Trevecca graduate Cole Johnson didn’t spend months developing the idea for his first podcast. It was born in an instant.
“I developed the idea for the podcast five years ago without really knowing it,” Johnson said. “My wife was doing a radio show and needed a two-minute sports segment. She said, ‘You know sports.’ And she gave me 30 minutes to come up with the concept.”
Johnson finished the segment, but couldn’t get the idea out of his head. What if this could become a full-fledged podcast? After four years of mulling over the concept, Johnson took action. Cole Sportz became a reality in January 2016.
“One cold Nashville January morning I decided to just simply talk about sports, and it has been one incredible ride ever since,” Johnson said. “[Cole Sportz] is a place where news, comedy, entertainment and intellect and sometimes education all intersect in the sports world.”
Since its inception, Cole Sportz has been well received. The podcast is available on Apple podcasts—where it’s received a five-star rating—as well as Google Play, Stitcher and at colesportz.com. It’s also been picked up IHeartRadio.
“I do segments and skits and try to mix in so many different elements of what I’ve seen in comedy, what I’ve seen in entertainment as a whole, what I’ve heard on the radio, seen in movies and sometimes, what I’ve heard in church,” Johnson said. “I try to combine all of that into this 30-minute sonic sandwich and mix it with music. What I’ve discovered is, yeah, it’s a sports show, but there are a lot of non-sports people who love what I do, and I’m floored by that.”
Johnson fell in love with the storytelling aspect of podcasts. As he interviewed more and more guests for Cole Sportz, Johnson began to recognize a desire to tackle topics and ideas that wouldn’t fit the format of his first podcast. So, he launched Revelations in August. Johnson’s second podcast is centered on conversations, which he hopes can “change the world one conversation at a time.”
“It’s a beautiful thing when someone can say, ‘I can relate to your struggle,‘’ Johnson said. “Revelations is about these kinds of conversations, about how humanity grows. I recently interviewed a woman in western Pennsylvania, and she talked about her upbringing and it was similar to mine. I felt like I had an ally. I’ve discovered that I like that. I want to seek more of it.”
Johnson says his experience in Trevecca’s Bachelor of Arts in management and human relations (MHR) program was instrumental in helping him find his passion for communicating and connecting with others.
“When I was going through the MHR program, we would do oral exercises in front of our classmates,” Johnson said.” I would get encouraged a lot by my professors and cohorts. They’d say, ‘There’s something about you! This is something you really need to do as a career.’”
Someday, Johnson hopes that podcasting will be more than a hobby. He’s already started his own audio production company, COMI Productions, to help others create professional quality audio and is looking to expand the reach of Cole Sportz.
“I’m looking for national syndication and sponsors,” Johnson said, “with an eye toward this not being straight up a hobby. I’m not sure yet where I want to go with Revelations, but I definitely want Cole Sportz to go on a bigger platform.”
You can listen and subscribe to both of Johnson’s podcasts on a variety of platforms, including Apple Podcasts, Google Play and Stitcher. You can learn more about his audio production company at comiproductions.com. Learn more about Trevecca’s MHR program here.