(February 6, 2018) In sales, it is said that “no” is a definite maybe. Rob Johnson is a sports talk host and an accomplished salesman. When a station told him in 2014 that their lineup didn’t have a place for his sports talk show, he kept in touch. Now, nearly four years later, Johnson is in the starting lineup at KMIS in Portageville, MO.
Johnson’s new gig comes with considerable freedom. “They’ve given me freedom to control my show entirely. I set the agenda for content, sponsorship, promotion and everything else,” he says.
Johnson has been talking sports since 2010 when he founded his MakinThePlay website and podcast. He hosted the show in sports bars and restaurants in Southeast Missouri before taking it to radio for three years. In 2016, the show went national with a weekly slot on SB Nation Radio. He first approached KMIS in 2014.
“At that time, KMIS was only interested in national shows, Johnson says. “Nevertheless, I touched base with them periodically, even when I was on other stations. I thought, at some point, their focus might change or they may be interested in being an affiliate for my local show that originated elsewhere.”
Ironically, KMIS carried Johnson’s show when it aired Saturdays on SB Nation. “This enabled KMIS decision makers to listen to me regularly,” he says. “Last year, the focus of KMIS did change, and they approached me about doing my local show on their station.”
One challenge Johnson faced in landing a daily show is the mindset of station managers and owners. “A priority isn’t placed on quality of content, the understanding of sports talk or the proper approach to advertising,” he says.
To overcome the challenge, Johnson maintained his listener and sponsor relationships, even when he wasn’t on the air. “By remaining relevant in the marketplace through social media and personal interaction, I kept me, my show and my brand, (the latter two being MakinThePlay) as the go-to place for sports in Southeast Missouri.”
The thing that keeps Johnson motivated when others would throw in the towel is what he calls his addiction to sports talk radio. “My passion to provide engaging, entertaining and informative sports talk is unparalleled, as are my abilities to design marketing strategies and sell my show. I started this journey late in life, so I know what I want and how to achieve it based on skills I built in my early years.”
(Visit Rob’s STAA Talent Page).