream adult contemporary outlet. Now they're in front of both old and new listeners. He said the broadcasting tandem has received positive feedback during remote broadcasts and from both listeners and advertisers. "And as we anticipated, the JQ listeners have been very welcoming," said Dylan.
The duo was able to carry over several mainstays from their previous radio home, such as Thursday's "Little Giggles" feature during which kids call-in to tell jokes as well as "Favorite Song Friday." They also retained their tag phrase, "Best Day Ever." They're connecting with listeners on their Facebook page as well as during their 5:30 to 10am airshift.
MOVING DOWN THE RADIO DIAL
A question Dylan keeps hearing is "What happened?" How did the pair end up on 'JQ?
The short version: Brook was let go by the West Michigan iHeart Media radio station group in a May, 2017 downsizing. That suddenly left Dylan with a solo morning slot and a whole different outlook.
"I did that for two months and I felt God was saying there was something more I should be doing ministry-wise. I just didn't know what that was."
So he turned in his resignation and began doing some work for the Zeeland-based "Winning At Home" ministry.
"Finally there were some discussions and we reached out for the possibility of coming here (JQ-99) and God opened up some crazy doors."
The in-place morning show of Ceci LaBarge and Adam McNutt switched to afternoons, making room for "Tommy and Brook," debuting at their new 99.3FM home on January 8, 2018.
It's actually a return to the 'JQ airwaves for Dylan. He began there in 1995 serving in a variety of roles before leaving nine years later for Christian radio WCSG-FM (91.3). That's where he was first teamed with Brook Taylor. From there they went to "Star" and then on to 'JQ. That's three consecutive stations as a radio morning show.
A NEW APPROACH
Both personalities have assumed executive roles. Dylan is the program director, with Taylor serving as music director.
Recently they did an on-air interview with a mother whose son had been hospitalized for six consecutive weeks. "She shared a prayer request and we prayed for her right on the air," he recalled.
"We want people to walk away with hope and encouragement, and know that they can encounter God in the midst of the show."
There are also the lighter, day-to-day subjects. For example, how do you get permanent marker off a dry erase board?
A popular feature they've retained is "Cookin' with Brook" (CrockPot Potato Soup sound good? Check out the recipe online.
Also available is an idea-calendar listing 52 weekly ways "to have the best day ever." Suggestions include offering to run an errand for a busy friend, or setting a phone reminder to pray for a family member.
The laminated, single-page list is magnetized – perfect for the front of the refrigerator.
"We tried to make some suggestions of positive things for every week," said Dylan. "Some may be out of your comfort zone. But it's one of the most sought-after things we have for the station."
The radio station has been a partner alongside several community events and is a sponsor of the 5K Community Walk as part of the 5/3 Riverbank Run. They're welcoming singer-songwriter Brandon Heath for a pre-game concert for the West Michigan Whitecaps June 29. And there's already been several fun events during the Tommy & Brook tenure, such as the recent Escape Room Challenge which involved teams of listeners.
"We wanted to reinvent the show to keep it fresh and new," Dylan added of their move from mainstream to Christian radio. "There aren't many situations where you can introduce yourself to a new audience and old one at the same time. But it's not like we're still playing Phil Collins (music), only on a different station. It's completely different."