THE CREATOR OF THE HOT MIX 5
Lee Michaels is the person who came up with the idea of forming a DJ team when he was the Program Director for WBMX in the early 80’s.
The five members he chose would become known as The Hot Mix 5 and evolve into some of the most influential mixers and producers in the world. By the way, they were a major factor in igniting and exposing “House Music” to a mass audience under his guidance on 102.7FM WBMX in Chicago. Lee Michaels was named the #1 Urban Program Director of all time by Radio Facts Magazine.
Lee Michaels is a radio icon within the broadcasting industry and one of the most respected radio executives ever. He loves technology and has always been on the cutting edge. He was one of the first programmers in the country to computerize a radio stations playlist. He is now developing a new website and web application that will keep the public informed on new releases in music, movies, technology, and fashion. He is like hip-hop and he won’t stop, look for him to continue being a visionary and innovator.
Here’s a part of his story and legendary career. At the young age of 12, Lee Michaels became a big fan of radio. He had his own radio station broadcasting live from his bedroom by the time he was 15 years old. Shortly after that, while still in high school he got his first opportunity on a commercial radio in his hometown of Norfolk, VA. Because of his love and passion for radio, Lee Michaels knew this would be his career for the rest of his life. Eight years later Lee got a call to work at a major station in St. Louis MO – KATZ-AM where he was the afternoon drive jock and within 6 months he was pulling top ratings and was one of the most popular jocks in town.
Three years later Lee moved to Atlanta GA to work in the record business as a Regional Promotion manager for Mercury Records. Lee covered 6 states in the southeast promoting artists like the Ohio Players, Bachman Turner Overdrive, Styx, and others. It was a great experience for Lee working in the record biz but his heart was still in radio. After working with the Ohio Players on the road for 3 weeks while they toured in the southeast Lee received a call from the Program Director of (99X- WXLO-FM) offing him a job in New York. He had instant success again and every teen in town was tuned in within three months.
Lee was on fire with each new station he worked for as an on-air personality and was in high demand. He’s worked in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago, Charlotte, and Washington DC. Lee Michaels also consulted 16 other stations in cities all over the US. While working in Chicago he organized a handpicked group of DJ’s now known around the world as “The Hot Mix 5”. He is also recognized as a major influence on the music genre “House Music” which is the base for what is known today as EDM.
He was very successful in Chicago as a morning on-air personality and Program Director of WBMX (now WVAZ and WGCI). Lee Michaels programmed both stations to the number one during the 80’s.
He had the same success in San Francisco with KMEL-FM. After leaving KMEL he returned back to Chicago with an incredible offer of two million dollars to Program WBMX. He became radio’s two million dollar man, Lee Michaels made history earning more money as a Program Director than anybody, and that record still stands today.
While still in radio he found a new passion for computers and software. In 1981 he started a computer company CompuOne Network selling and repairing personal computers. By 1997 the company moved into the Internet business as a website design and hosting company. Lee Michaels still owns this company. It is one of the oldest minority-owned hosting companies in America.
Lee Michaels launched an Internet talk network in June 2008 USTalkNetwork.com offering syndicated shows to radio stations.
He has experience in all levels of broadcasting and that is why he is known as iRadio Coach.
PROFESSIONAL AWARDS AND ACHIEVEMENTS
- Program Director of the Year 1984 Young Black Programmers Coalition (YBPC)
- Program Director of the Year 1986 Impact Magazine
- BRE (Black Radio Exclusive) Program Director/Operations Manager 1986, 1988
- While serving as Program Director at WGCI and KMEL, both stations were named station of the Year 1986, 1987 by The Gavin Report
- George Foster Peabody Broadcasting Award 1992 while Chief Operating Officer at KJLH-FM
- Inducted into The St Louis Media Hall of Fame 2016
- Received over twenty-five (25) Gold/Platinum Records from the recording industry