Jedediah “Stickboy” Johnson of Santa Paula, an award-winning radio personality on the KVTA AM 1590 Morning Show, was recently honored with his third Golden Mike.

‘Stickboy’: Santa Paula radio personality awarded another Golden Mike

February 19, 2014
Santa Paula News

By Peggy Kelly 

Santa Paula Times 

He started on radio as a gangly kid and now Jedediah “Stickboy” Johnson of Santa Paula is an award-winning radio personality on KVTA AM 1590 recently honored again with a Golden Mike.

The Radio & Television News Association of Southern California honored Johnson and others at their January 25 awards ceremony held at the Universal Hilton. Broadcast newsrooms in a region stretching from San Luis Obispo and Bakersfield to the Mexican border competed for the awards.

Johnson said, “I won my first Golden Mike in 2006, not too long after I joined KVTA, got another in 2007 and then there was a long road of nothingness until now,” with the 2013 award for Best Sports Segment in Division B.

The award is nothing new to the good-natured and fast-talking Johnson, who garnered an Associated Press Mark Twain Award Winner “Best Sports Segment” Division B California in 2006, and has been selected by Ventura County Reporter readers as the #1 Radio Personality (2009, 2012, 2013) as well as the Funniest Person (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012).

“ ‘Stick on Sports’ is my segment,” said Johnson who acquired the nickname early on when he started working at UPS right after high school.

“Most were former football players then, like 240 pounds. I weighed 135 pounds,” and Johnson soon found himself accepting the nickname, “and went with Stickboy from there.

“It was the luck of the draw,” especially as some sports do involve sticks.

Besides, he noted philosophically, “I can’t rid of something I didn’t want to begin with!”

Now 35, Johnson began his radio career on the then-Planet Spence Show: “I showed up in 1998 or 1999... they were giving away pro-wrestling tickets, and my dad said I should enter the contest. I won.”

Radio personality  Tom Spence recognized Johnson’s knowledge of the sport (he later flirted with making it a career choice) and personality, “made me his wrestling correspondent.”

The experience “Gave me a taste of radio... before I was a rapper,” in a duo known as Edison Lab named after the street Johnson lived on in Casitas Springs.

“We made our music in the garage, called it our lab” hence the name that was never used professionally when Johnson’s rap partner “moved on” when they were close to being signed.

His first radio gig didn’t last long for Johnson, who not knowing broadcasting rules broke a few and was fired.

“I wasn’t heard on radio again until 2004,” when he got his “first paid gig” on Q104.7 FM, the rap station, like KVTA also owned by Gold Coast Broadcasting and located downstairs from where Johnson had worked before.

But first, Johnson had to audition: “They had a cattle call and asked everybody, and there were a lot of people there, to give two words they would be remembered by.

“I stood up, drew,” imaginary guns from an imaginary holster, and pointing one after another said “Stick” and “Boy” and “stuck out immediately.”

His career started with appearing at events to hand out promotional materials and other minor duties, but grew into filling in for those who couldn’t make it to work or were on vacation.

“I realized, and they realized I needed to be in talk radio,” and then Spence again stepped in asking Johnson to work with him and Dave Ciniero, who passed away in February 2006.

Johnson works the KVTA Morning Show from 5 to 9 a.m. Monday through Friday with Spence, Rich Gualano and Perry Van Houten.

“I do the sport segments, am a sidekick, joke around, do birthdays, whatever. I’m the third mike after Rich but I’m the first stop at answering the phones,” duty that Johnson pays particular attention to.

“I screen calls and when I do I’m a little on the dark side... I look for the critical person,” to put on the air, although Johnson laughed, “after they insult you sometimes they don’t want to go on,” even if he feels their opinions would be a good starting point for debate.

By the same token, Johnson likes to “Add some spice to the show when things start to get too serious.” 

As a teamster, former business owner, human rights and labor activist, he laughed, “Sometimes I’d say I’m the enforcer!”

A native of Ketchum, Idaho, Johnson grew up in the mountains of Wrightwood before his parents Chamalene and Dick Johnson finally settled in Santa Paula.

He has his own family now, wife Allison “Stickgurl” Johnson and sons Quentin, 3, and Keenan, 18 months.

He thanks all for his success including his radio family: “I work with a great group of people, the All Star radio team of Ventura County... and it would never have happened if Spence hadn’t hired me and I thank him for that as well as management.”

He credits his fans as “The only reason why I get public recognition... I thank them for keeping me motivated, the reason I keep going is them and the people in the community.”

Johnson, back working for UPS, is living the dream he’s had since boyhood: “I always wanted to be an entertainer,” an interest indulged by his parents with microphones and equipment that led Johnson to start entertaining others when he was about 6.

“I was already a radio guy... my personality still demands some kind of attention, I was born this way I can’t stop it, so I have to feed it. I need it, it powers me.”

With just shy of 2,000 Facebook friends Johnson jokes, “I think I hit the wall, I haven’t had a Friend request in a while... I don’t know what I’m doing wrong!”

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