Air Personality KJ Carson’s 4 Keys To Success!

WEEI”s  Sports Talk Host KJ Carson has been fortunate to have worked in 4 different formats in top 10 markets. From a musicical standpoint he’s delivered high ratings in Urban AC, Top 40 Mainstream, Rhythmic AC, as a national personality with SiriusXM and now Sports Talk at the iconic WEEI FM.

KJ owes a large part of that to being authentic, versatile, persistent, and being observant.

All four are keys to success. In today’s media landscape, prudence dictates that having the above 4 elements along with staying plugged in and evolving with the changing landscape are keys to creating demand for your services. This and putting in the hard work can also lead to success. 


KJ says that the statement “Content is King” has become on an industry bible verse, the truth is that Authenticity is King (or Queen). Authenticity allows for a REAL  touch point between yourself and the audience. It’s one thing for a listener to know who you versus knowing what the two of you have in common. One day a sales rep was giving an ad client a tour of our facilities. When the rep and the client arrived in my section (next to my desk), the client asked “Where’s KJ?..I can relate to having a spouse working away from home..I think his wife is in SC..and that day he tested his college daughter to see how much she would drink in front of husband did that to our son..” I told the client that “I see we have a lot in common..I am KJ!” Her first words were “I feel like I know you”. Authenticity.”


The ability to be versatile is a choice and a challenge. The challenge comes in the way of the different formats constructs. 

The formats: Hip Hop/UAC/Hip Hop/UAC/Hip Hop/Top40M/Top40M/Top40M/Top40M/UAC/RhyAC/Sports.

“When you look at that order, it’s unusual to go back and forth between Hip Hop and UAC…and then to go from UAC to Top40 Mainstream. I believe that the only way that has happened is through having a clear sound, full understanding of the audience being served, and being yourself”.

“I was a college student doing mornings at the first UAC station. My Program Director gave me an amazing compliment in regards to being myself and knowing how to sell a memory through the music. This is where I learned the art of immersing yourself into what you’re putting out. So, when I would later work at my first Top40M station, I was able to tap into a formula that’s worked throughout my music based career.” 

KJ admits that when he got to Sports..”I’ll be dead honest..I was extremely nervous. The reason is because I was not used to talking for 20-30 minutes straight. I am glad that there was a nervousness because it demanded that I focus, prepare to make the content relatable and not mechanical, not be afraid to have things written out.  Sports Talk is a part of me as a former athlete, a Psychology minor, professional broadcaster, and opinionist. “

“The great thing is that whether it’s has been selling the emotion, a bit of humor, and feel over the intro of a song Barry White’s “Ecstasy..When You Lay Down Next To Me” to Avril Lavine’s, “My Happy Ending” to “Tom Brady’s wife must feel like Rocky’s wife in Rocky III thinking that opponents want to destroy him like they’re Clubber Lang (Mr. T)..being versatile (while being yourself ) can go a long way in this industry”.


“My persistence has ranged from mass emails audio files to programmers inside of one company (to where I once received an email from the company’s IT team as if I was a, I want people to hear THIS). I cut out Playboy magazines and inserted my tape and resume inside. When they opened the magazine, they were greeted with the message:  “I know you were looking for the T&A..instead here is my T&R!”. I’ve also gone as far as to creating CD covers (see below) that stood out beyond any other air checks (audition File) that arrived. I’ve also made sure to follow up and tell people thank you for their time and communication. As one colleague mentioned to me one day in Atlanta; “I’ve never seen someone as committed to watering the tree as you!”


“Being observant…let’s put it this way..I have been fortunate to learn over time that there’s a reason why we have two ears and one mouth. I have never known someone’s ears to put them into compromising positions, but everyday a mouth will. It’s also why I did this part in three sentences.”

ADDITIONAL NOTE: No, KJ did not leave the hard work part out. He was just so busy working hard that he forgot. (I’m sure KJ would add, ‘No bro, I “hardly” ever forget’)

Vernon R Catron




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