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Majic 102.7 hires a 'new' morning man: Joe Johnson

Joejohnson2 South Florida oldies station WMXJ has a new morning man, sort of. Joe Johnson, a veteran of 22 years at the station who's been filling in the morning shift since Bruce Kelly was fired two months ago, will take it over permanently, WMXJ executives said Wednesday.

"The transition worked so well that we wanted to keep it going," said Bob Hamilton, the program director at Majic-102.7, as the station's known to its listeners. Johnson will keep partnering with perpetual second banana Donna Davis, now working as sidekick with her third WMXJ morning man.

Johnson started out on WMXJ's night shift 22 years ago. But since becoming the station's production manager nine years ago, his on-air presence has mostly been restricted to his show Beatle Brunch, syndicated to 110 markets around the country.

WMXJ executives approached him about taking over the morning show two years ago, when Rick Shaw retired. Johnson turned them down -- and even when he started filling in had no ambition to hold onto the job. "I just turned 50 years old, and I thought my days of getting up at 3:30 in the morning to go to the station were over," he said.

But working with Davis, he said, changed his mind. "Donna and I are good friends off the air," Johnson said. "My wife and I hang with Donna and her husband all the time. Being on the air with her is almost like being dinner with her. We have this chemistry which reinvigorates on the air."

Johnson will keep doing Beatle Brunch, which airs from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Sundays. And he doesn't expect drastic changes in the morning show, though it will probably feature more music and fewer interviews.

"I've been a commuter in South Florida for 22 years, so I know what it's like to listen to the radio and the car, and what listeners want and don't want," he says. "I don't want to listen to guests I don't relate to. I don't want people cooking on the show. We don't have to do big stunts like mooning cars."

Not that Johnson hasn't done some stunts in his career. He once did a show entirely from a Ferris wheel. "That was fun for about 15 minutes," he remembers. "Then I realized I had four hours and 45 minutes to go."

What was exciting, Johnson remembers, was doing his nighttime listener-request show back in the old days before the music could just be punched up from a computer keyboard.

"You had to run around cueing up CDs, and work the control board by yourself, and you're on the phone, and it's easy to lose track of what you're doing," he recalls. ‘‘Suddenly you hear the jingle and you shove the nearest greatest-hits CD into the player and pray that it's something the station really plays. I did it one night with a Neil Diamond CD and wound up with something I don't think even Neil Diamond remembered recording."

Footnote: Johnson's predecessor, Kelly, flirted with a move to Philadelphia, but decided he wants to stay in South Florida and is talking to radio stations here. He hopes to be back on the air locally by the end of the summer: "Otherwise, it's ‘Here's your burgers and shake, have a nice day.' ''


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Tim Jocha

Joe Johnson has always been Majic's biggest talent. I still would rather hear Joe's "Jukebox Saturday Night" request show to the syndicated show now on Saturdays.


Good news!

Bruce Kelly sucked and his interviews were a disaster.

Who wants to listen to crap like that on the way to work.

Give me MUSIC, not talk.


"Bruce Kelly sucked and his interviews were a disaster.
Who wants to listen to crap like that on the way to work"

Apparently twice as much as Rick Shaw.




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