10 Questions with ... Matt "MJ" Johnson
November 26, 2013
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- Intern at Sports Talk WHEN-AM/Syracuse (1996)
- VP/Programming Top 40 WJPZ/Syracuse (1997-1998)
- Part-timer, Nights, Creative Services Dir, AM co-host WWHT/Syracuse (1999-2001)
- Program Director/PM Drive WDBT/Jackson, MS (2002-2003)
- Program Director/AM Drive WDKF/Dayton (2003-2004)
- Program Director/PM Drive WXKB/Ft Myers (2004-2011)
- Dir./Programming Beasley/Ft. Myers WXKB, Alternative WJBX, Classic Rock WRXK (2008-2009)
- Program Director/PM Drive Top 40 KUDD (2012-current)
- Operations Manager KUDD and Rhythmic KUUU (2012-current)
1. What got you into radio?
In 2nd grade we did a tour of a radio station and I was totally hooked! Why did they pick the songs they picked? Who decided what songs sounded good next to each other? How did the DJs decide what to talk about? These burning questions led me to a high school internship with WHEN-AM Sports Talk in Syracuse, NY.
2. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I've got cassette tapes of me pretending to be on the radio when I was 6 years old. Gave the weather, lotto numbers, everything. Even did some trivia. This is what I was made to do.
3. What was the biggest change in the move up from Fort Myers to SLC?
LOL. Two totally different universes!!! The biggest change was going from one of the oldest markets in the country (1/2 the 12+ population is over 65 in Fort Myers), to one of the youngest markets in the country, in SLC.
4. What do you think would surprise people unfamiliar with Salt Lake City?
The cultural universe really balances itself out. Yes, there's a very conservative element to this market, however, the counter-culture asserts itself in ways here that I could've never imagined. SLC is also very self-contained. We are geographically isolated, meaning that everything is pretty much right here.
5. When do you like most about living and working in Salt Lake City?
The mountains are gorgeous. The outdoor sports life is apparently great too. I wouldn't know, I'm too busy enjoying the restaurants.
6. What's your favorite song on KUUU right now?
Definitely "Bounce It" Juicy J. SLC is loving it too!
7. If you weren't in radio, what do you think you'd be doing professionally?
I'd be begging someone for a radio job. It's a different puzzle everyday and nothing beats it. My last job before radio was in a car factory. I do my best to appreciate that I work in radio every day.
8. What do you like to do in your spare time?
I'm a huge fantasy football nerd. Seriously...a nerd about it.
I also enjoy hiking with my family (including our 100 lb Rottweiler, Hansel).
I would say I'm a good cook. My wife would say I'm a good griller, not so much a cook.
9. If you could be on any TV reality show or game show, which would you want to be on?
I really think my wife (Nicki) and I could kick some ass on the Amazing Race.
10. We're winding down 2013. What would you like to do better in 2014?
I'm definitely focused on being a better teacher. When you are overseeing one station, it's much easier to be a teacher, that when over multiple stations.
As my station count increases, I find it very important to teach those on my team how to most efficiently accomplish daily and weekly goals. Grinding this process out helps any radio station fly higher.
Beer and pizza or sushi and sake?
You've just described lunch #1 and lunch #2.