Meet the Son Rise Morning Show’s Mark Lane
Can one tweet change everything?
For Mark Lane, the Son Rise Morning Show’s new associate producer, the journal of a thousand miles began with one tweet in late February.
To be precise, that’s 965.8 miles — from Ft. Worth, TX, where Lane worked as a control operator and call screener at a secular radio station and freelanced in sports radio, to Cincinnati’s Sacred Heart Radio. And neither Lane, who sent the tweet, nor the Son Rise Morning Show’s new host Matt Swaim, who retrieved it, knew it would be the answer to many prayers.
For four days, Lane had been praying the rosary, the chaplet of Divine Mercy, and the Memorare aloud with EWTN radio. A convert to Catholicism, he wanted to work in radio but thought that his current job was going nowhere and no other jobs — certainly nothing in Catholic radio — seemed available. So he and his girlfriend decided that serious prayer about the future was in order.
He’d made a list of what he wanted to do with his career — from big goals to “molecular” ones — and used EWTN’s broadcast prayers as a time to focus on asking God to help him realize them in a way that would serve Him.
“I prayed to be worthy,” he says. “I didn’t know what that was but I knew I wasn’t it, so I prayed for for it — not to be rich, not famous, but worthy. I didn’t want to waste my talent and end up rotten fruit on the jungle floor.”
A question about hockey
He’d been beginning his day by praying with EWTN radio since January. “I’d get up at 4 or 4:15 and call my girlfriend, and we’d listen to the EWTN rosary together,” he said. “Most of the time I’d be in bed praying along with it. Then I’d roll out of bed, get coffee, and listen to the Son Rise Morning Show while I got ready for work.”
On February 20th, during the Olympics, new Son Rise Morrning Show host Matt Swaim asked listeners to tweet if they knew what NFL teams did while some of their best athletes were competing in the Games.
“I was at my computer working on my goals, so I looked it up and tweeted Matt an article,” Lane says. “He ‘followed’ me on Twitter immediately. I don’t usually follow people who follow me, but this time I followed him back.” When two people follow each other on Twitter, they can send brief direct (private) messages, and that afternoon Swaim sent one.
“It said, ‘Good tweeting with you this morning, got a radio question for you, can you call me?’” Lane says. “And I knew he was going to ask me to be involved with the Son Rise Morning Show in some way.”
While Lane had been praying for a new career direction, the staff at the Son Rise Morning Show had been praying too. Even before host Brian Patrick announced his move to Washington to produce EWTN’s evening newscast, Swaim and News Director Anna Mitchell had been splitting production duties during Patrick’s frequent absences to consult for the network. Mitchell would be taking maternity leave in a few months. Sacred Heart Radio needed a trained, Catholic radio producer used to working on a morning show who could start work soon — and hit the ground running.
The job demanded someone who knew all aspects of radio and could go on air when needed. “It’s a small station, everyone has to know how to do everything,” says Swam. “We were thinking inside the box,” looking for someone already in the small world Catholic media, when the tweet about hockey came in from a stranger.
Looking at Lane’s twitter profile so he could mention him on the air, Swaim saw that he was a radio professional, Catholic, and looking for a career change. Moreover, he freelanced in sports radio.
“Outside of conservative talk radio, the only kind of radio with any kind of success is sports radio,” Swaim says. “People want that! And our listeners do too. They want to know that they can be a good Catholic and still care about their bracket.”
An interview over Skype, long conversations with his girlfriend and family, and a move to Cincinnati later, Lane began his work at the Son Rise Morning Show on the day before Sacred Heart Radio’s spring fund drive. Still in temporary housing, trying out Skyline chili and getting used to a city infrastructure that seems “very used” in contrast to cities in Texas, Lane says he already felt at home.
“For the first time since I was 19, I feel like I’ve found a place, like I’m not in transition,” he says. “Being on the air, being integral in getting content, delivering the news casts, I feel like this is a place to stay, thrive, and grow.
“I’ve wanted to be in Catholic radio since 2013. I’d daydream, driving down the road and listening to it, but I never actually sought it. I figured you had to have some background in apologetics, like Patrick Madrid or Al Kresta. I didn’t have that. I covered the Dallas Cowboys as a freelancer. I figured, who would want me?”
He found out who… with one tweet.
The Son Rise Morning Show is broadcast nationally weekday mornings from 6 – 8 by EWTN, and a third hour is broadcast locally on Sacred Heart Radio (740 AM and 89.5 FM).
Photos © Gail Deibler Finke for The Catholic Beat, a sister apostolate to Sacred Heart Radio. For more photos from Sacred Heart Radio’s spring fund drive, see the gallery at our Facebook page.
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