So, I started XL 106.7 as the night Jock, 7-11pm. That's what I was brought to town to do. They had a powerhouse station at the time, 102Jamz and they wanted me to beat the night guy there. First, they had to come up with a name for me. So, the "Corporate Types" sat in a room and started to come up with my new radio name. Mind you, I'm sitting right there but wasn't included in the decision. Someone threw out "Teddy Kruger" (Freddy Kruger). Then someone threw out "Arsenio Hill" (Arsenio Hall). This went on for 45 min when someone said, "His real name is John, we'll change that to Johnny because it sounds friendlier." "His last name will be MAGIC because Orlando is getting a new basketball team and people will remember it." They all agreed, Johnny Magic. I freaking hated it in the beginning. I just thought how dumb that sounded. Through the years, I have learned to love it. I'm Johnny Magic.
I did nights for about a year and the ratings were terrible. I was supposed to be this high energy night DJ, playing Candle in the Wind by Elton John. I sucked, the station sucked and the music for that time sucked. We had the worst ratings I'd ever seen in my young career. I thought I made a huge mistake leaving Charlotte and moving to Orlando. I ask to be move to morning and help the morning show. I came from a highly successful morning show in Charlotte so I thought I knew what it would take to win. So, they allowed me to move up to morning. I was just a voice in the back of the room. The ratings on this morning show were horrible also. At the time, they bought in a new afternoon guy by the name of Doc Holiday. We would see each other when we were changing air shift. The station was so young that there was only one remote. It was at a place called Shooters off of Lee Rd on OBT. Doc did that appearance every Weds night. I was new to town so I would go to the remote and Doc and I would hang out. Each week we would drink and talk about how much the station sucked. Doc came from a morning show background and so did I. After one night of drinking and talking, Doc came up with the idea of going to Management and asking them to let us do the morning show together. The morning show at the time ratings were very low and I was already a part of it. We both knew that if we got the chance and it didn't work, they were going to fire both of us. To our surprise, they said, "Yes". We sat down at a wing place in Altamonte Springs named "CJs" and drew up the plans for The Doc and Johnny Morning Show. So, they couldn't put us against each other in the future, our contract would be exactly the same. Doc would take the lead because he had the most experience. Our first day on the air was crazy. Things just flowed naturally. We had fun on the air because we had nothing to lose. The show really took off when they were building a segment of highway and we were going to let a live possum lose to cross the highway. If it made it across, we would have an early spring. People lost their minds. The thought we really were going to let a live possum across a busy highway. They crazy thing is, if they paid attention, they would've realized that the highway wasn't even open yet. We went through with the stunt and had to go into hiding. It got national attention. They were looking to arrest us for animal cruelty. It was all a joke; wasn't real We got the sound effects of an animal in a cage and people thought it was real. After that we started to rise in the ratings. To this day I will always say that Doc is my brother. Even though we don't talk much, I'll always consider him a brother.
The way things ended are still kinda blurry to me. We were going into contract negotiations and they were talking to Doc first. Something happened in those meetings that I still don't understand. Doc came out it saying he was disrespected and he couldn't work here anymore. At that time K92 started talking to him. They wanted to talk to me but I refused the meeting. I guess it was perfect timing for Doc. He felt disrespected by the company and another company came knocking, showing love. We had that one last conversation about the show. He told me, he was going to K92 and I said I was staying. I wished him well and he did the same for me. Doc from Doc and Johnny has left the show. I can't lie, I was scared. I was always Johnny to his Doc and now I was going to do it alone. Would they like me without him? Could I do it without him? Would the company even want to keep me without Doc? These are all the things that were going through my mind at the time. I was nervous but ready to do it. Then a salesperson told me that Shannon Fraser, Head of Sales, had a meeting with her sale's team and told them that they are now "Team Johnny" and let's stand behind him 100%. That set my mind at ease to go in and do it without Doc.