10 Questions with ... Justin "Dubs" Johnson
May 31, 2016
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- Lansing-On Air 92.1 The Edge August 2000-September 2002
- DC-On Air and Producer 106.7 WJFK April 2003-April 2005
- Orlando-On Air on Real Radio 104.1 April 2005-November 2006
- Tampa-PD of NewsTalk 820 WWBA and ESPN 1040 WHBO August 2007-November 2009
- Atlanta-Project 9-6-1 Kidd Chris Morning Show/ November 2009- September 2012
- Cincinnati-PD-Project 100.7 & 106.3 & APD-WEBN-Kidd Chris Show member Oct 2012-Now
1. How did you become interested in radio?
Growing up I loved listening to radio. I wasn't enamored with any DJ in particular. I was just very interested in the way it all worked. To this day the biggest thrill I have had in radio is segueing my first song on the station I grew up listening to 92.1 The Edge in Lansing Michigan
2. What is your role on the Kidd Chris Show on WEBN and how did you get the PD gig of WEBN-F2 The Project?
My "role" is more of a technical one. Handling a lot of the off air stuff, but I am on the air on the show as well. I think everyone on the show is pretty fluid with their roles. We do whatever is needed which varies from week to week, but Kidd Chris is unlike any morning host I have worked with and really handles most of the heavy lifting himself (on and off the air)... I just try to help with whatever is needed.
As far as getting the PD gig on The Pproject... I made my intentions and wishes known and worked as hard as I could on the programming side to take initiative and eventually I was offered an opportunity which I am grateful for.
3. Tell us about the translator signals 100.7 / 106.3 that make up WEBN-F2 and how The Project is making an impact in Cincinnati?
We are on two translators that really do a good job of covering the city. I love that they have an impact on the market. You can hear other stations either add songs or position things that they probably wouldn't have done if The Project wasn't here. This station is 1 guy, a dell computer and 2 very limited signals and the fact that stations with a full staff have to react to it makes me extremely happy.
4. Give us the 411 on the music and who you are targeting with The Project.
I think there is a largely ignored audience in the "Rock" world. There is an important audience for the stations that play Metallica, AC/DC, and Avenged Sevenfold... But there is an equally important audience that wants to hear Twenty One Pilots, Muse, Black Keys and don't necessarily like the harder older stuff... They are still rock fans but they are being asked to listen to stations that serve them 5 to 10% of the time. These are the people that are buying tickets to sell out festivals and arenas all summer long and I am here to super serve that audience.
5. How would you describe yourself as a programmer?
I spend a lot of time on my station and it helps that this is a genre that I have always loved. My goal is to have every element on the station to have a purpose and absolutely zero wasted motions. Everything I put on the air must serve the audience in some way.
6. What sorts of thing make The Project stand out?
We are a smaller signal and that works in our advantage in many ways. We can take more risks with what we do. I have little fear of failure because most people don't expect us to win... But anyone who was little brother knows that every once in a while he pulls off the big upset.
7. What's it like working for Bo Matthews?
Bo has given me a lot of latitude to learn and grow. I have had a lot of freedom to learn how to do the programming side. It's been a great experience.
8. What do you like best about living in Cincinnati?
I am one of those guys who has bounced around a lot and you learn fast that every place has a lot of the same thing... malls, chain restaurants, etc... But one of the unique things about Cincinnati is that radio still is a huge influence in a lot of people's lives. WLW and WEBN are iconic in this area and it's something that you don't see in every market.
9. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without _________?
Getting really annoyed with something that shouldn't annoy anyone.
10. What would surprise people most about you?
I am a bore... That may or may not surprise people. On the weekends I will leave the house to do work or buy groceries.
How did you get the nickname Dubs?
Honestly don't remember... I think it was one of those "you need a radio name" type of things
What are your hobbies?
Love my dogs and playing video games (XBOX one - dubsradio)
Last non-industry job?
First record ever purchased?
Record - Best of the Monkees and Cassette GnR Appetite for destruction (I remember being 7 years old at K-Mart and really laboring over the decision between GnR or Weird Al "Fat"... I still maintain there wasn't a wrong answer that day)
Marilyn Manson 1996 Kalamazoo Michigan
Favorite band of all-time?
I have gone through so many phases in my life but the bands I consistently come back to are Oasis, Our Lady Peace, and Alice In Chains