After completing his “national service,” Alan tried to find a job with as little responsibility and as much money as possible. If you ask him what his first station was, he’ll say “Texaco,” and he means it! But even that was too much manual labor, so when a friend suggested to him that he had a deep voice and was kind of weird, he applied for and was accepted as a DJ in a suburb of Portland, Oregon. He and the only other DJ split up the day on a station that was all religious in the morning and went “underground rock” in the afternoon, immediately following the Holy Rosary live from the First Church of the Holy Rosary.
After bumming around the country in low paying jobs in garden spots like Great Falls, Montana and Fargo North Dakota, he finally landed a minimum wage job as a DJ at KGW in Portland, Oregon. He stayed with that company, King Broadcasting Company for 18 years as a DJ, program director, group program director, and general manager.
In 1988 it struck him that he wanted to work for someone who truly loves and understands him, so he went into business for himself. In 1999 he partnered with John Frost to leverage the strategic thinking they are both known for, which means they each had half a brain and together could probably figure out how to tie their shoes.
Alan also took on the responsibilities of Executive Vice President of Programming for Paxson Communications, where they made the mistake of giving him an American Express card with no limit. Using that card he was able to take enough people out to lunch and dinner to make them feel good about Paxson Communications, and thereby produce good ratings.
Since then he’s been influential in several formats, including Smooth Jazz and Contemporary Christian, and become a combination consultant, writer, public speaker, clown, mentor, cheerleader, and change agent. He is currently the Chief Operating Officer for EMF Broadcasting.
Experience as a radio General Manager taught him the importance of balancing forces: creativity and accountability. So he combines original thinking with strategic execution to create highly successful radio stations. He would copy what everyone else does, but he’s old enough now that his memory isn’t great.
Alan is an active contributor to the industry, and has spoken at the NAB, Radio & Records conventions, the Country Radio Seminar, the NRB and the GMA. He’s been published in Radio & Records, Radio Ink, Christian Radio Weekly, All Access, and many other places. He also publishes the successful “Mason Morning Minute” blog.
Chosen by CRW magazine as on of the 50 most influential people in Christian music, Alan is also the 2007 recipient of the Scott Campbell Award, and the GMA Echo Award for impact on Christian music radio.
Alan can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
John Frost, partner in Goodratings Strategic Services and creator of the Frost Advisory, has been a successful major market disc jockey and program director for such companies as CBS, Gannett, Cap Cities, Westinghouse, Multimedia, and Sandusky during his 40+ years broadcast career.
Prior to joining Alan Mason at Goodratings in 1999, John was Vice President of Programming for Paxson Communications’ 47-station group in Florida. He stayed with Paxson through the transition from a radio company to launch the PAX TV network.
Prior to the corporate programming position at Paxson, John was responsible for programming for the company’s cluster in Orlando, Florida, which grew from three to six stations in three years.
It was at AC Magic 107.7 that John and then-consultant Alan Mason launched what is believed to be the first family values, “safe for the family” strategy, resulting in Paxson Communications’ first 12+ and #1 25-54 station.
Bud Paxson, Chairman of Paxson Communications and very tall fellow, cites the success of family values radio as a catalyst for his dream of a family friendly television network.
Prior to Paxson, John was on the cutting edge of the Smooth Jazz format while program director of The Oasis in Dallas, one of the first Smooth Jazz stations to achieve a top five ranking adults 25-54.
John’s twenty-year on-air career took him from his home state of Texas, to Shreveport, Detroit, St. Louis, Seattle, and Dallas.
In the last decade and a half, John has been involved in the dramatic growth of Contemporary Christian radio, bringing mainstream programming strategies and research principles to help grow and develop some of America’s most successful Christian music stations including Z88.3 in Orlando, Salem’s Fish stations in Los Angeles, Portland, and Atlanta, CRISTA’s Spirit stations in Austin and Seattle, KSGN in Riverside-San Bernardino, KTSY in Boise, Star 88-3 in Fort Wayne, and WGTS in Washington, D.C. John is also involved with helping KSBJ and NGEN in Houston, Star 93-3 in Cincinnati, Family 96-5 in Brisbane, Australia, and the United Christian Broadcasters in Canada.
The Gospel Music Association honored John in 2004 with the Scott Campbell industry achievement award. Radio and Records and Christian Radio Weekly have recognized John as one of the most influential people in the Christian music industry.
John is the co-creator and executive producer of the internally syndicated “Keep the Faith” heard by almost 2 million people a week, and serves as a director in the Charity One, which helps develop compelling media content for ministries and non profit organizations.
Ever comfortable behind the microphone and an avid baseball fan, John is in his 16th season as the semi-professional public address announcer at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Florida, for St. Louis Cardinals’ spring training, as well as the Cardinals’ and Miami Marlins’ minor league teams through the summer.
John can be contacted at email@example.com.
Tommy Kramer has spent over 35 years in radio as an on-air talent, Programmer, Operations Manager, and Talent Coach, and has worked with over 300 stations in all formats, specializing in coaching morning team shows, but working with entire staffs, too.
He also works with many of the nation’s best-known and most talented Voice Actors—people that you hear every day on station Imaging, Radio and TV commercials, and Hollywood Movie Trailers.
He was inducted into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame in 2003, and now lives in Hawaii.
The process is very much like a drama coach working with actors, using very specific techniques to sound more real, touch the listener in a personal and conversational way, eliminate generic content, and stand out against your competitors.
Some of the techniques are a little unorthodox; all of them are simple. There’s no “cookie cutter” method to it, since each Talent is different.
Every professional athlete and every famous actor has a coach.
There’s a reason for that.
Tommy can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dave Senes, strategic advisor with Goodratings Strategic Services, has a passion for working with gifted communicators in the context of values-driven entertainment.
His 20+ year career in radio began as producer for the iconic Fred Winston show in Chicago.
From there, Dave spent the next 10 years in Chicago on-air, producing, and programming with Evergreen Media, Bonneville and Salem Media. Dave helped launch Salem media’s “Fish” brand in Chicago, working alongside John Frost.
From there, he accepted the role of Network Program Director for WAY-FM/CHRSN based in Nashville, TN. During this period, WAY-FM stations achieved top ratings success and unprecedented affiliate growth. WAY-FM grew to 13 owned stations and over 100 affiliates nationwide.
Today, Dave is proud to be part of the growth of Christian Music radio, helping top communicators and program directors create emotionally compelling programming.
He’s also a founding member of the creative team behind Keep The Faith – the #1 nationally syndicated CCM show on the air today.
Dave can be contacted at email@example.com.
With his Kenner Close ‘N Play Phonograph in one hand and a copy of Ray Stevens’s “Gitarzan” in the other, 6-year-old TJ first discovered the power of “playing the hits.” Forty-five years later, the hits have changed and the technology has evolved past the Close ‘N Play but TJ’s passion for the power of music hasn’t waned one bit.
His love of music first found an outlet on the carrier-current powered airwaves of Michigan State University campus radio around 1985. The tens of people listening to their AM radios heard TJ talk up his first ramp and artfully hit the top of the hour break for network news.
His professional career launched two years later in Lansing, Michigan at a rimshot 3kw rock station. After three format changes in 2 years, it was time to experience real broadcasting. It was at that point that his career intersected with Chuck Finney and Goodrich Broadcasting. TJ took advantage of this opportunity by learning everything he could about working within a successful organization. By the time the economic downturn of 1989 hit, TJ had experience on-air, as a music director, a promotion director, and as a program director.
TJ pulled up his Midwestern roots and landed at Portland, Maine’s “Ocean 98” (WCSO-FM) where he cut his programming and management teeth under the guidance of his consultant, Tim Moore. Success came and, along with it, the need to keep ahead of the competition. The programming team saw the opportunity of continued growth by bringing in someone to aid with music research. That decision launched a lifelong mentorship and friendship for TJ with consultant, Alan Mason.
Next was Cincinnati and Warm 98 (WRRM) to join the legendary Susquehanna Radio Corp. Winning brought opportunity for growth when Susquehanna invested in the market by acquiring then Smooth Jazz station 94.9 The Wave (WVAE-FM). This gave TJ the chance to reconnect with Alan. The Wave gave way to Mojo 94.9, a ratings winners in “jammin’ oldies” where others failed. Warm 98 became one of the most respected ACs in the industry as they created a brand that cut through the noise, softly. Instead of fitting into the “light rock, less talk” mold, Alan and TJ broke it by inserting a “family values” pledge to this heritage AC in the form of “Family Friendly Warm 98”. Warm 98 dominated in demo and proved that a station that focuses on the positive can win big in mainstream radio.
Opportunity called in Columbus, OH and a chance to join the programming team of one of AC’s other legendary stations, Sunny 95 (WSNY-FM). Working for Saga Communications proved to be another great growth opportunity for TJ. Yet, even with the success with Saga, something was missing.
It was certainly no coincidence when at that point, TJ received the call (literally and spiritually) to once again link up with Alan. This time it was across town at Contemporary Christian 104-9 the River (WCVO-FM). It didn’t take long before the station was recognized by Christian Music Broadcasters as its “2014 Large Market Station of the Year”.
To this day, TJ has programmed almost every English language station and has been voted one of the “Top Programmers in America” multiple times. His stations have been recognized as “Station of the Year” in two separate formats (twice in AC and once with CCM).
TJ brings passion to mentoring team members, creating a real strategy for sustained growth, developing engaging brands, applying analysis and research based thinking, and for finding radio’s place in the digital and social media landscape of today… and tomorrow.
When he’s not building radio brands, TJ is home trying to improve his ratings with his wife and two children. Never far from music, TJ’s basement is a shrine to his collection of rare guitars… and maybe a Ray Stevens single or two.
TJ can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.