Josh Godwin sits behind the controls of a radio station in Alexandria. He is a 2012 graduate of Pine Prairie High School. (Gazette photo by Nancy Duplechain)
Godwin goes from humble beginnings to voice of radio
Turkey Creek native Josh Godwin got his humble start at a small, local radio station. Now he’s the voice of one of the biggest stations in Central Louisiana (CENLA). That’s an accomplishment for any one person, but especially for someone still in their twenties.
A couple of years after his 2012 graduation from Pine Prairie High School, he saw an ad from KVPI which was looking for a part-time DJ, no experience necessary. “Hey, that’s me!” he had said to himself. He got dressed and went to straight to Ville Platte to audition. “I was super nervous.” After a couple of weeks, Mark Layne hired him.
Over the next five years, Josh cut his teeth in the radio business, working as a DJ, learning audio production and sharpening his announcer skills. In the meantime he was going to school at LSUE for business administration, but later transferred to LSUA to get a degree in communications. Eventually, Josh went from part-time to full-time after he graduated from college. Soon, he found himself as the program director.
Josh had only been KVPI’s program director for around six months when, by a twist of fate, he was discovered by CENLA Broadcasting. While filling in for a weekend DJ, Josh’s voice was heard by Taylor Thompson, owner/president/general manager of CENLA Broadcasting. They asked him to go in for an interview and decided to hire him as assistant program director/DJ, starting on the mid-day shift of 93.1 KQID-FM (Q93).
It wasn’t long before several big changes took place at the station, with losing the morning show host, an afternoon DJ, and the program director, and they got a new operations manager. After only being there a few months, Josh found himself as the new program director, and he became the morning show host along with his cohost, Miranda. He took the opportunity and hasn’t looked back. “It was such a big change,” he said. “It was tough. I’m just now settling down.”
While he is grateful for the opportunity he has been given, it did not come without some growing pains. Josh said it was difficult being so young and new and being put into a position of authority over employees who have been in the business far longer. “I’ve learned and I’ve grown a lot here. I was, by far, not the best on-air person, but taking that step to a bigger market, I think it helps you. And you’re with people who’ve done it for so long, and you have no choice but to grow.”
Staff changes were not the only adjustments Josh needed to make. “There’s not much we haven’t been through in these two years I’ve been there. We’ve gone through hurricanes. We’ve gone through a pandemic. All these things ... it’s like a whirlwind. It really has been. It’s been constant craziness. I think once things settle down after this year, and things do go back to normal, we’re going to see how much we’ve grown, even me and Miranda, how much we’ve been through, and we’ll be the better for it.”
Even though Josh is in a larger market now, he is grateful to KVPI for getting his foot in the door of the radio business. “I’m grateful I had the opportunity to learn over there. It’s a great place to start off, if you want to go to school and work there part time. I didn’t know everything when I left there, but I learned a lot just from being there.”
When asked how working at a bigger station differs from working at a small, hometown station, Josh said, “One thing KVPI does well is it’s very local, almost too local to a fault. Over here, it’s not local enough. When I started at Q93, I didn’t have contacts to City Hall or the police department or get news reports if there’s something going on, like a road closure or boil advisory, a festival being cancelled because of a pandemic. I felt like we needed that, not as much as KVPI, but it still needs to be there. That’s one of the things that makes radio still relevant. Local people talking about local stuff.”
Despite the growing pains of moving to a larger market, Josh loves his job and says ‘I’m really happy, and everything’s going well.”