In the morning and on the go


Jerry J, a popular morning show host on Macomb’s WJEQ radio from 1998 to 2006, has passed away. Jerry B. Johnson died last Saturday at his home in Blandinsville. Jerry was 55 years old.

Jerry and I came to WJEQ that same year, him as a morning disc jockey and I as a public affairs talk show host. Nancy Foster, the owner of the station, had assembled a memorable team. Others included Cyndi Helling, Terry Landes, The Cat, Kip Jones on sports and journalist Brad Choat.

A radio host from the age of 14 in 1979, Jerry was very entertaining and also mastered the techniques of a good announcement. An example of this is the use of “direct promotion” – always tell the audience what happens next so they stick around.

When Jerry became Program Director at WJEQ, he got involved in the business side of broadcasting. He set up commercial packages where sponsors were rewarded with lower prices if they bought in bulk or months in advance.

Outside of radio, Jerry led his father’s campaign for McDonough County Sheriff in 2002. A Republican Party fractured over too many primary candidates made Jerry’s advertising more effective and Mike Johnson was elected.

Jerry left WJEQ to found his own business, Gas & Go Radio, which he incorporated in 2009. It was a unique concept: Jerry would put on mini radio shows that people would listen to as they pumped their gasoline through. convenience stores.

Another basic advertising concept that started this business was that a significant portion of a convenience store’s profits are the snacks people buy while they’re there. Jerry worked with the stores to provide a bespoke program that promoted what they wanted to sell.

Gas & Go Radio started with offices in Galesburg, then Jerry moved the entire operation to Blandinsville. At its peak, the company had six employees and served convenience stores across the country, earning $ 198,000 per year.

Jerry Johnson was active in the Blandinsville community organization. In addition to producing Gas & Go packages, his Jerry J Productions have created radio and television commercials and audio tracks for corporate presentations.

Jerry J’s funeral will take place tomorrow and he will be buried in LaHarpe City Cemetery. Jerry wanted those who remember him to consider making memorial donations to the McDonough District Hospital Palliative Care Program.

Contact Patrick Stout by email at [email protected]

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