He’s programmed great radio stations, leading two stations in San Diego from “worst to first”, earned dozens of radio industry awards and been named “Best Programmer In America” by Radio Ink magazine.
In addition to his long career in programming, Tracy managed a group of stations for 10 years and has worked with hundreds of media brands to develop digital content, promotion and revenue strategies.
Growing up in a farming community in central Nebraska, I became an on-air personality at the local radio station at the age of 14. While attending the University of Nebraska, I became morning personality and program director of KFRX, at age 20, leading the station to 7 years of #1 ratings.
At KFRX, I learned the value of combining a disciplined approach to programming with exciting, fun personality and promotion. This has been the foundation of a long, successful career.
In 1989, I joined Alan Burns & Associates, teaming with Alan to work with some of America’s great radio stations, including Z100/New York, B96/Chicago and dozens more. Working with Alan was like getting a Masters Degree in programming.
Shortly after joining CHR KKLQ (Q106) in San Diego, General Manager Bob Bolinger and I engineered the first of two worst-to-first successes. We recruited Jeff & Jer, altered the format and injected the station with fun to take the market by storm.
Within six months, we grew from 19th to 1st, scoring #1 ratings in every daypart and every demographic.
Two years later (1994), I left Q106 to join B100-FM and KFMB-AM. B100 had fallen victim to the Q106 success, and was ranked 23rd in the market, but not for long. We changed the station’s name to Star 100.7, and march to #1, achieving a rare worst-to-first rise twice in the same market.
With an emphasis on creating revenue that delivers ratings and revenue, I was promoted to the General Manager position for the stations. Within two years, we delivered the highest revenues and profits in the history of the respected stations.
For 10 years, I was proud to lead KFMB AM and FM as the class of the San Diego market, delivering record ratings, revenue and market status.
The experience of managing two legendary properties and balancing art (performance), science (programming) and leadership (management) provided a rare combination of skills and experience that continues pay off for clients worldwide.
Along with the hands-on experience, Alan Burns and I co-authored the book Morning Radio: A Guide to Developing On-Air Superstars in 1998. The book quickly became an international success, serving as a blueprint for personality radio for thousands of broadcasters in more than 45 countries.
Radio legend Scott Shannon described it as “The best book I’ve ever read about radio…period.”
My second book, Morning Radio II followed in 2002, bringing even more attention to a growing resume.
Since then, I rewrote the original Morning Radio, updating the concepts to reflect a changing media universe. Morning Radio Revisited was published in 2013.
Eventually, it became clear that my path pointed to sharing the concepts and experience would lead to what has become the Tracy Johnson Media Group.
Our emphasis is on building dominant brands through nurturing and promoting high profile air personalities, guiding stations with sound programming strategies and introducing exciting promotions that result in ratings and revenue success.
With a hands-on approach to working with clients worldwide, our client roster is filled with success stories in all formats.
There’s nothing more exciting than building a passionate audience base through creativity, promotion and using contemporary tools in digital media. I love the thrill of developing talent, helping them find an on-air voice based on their real-life personality.
Contrary to common misconceptions, traditional media is alive and well. It’s changing, for sure. It’s under financial pressure, no doubt. It must be reinvented, and it’s exciting to use the power of reach and influence to develop new sources of engagement and revenue in an evolving world.
I’m currently working with radio stations, television personalities and am involved with digital initiatives, and couldn’t be happier with the potential for growth and expansion. Are you the next success story?