Not only is Pastor Jonathan A. Mason pouring into our people with the gospel, but he’s taking entrepreneurship to the next level. Now the owner of six radio stations and two newspapers is still building his platform. No, he isn’t finished, he’s just beginning. As a pastor, speaker, entrepreneur, and local change agent, that is his ministry. He takes it as a personal duty and obligation to teach men and women how to build generational wealth, especially within communities of color. He humbly lives by, “To God be the glory for the things he has done!” Check out his story below as Pastor opens up to The Quintessential Gentleman about his upbringing, his experience, and his biggest hope with his work.
Who is Jonathan A. Mason?
Jonathan A. Mason is Rev. Lee Mason, Jr. and Mrs. Eunice Mason’s baby boy! He’s a Pastor, an entrepreneur, a social-activist but most importantly a family man, and a child of God.
Did you always want to be a businessman and entrepreneur, even as a youngster?
No, not at all. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a WWF Wrestler. I wanted to be just like “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. I quickly realized that dream was simply not meant to be. Once I realized that I focused on grades and football. I ended up receiving a football scholarship to Norfolk State University. There, I majored in mass communication and journalism. It was there that I started to develop a passion for media. After graduation in May of 1995, I went to work for WFOG FM and 94.9 The Point in Norfolk. Just under three years into my radio career, I moved to 92.3 K-Rock Radio in New York, home of the Howard Stern Show. Looking back over a 20-year career, I’m thankful that I learned the skills necessary to advance to executive leadership and then move into business ownership.
With 20 years of experience in the radio industry, how did you end up now owning 6 radio stations and embarking on that path in media?
My Dad was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer in 2008. In 2010, his health began to decline. It was at that time that I renewed my membership with my home church, Northeast Baptist. I traveled 90 miles each way from my home in East Orange, New Jersey to help him. When Dad transitioned from labor to reward in November of 2014, the church called me as their pastor. I knew I’d be unable to work 10 hours a day in New York and grow a church in Philadelphia. So, on May 8th, 2015, I resigned my position as the General Sales Manager of 77 WABC and Radio 103.9 to start JAM Media Solutions, LLC. JAM started as an advertising agency, servicing some of the most recognizable advertisers on radio and TV. The company expanded quickly. In January of 2018, I started to look for ways to expand the company. It made sense for me to look at radio ownership since that is the business I was in for 20 years. Ten months later, I am now the proud owner of four stations and one digital newspaper in the Outer Banks of North Carolina and two stations and a traditional newspaper in Muscatine, Iowa. These are our first acquisitions. There will be more.
Talk about being a Pastor and how it is intertwined with every aspect of your journey.
I was called to do the Lord’s work in 2005. At first, I ran, I did everything I could to avoid becoming a minister. When I stopped running, the Lord started blessing! The business ventures, pursuing my education, the entrepreneurship, becoming president of THE greatest fraternity in the land, Phi Beta Sigma, Inc., has prepared me for ministry. Conversely, my ministry has helped me grow and become more successful in my business ventures.
What is generational wealth and why is it important?
To me, generational wealth is about breaking the cycle of poverty and uplifting us as a people. It’s important for us as a community to give our young people a head start in life. Other people of different races and backgrounds do this all of the time. It’s time that we make saving and financial literacy a priority.
What steps are you taking toward building generational for you and your family?
The most basic thing is to pay yourself first. That’s key! I invest in the stock market, mutual funds and have purchased real estate. In addition, I educate my children and have taught them the value of money. Jonathan and Jackson have to earn their money. They also have to manage their bank accounts and make deposits. We must give our children a hand up and not a handout.
What is your biggest hope doing the work that you do every day?
If I can help one person, if I can redirect one person’s life, that’s the goal. All of the work that I do, the ministry, Camp New Joy, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., is all for the chance to positively impact a young person’s life. All I do is try to help as many people as I can.
What do you think the future of radio is, and what is your goal for it?
Many people predicted the death of radio. They were predicting the death of radio way back in 1995 when I started my career. We will die before radio dies! Radio will always be around. The key is programming radio for the new generation. It’s all about providing relevant content and ease of access. That’s our focus.
What would you tell a future businessman/quintessential gentleman?
My advice is to find someone to mentor. Whatever success we have achieved in life, we achieved with the help of others. It’s our responsibility to give back to the youth and guide them to success. Our young people need guidance. Mentoring our youth will ensure that they are granted a seat at the table. For, until every child has a seat at the table of success, none of us do.