Longtime Tampa radio personality finds new ways to navigate changing industry
LUTZ, Fla. - A Tampa radio personality is finding new ways to entertain listeners on the air, and he has no plans to sign off. He's using new technology to navigate the changing business of broadcasting.
Mason Dixon's familiar voice has been on Tampa Bay area airwaves since 1978, but he was recently let go by Q-105.
READ: Having a merry Christmas was a triumph for struggling families, thanks to Metropolitan Ministries
"It’s not what I wanted," Dixon said. "I enjoyed what we were doing, but I understand what’s happening with the bean counters and everything else and radio stations are cutting back on live shows."
He’s a young looking and sounding 73-year-old, but like many other people these days, he’s finding new ways to continue to work.
Dixon can be found in front of his microphone at his home in Lutz playing Christian hits on 102.1 and 105.1 or, with the press of a few keys, "Mason Dixon’s 80s, the 80s and more live here," he said.
MORE: Strangers road trip from Tampa to Cleveland after canceled flight, TikTok's go viral
He's running multiple radio stations and radio shows from his home.
"I have the two low power FM’s that run my Christian hit music station, and then we stream Mason Dixon Generation 80s, and we’re about to put together a four-hour, syndicated weekend show," he said.
Dixon brings up a map on a computer screen that shows where people are who are listening to his streaming station.
"Saudi Arabia, Africa, the Philippines, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, you see these little dots all over the place," he laughed.
READ: Could fish be making the mystery sound heard around South Tampa?
While others are retiring, Dixon is leveraging his years of unique access to musical stars, including Amy Grant, Donny and Marie Osmond. He said he got on the same wavelength with those stars by being who he is.
"I didn’t do a Barbara Walters interview, like, ‘If you were a tree what kind of tree would you be?’" He laughed. "I did a Mason Dixon like ‘What kind of car do you drive?"
It could be perfect material for a podcast, and that’s in the works too. Dixon has no plans to retire, and he said he keeps working, because he loves radio.
"I love being able to communicate with people," Dixon said.