Member Spotlight – Neal Hopson

What led you to a career in the radio industry?

In-short…God. But for real though. I never thought I’d be in Radio. I worked for Mercedes-Benz for 8 Years, but always was a Live DJ’d spinning Christian Pop/Hip Hop on the side because I enjoyed it. We already had an amazing Christian station in St. Louis, 99.1JoyFM, but it was only A/C. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some “I Can Only Imagine”, but I needed something for the homies. One day my wife saw an article sharing that 99.1 JoyFM would launch a Christian Pop/Hip Hop Station, BOOST101.9, so I immediately jumped at the opportunity to apply. I tracked down the G.O.A.T, Mike Couchman (PD) on Facebook, and he asked me for an Air-Check. I had no idea what that was, but thanks to Google I quickly found out. I was able to whip up something that sounded decent, and he actually liked it?! After my first phone conversation with Mike I knew that this was the real deal. I had the pleasure of meeting the amazing; Sandi Brown (GM), and thankfully they gave me a shot to start my career in radio.

What advice would you give people new to the business?

Don’t underestimate the season you’re in. God is literally working ALL things together for your good even if it doesn’t seem like it. Work smart and work hard. Always continue to sharpen your skills so you constantly have the ability to add value in multiple areas within the Organization in every season. Most importantly, remain humble when you see or even don’t see “success”. Always make time for people…especially the ones who seemingly can’t do anything for you.

Give a shoutout to someone who is making a difference in radio and what are they doing to make an impact?

Sandi Brown and Mike Couchman. I am blessed to have a front row seat at obedience, excellence, and amazing leadership. I had no idea the impact, innovation, and waves they were making in the Industry until I got here. Because of their faithfulness we continue to see 99.1JoyFM at the top in our city, and BOOST101.9 influencing and changing culture. Not only in the Industry, but in our community, I witness them using Christian music as a means of encouraging believers, uniting the body of Christ, and sharing the clear, life-changing message of Jesus with the world.

Tell us about a project or accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career.

I’ve been blessed to be able to do some really cool things in my radio career. But honestly, the most significant moments are when I have the opportunity to shake hands, give hugs, or pray with our Listeners in person. We also do a thing called “BOOST the Love” every month, and I knew just the person that needed their love Boosted. There’s an elderly lady, Ms. Ruby that works the morning shift at Panera across the street from our office. She actually is a huge Lebron James fan, and we talk basketball every time I’m in there. I know right?! She could literally work for ESPN. But for many years, and very early mornings, she always finds a way to brighten customer’s days and love on them. So we wanted to love on her. So we decided to give her a surprise in-store Pep Rally! We had signs made, Lebron James merch, and the whole restaurant joined us as we chanted “Ruby, Ruby, Ruby”! We were blessed to BOOST the Love. 

Tell us about a story of a Christian song that made a difference in your life or the life of a listener. 

I recently heard a story about a Listener that was in the car, and ready to commit suicide. He had a gun in one hand, and was scrolling through the radio with the other so that he could find the “perfect” song to take his life to. As he nervously searched, he landed on a Rap song that we play by ‘Swoope’ called ‘Shining Down’. As he listened to the words he eventually put the gun down, and picked up hope. He later called in and told us that these words literally saved his life.

“When the rain fall, it’s all right, right
When the pain comes, it’s all right
I can’t complain no, the sun’s shining down on me.”

Yeah, all right, right

Neal Hopson
Afternoons On-Air/Brand Ambassador, BOOST 101.9
CMB Silver Member since 2016

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