Ironton DJ spins in new direction

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 3, 2006

It is around 5 p.m. on a hazy Thursday afternoon and after a day of painting his Ironton home, JB Miller is exhausted.

“I’m dying. I’ve been on a ladder since 9:30,” Miller said with a small chuckle. “I don’t enjoy this.”

It is the first opportunity that Miller has had in quite a while to do any work around the home during a week day morning; for the past 10 years he has been the host of Huntington, W.Va. radio station WKEE’s popular morning show with co-host Sheila Redling.

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For now though, after leaving the station earlier this week, Miller has his mornings free. After 30 years of working behind the microphone in Tri-State radio, Miller has, for the first time, taken the helm of his own station, Huntington’s WMGA 97.9.

This is the latest chapter in the Irontonian’s radio career, which began when he was just a tot.

“I started in Liberty Avenue in my parents’ basement when I was eight years old, broadcasting to my neighborhood friends on the Radio Shack wireless microphone,” Miller said. “I started in real radio when I was 15.”

From there, Miller’s career has taken him all over the nation, from two years in Michigan to several years doing talk radio in Cincinnati. His latest project is a fledgling station, owned by Westport, Conn.-based Connoisseur Media, LLC, which has only been broadcasting for around six weeks.

“I would call it ‘adult hits,’ it’s a station for adults, it’s a mix of music that’s not offensive, I would say it’s got something for everyone,” Miller said. “I like it, and that makes it more comfortable as well.”

It’s a lucky thing that he enjoys the format, as he’ll be deciding what music the station will be playing. As program director of WMGA, he’ll be calling the shots; a new experience for the long-time on-air personality.

“I’m very excited, I mean, I have a little bit of butterflies because it’s something that I’ve never done,” Miller said. “But I learned a lot from the people that I worked with previously.

“Sometimes I think change is a good thing. It may be terrifying to get out of my comfort zone, but it’s also really exciting to start a new chapter in my life.”

Miller has already begun running the day-to-day operations at the station, but hasn’t yet appeared on the air. However, he had better get his house painting in while he can. Miller said he’ll begin a 5 to 10 a.m. morning show in the coming weeks.