TheRoots.FM staff is comprised of dedicated volunteers who are proud to support such a worthwhile organization.
Please send any of us an email, we'd love to hear from you! (general inquiries should go to John)
John M Stephens, Founder, TheRoots.FM
John brings a 40 +year background in media management and entrepreneurial experience to The Roots.FM.
John’s media career started at the St. Louis Post Dispatch in the 1970s. In the 1980s John moved on to CBS Television and later NW AYER, an advertising agency in NYC. John’s final position before going into business for himself was as VP of Marketing at the St. Louis Regional Commerce and Growth association. There he created a regional marketing program called “I’m Sold on St. Louis.”
In 1991 John founded Media Pulse, Inc in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1995 INC Magazine honored Media Pulse as one of the fastest growing high-tech companies in the USA. The St. Louis Business Journal honored Media Pulse as one of the 20 fastest growing high-tech companies in St. Louis. Seven years later he sold the business to the Observer Group AB in Stockholm, Sweden.
In 2005 John founded Pulse Productions, an Emmy Award winning video production company and Caption Midwest, a closed captioning service.
In 2016 founded TheRoots.FM with a simple goal of becoming the finest Internet radio station in the country. Playing a unique blend of 1960s and 70s Free Form Album Rock, “The Roots” went on to be honored 3 times as the best music radio station in St. Louis, MO.
It’s hard for me to believe that in September 2021, (I forget the exact date) will mark my 50th year in this crazy business.
It all began in 1971 but, I don't really count those days as I was in the learning process and my first job, found me playing Sinatra, Dino, Ray Coniff, Johnny Mathis, Percy Faith Etc. I literally was run out of Fulton, Mo. by the former sheriff. Needless to say, I left a cloud of dust in my rear view mirror and headed home to St.Louis.
In my mind, it really all began at K-SHE in March of 1973. I began programming radio in 1977 and have done so ever since. Remember WMRY?
In 1980, I landed at the legendary KMET in Los Angeles, working alongside some of the biggest names in the business. Mary "The Burner" Turner, Jim Laad (now on Serious XM), Jeff Gonzer, Paraquat Kelly, Ace Young, David Perry, Cynthia Fox, Chuck Randall and Dr. Dimento with Weird Al Yankovich.
When the opportunity to program The Roots arose, I saw the opportunity to resurrect "the old K-SHE". Free form and playing thousands of cuts, not hundreds and not just the rock genre but Blues, Jazz Fusion, Country Rock, Folk and so on.
Apparently, judging by the success of the station, I made the right decision. Gotta tell ya, programming to the world is quite the challenge.
As I approach my 50th anniversary, I pray that I can continue to please the people for a long time to come. Believe it or not, It's just as much fun now and it was back then, maybe even more.
Charlie is a husband, father of three, and Roots FM volunteer. Charlie manages the Roots social media efforts and promotions. He also hosts various shows on The Roots, including the Friday Happy Hour.
In his professional life, Charlie is a Vice President for a Fortune 10 company. He grew up in the St. Louis area but now resides in Texas.
I've programmed and hosted 60's-70's rock radio shows since 1999. I've also been collecting and enjoying all this great music
since it was new. The crazy thing is that I've worked on air at several big St. Louis commercial radio stations that mostly
play “adult pop hits” and even “top 40”. I know it sounds dull and you're right, the music was literally awful but it was
still fun. That being said, I decided that life is too short to spend time spinning top 40 music so I walked away.
I started out as a dedicated Roots listener. Every time I turned the station on I would think “I could work there and I'd fit right in”. My voice of reason would say “nope, you're too busy!” After about 3 months of listening, my will broke and I reached out to John Stephens to see if he'd answer back and shockingly he did! Sometimes you make room for things that you believe in!
When I'm not working at theRoots.FM, I'm usually out on my bicycle or working out at the gym. As John Stephens jokingly says, “I'm in training for the Olympics”!
Bill’s radio career dates back to the 70’s while hosting late night free form “progressive underground” and top 40 shows on AM and FM stations in Norman, Tulsa, Broken Arrow and Lawton, Oklahoma. In 1984 Bill moved to St. Louis to continue a career outside of radio but in 2016 he found his way back to radio as a weekend member of the original ROOTS air staff. Since 2018 Bill has been doing weekends at St. Louis’s K-WULF 101.7fm, Rock and Americana format. Bill really enjoys the ROOTS Free Form Album Rock format which allows for the creativity that was enjoyed years ago. When not working at radio Bill enjoys spending time with his wife, Judy, their adult children and grandkids. In addition you can always find Bill browsing used record shops or guitar stores as he continues to add to his collections. Bill is thrilled to back at the ROOTS on Saturday nights playing the greatest music ever recorded!
Celebrating 29 years on the air that began in 1992 on August 23rd at KYMC at Maryville College in Town and Country, Mo. where I produced and hosted a 3 hour show called, "The Ultimate Vision” til December of 1996.
I came on board at KCLC as the host of the metal show called, “The Concrete Expressway” (Hard, Heavy and Fast Rock and Metal) from Midnight til 2am. In January of 1997 I moved to the 7pm –10pm slot.
Later, in January of 1999 I became the Music Director/Producer of Crossroads 6 hour Rock Show, continuing to host 7pm-10pm. I am currently hosting 8pm-Midnight in 2021.
Over the years we have reported our songs to charts run by CCM, Progressive Air Journal, Pure Rock Report, Radio and Records, Billboard and Christian Music Weekly. I was the Music Director of KCLC HD2 “The Experience” from May of 2016-November of 2019.
I met with John Stephens in January of 2021 and started the night shift Monday and Friday 7pm-11pm and Tuesday-Thursday 6pm-11pm.
Jeff is a 35 year veteran of the music business, from professional drummer to gold & platinum recording engineer / producer in Memphis.
Looking for a change, Jeff got into radio by chance after being offered the job of developing the Wal-Mart Worldwide Radio Network. Not only the program director and on-air personality, also new content developer. Still in the music business, just in different ways these days.
Phil started his career in broadcast engineering and radio production. During the 80’s the broadcast engineering field was shrinking and Phil moved over to IT, which he spent the last 32 years building a successful vocation. With his IT skill set he has volunteered to help TheRoots.FM revamp and modernize their web site. Given his long time love for radio, this a great way for him to give back. Phil is also hosting the Sunday morning 10:00am till 12:00pm (Central) time slot.