Brent Johnson debuts new morning radio show on 93.1 The Lake
Award-winning radio personality Brent Johnson returned to local radio Wednesday morning at 6 a.m. on 93.1 The Lake. Johnson, who has spent most of his 40-year radio career in Columbia, joins the station as program director and morning show host after a five month hiatus.
Midlands Media Group LLC, led by local residents Kirk Litton and Keith Stover, recently purchased The Lake (WZMJ) and freshened the format with favorites from the 70s, 80s, 90s and 2000s. The station offers a blend of feel-good music from artists like The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, John Mellencamp and U2, to Matchbox Twenty, Maroon Five, Elton John and Hootie & The Blowfish.
Johnson said it felt great to be back on live and local radio, and was pleased with the listeners’ feedback. “I had a greater listener response than I had even expected because we have a brand new phone number,” he said. “So I gave it out on air, and we had a lot of people calling.”
A lot of the excitement from listeners, Johnson thinks, comes from his years of being part of people’s daily lives. “I think it’s less about me as it is that I was on [the radio] for so long,” he said. “It’s like comfort food for some people.”
The importance of working for a local station is also an important factor, according to Johnson. “That means everything,” he said. “Coming from the corporate world, to your boss being right across the hall from you is a big deal to me.”
Johnson most recently served as operations manager for five stations in Columbia. He has won the prestigious National Association of Broadcasters Marconi Award, and was selected for the 2018 South Carolina Broadcasters Association Merit Award for “Radio Sportscaster of the Year.”
In addition to his professional honors, Johnson has served on multiple charitable and community service roles, including founder and producer of the annual Radiothon for Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital, spokesman for Oliver Gospel Mission Homeless Shelter, and a popular public speaker, emcee and singer/musician. A resident of Lexington, Johnson and his wife Leigh have two sons and one daughter.