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Joe Lockett: Birmingham Radio Show Host Expands His Influence

Joe Lockett, CEO of Lockettin Media, has moved his popular Birmingham radio show to the internet where he can be viewed on Facebook, YouTube and TikTok. (PROVIDED)
By Keisa Sharpe-Jefferson
The Birmingham Times

Joe Lockett’s resume reflects not only versatility but perseverance. The talk show host, CEO of Lockettin Media, has served in the U.S. Navy, been a home improvement guru and has now moved his popular Birmingham radio show to the internet in late 2023 where he can be viewed on Facebook, YouTube and Tik Tok.

The success, fortitude and brand-building of The Joe Lockett Show didn’t come without a cost but with a lot of hard work and sacrifice, of which he is no stranger.

Lockett, 53, a Birmingham native, joined the military immediately after graduating from Minor High School in 1988 and served in the Navy until 1996 and in the United States Marine Corps.

He has two daughters ages 21 and 31, who are both in Japan. He speaks fluent Japanese. While he served in the cities of Iwakuni and Yokosuka, Japan, Lockett says Japanese women taught him their language and he “learned the rest on his own” and he became fluent. He is currently learning to speak Spanish fluently.

After his military service, he bought and flipped houses in the Birmingham area until the market crashed in 2008. “I’d bought like 13 or 14 houses. I was stuck with a bunch of houses, so I had to rent them. And because I had the wrong type of rentals, I lost all the houses. I should have filed for bankruptcy,” he recalled.

After that, he shifted again, and started working small jobs for those who needed maintenance work on their homes. “I had all the tools from my years flipping houses, and I had a plumber and an electrician,” said Lockett. That led to his first handyman job with two crew members.

That didn’t last either he took away something far greater.

One of his customers told him ‘Y’all are like on husbands to go.’ I told her to repeat that, and she did,” said Lockett, as the lightbulb went off in his head. “I said, thank you … I walked away with my next business – Husbands to go, or H2G Husbands.

Lockett’s concept was to go from house to house to get small jobs. But it all came too fast.

He says he “was a novice business owner and wasn’t prepared to manage the workforce. I got too much business. I grew too fast.”

So, another tough business decision had to be made. “I closed the company down.”

It was a move to protect his reputation, Lockett said. He didn’t want any negative repercussions, nor any negative reviews, from those who had been adversely impacted by his business venture.

Next Phase

After riding on a trip to Huntingdon, West Virginia with his then-wife (they are now divorced), Lockett says he literally went to sleep that night after the long trip and woke up with the master plan for the next phase of his career.

“I wanted to be a daytime radio talk show host. I wanted to be like Steve Harvey, a popular author, comedian, urban radio and television talk show host and motivational speaker who’s also known for his dating and relationship advice.

Lockett said his spouse’s reaction was not one of joy for his new career revelation, but still, he forged ahead.

He came back home to Birmingham, and shortly afterward, was offered a spot as the DIY guy on the Power 102.1 Real Talk Saturday morning show with host Hollis Wormsby, which aired Saturday mornings 7 a.m. – 9 a.m., talking about home improvement ideas.

That door closed after only a few months, but his dream still burned strong. He took his idea of hosting his podcast to several urban radio stations and was turned down.

For some, it would have been disappointing. But for Lockett, persistence kicked in again.

A Decade of Radio

Two months later he set up a meeting at Crawford Broadcasting and shortly after he arrived at the station, “They told me “You’re one of the most prepared guys” and he impressed them by his clear vision – knowing what he wanted to do and how he’d get it done at the station.

Lockett paid Crawford Broadcasting to host his show for a decade and paved his way in the radio business. “If I didn’t pay anything else, I paid that bill to be on the radio show,” he said.

His first show in 2013 was the “Love Hate Debate,” which he shared with two other talk show hosts – Birmingham Comedienne Joy (Cassandra King) and entrepreneur Melva Tate.

From 2013 – 2015, the team broadcast from 6 – 7 a.m. on 101.1 Saturday mornings and focused on love. “Because the show grew to be so popular, I moved to 4 p.m.-7 p.m. on Saturdays on the same station,” he said.

But the topic changed. He explored politics from 2015 – 2018 and from 2019 – 2023, he moved to different time slots including 9 – 11 a.m. Monday through Friday and 7 – 9 p.m. Monday through Friday) dealing with love and relationships and other trending topics, before deciding late 2023 to move on from radio to the internet.

Dream Job

Lockett’s guests have included TLC (award-winning, female R & B group out of Atlanta, Georgia composed of Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins, Rozonda “Chili” Thomas and the deceased Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes); Martin Luther King III (human rights activist and philanthropist and son of Martin Luther King, Jr.) and actress Robin Givens (who starred lead alongside Eddie Murphy in the hit movie, ‘Boomerang’) who “came into the studio and was supposed to stay a few minutes and she stayed the whole show (which was an hour long).”

And then, there were national television news appearances.

After a one conversation on his show about former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore (Moore sought the Republican nomination for governor in 2006 and 2010, but lost in the primaries.) Lockett was asked to share his views at the network level.

What started as one conversation on MSNBC, led to five total spots over two days on other television stations including Fox News, but what many don’t know are the sacrifices Lockett made. “For two years, nobody knew where I lived (while I built my radio show),” he said. “I stayed with someone. And nobody knew I had a part-time job…. It was not easy.”

But Lockett says it’s all been worth it as he walks in his dream job, doing what he saw 10 years ago.

And even though he says he “wanted to be those guys like Michael Baisden (award-winning and best-selling author and syndicated radio talk show host), and Steve Harvey, my radio syndication didn’t come the way I thought. It happened through the internet. But I will own 100 percent of my content.”

And for Lockett, he says that’s much better for him.

For others who pursue their dreams, he offers this encouragement based on all that he’s been through.

Lockett says what you get as a result of your hard work will be uniquely yours.  “At the end of the day, what you’re getting (as a result of the work you put into your craft) isn’t going to look like anybody else,” said Lockett.

For more information on his show or to catch the latest episode, visit https://www.facebook.com/joelockettshow/.

Lockett will be hosting a conversation around relationships mid-February. For more information and the latest updates, follow him on TikTok, go to https://www.tiktok.com/@thejoelockettshow?lang=en for updates.

On Facebook, go to https://www.facebook.com/joelockettshow for updates.

On X, go to https://twitter.com/joelockettshow for updates.