James G Johnson II (born August 5, 1977), is an American Publisher, Journalist, and Entrepreneur from Cleveland, Ohio. In addition to his work in Journalism and Publishing, he has also devoted time in his career to both radio, television, and healthcare.
James first stepped into the world of entertainment via Radio One. Beginning as an intern in the Promotions department, he soon worked his way up to a position as Promotions Assistant. Within two years, he made a transition to television. He worked 4 months as an intern in Community Relations before becoming a Production Assistant for WKYC TV-3, the Cleveland, Ohio affiliate of NBC.
James went on to launch his first digital presence, Urban Connectionz Online, in March 2003. The blog, which initially started as a fan page for local group Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, became a popular source for entertainment news and exclusive interviews. Throughout the coming year, he would interview an enormous list of urban music's biggest and brightest artists. Urban Connectionz Online became a go-to brand when it came to artists being promoted online. In 2013, the company was rebranded as Urban Grandstand Digital. In May 2014, James transitioned from blogging to publishing a full-scale digital magazine with U.G. Digital Mag. Building a small effective team, Urban Grandstand Digital has covered some of the industry’s biggest events, including the BET Awards, the Soul Train Awards, the Stellar Awards, MTV's SXSW, and more. More recently, James traveled to New Orleans, Louisiana to provide media coverage for the annual Essence Festival.
In 2015, James made Urban Grandstand Digital's [UGD] first official expansion, launching J-Rock Management and Publicity. Through J-Rock, he began managing the careers of artists, while also offering publicity services to various clients. Since adding J-Rock, James has made additional expansions, adding Mixtape Gateway, Scribe's Block, and an all-new magazine titled "the ENTERTAINMENT plug".
In addition to James’ work in the media and publishing worlds, he has also worked the past 15 years in the healthcare field. During his time in healthcare, James has managed multiple healthcare facilities, and has consistently managed staff ranging from 30-50 employees.
After being offered a chance opportunity, James launched UGD Live in 2014, broadcasting briefly on-air via Voice It Radio in Cleveland, Ohio. In November 2015, he officially moved the UGD Live brand to Source Radio Network, continuing his weekly broadcast. He also began hosting Indie Soul Saturdays in July 2015, an additional weekly broadcast geared at promoting up and coming talent and artists. In July 2016, James launched a third brand in radio, titled Citywatch. Broadcast in Cleveland, Ohio via Urban City Radio Station, the show focuses on promoting the hottest things happening in the city of Cleveland, as well as local artists and celebrities traveling through the city.
Brands of Urban Grandstand Digital Media & Publishing
U.G. Digital Magazine: The flagship publication of our brand, shining a light of positivity on musicians, entertainers, entrepreneurs, and more within the urban community.
the ENTERTAINMENT plug: Your midwest connection to the entertainment industry. Offering solid, respectful, and professional journalism that spotlights all aspects of the entertainment world.
J-Rock Management & Publicity: A full-service PR and management firm, specializing in the entertainment and publishing worlds
Mixtape Gateway: Your midwest connection to the latest mixtape and artist exclusive releases
Indie Soul Saturdays: Broadcast via Source Radio Network, Indie Soul Saturdays is one of the first of it's kind, specializing in promoting the world's best independent talent.
Citywatch Radio: Broadcast via Urban City Radio Station, Citywatch is a video-styled podcast featuring entertainment and entrepreneurial guests from around the greater Cleveland area, as well as celebrity talent who are in the city for business & events.
UGD Live: Broadcast via Source Radio Network, UGD Live connects the listener with their favorite celebrities
Scribe's Block: Still in the stage of early launch, Scribe's Block will serve as a network of communicators, journalists (both aspiring and established), and writers designed to help each other succeed in this industry. Too often, those looking to venture into this business and line of work, and those who are slowly becoming a part of this world, struggle to find adequate experience due to a lack of prior work. Together, we will be a community that will work to usher more in and assist each other in gaining work and experience.
National Association of Black Journalists: 2012 - Present
Greater Cleveland Association of Black Journalists: 2016 - Present
Greater Cleveland Urban Film Festival: 2016
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