Joe Ernest began his 30-year radio career with a sales position at KTFM after graduating from Southwest Texas State University in 1972. After nine successful years in the sales department, Joe was promoted to Vice-President and General Manager of KTSA and KTFM in 1981.
Although his background was sales, Joe had the head and the heart of a programmer. He would oversee the stations’ successful ratings transitions through the changing contemporary music formats of the 80s and 90s. He also championed the decision to move KTSA to News-Talk in 1992.
Joe also understood the value of strong on-air promotions, ‘up-front’ involvement in local events and initiatives, and aggressive local news coverage. Known for fostering a creative atmosphere and recognizing the power of diversity, Joe led KTSA and KTFM to sustained national acclaim.
He often said what he valued most was the opportunity to have worked with some of San Antonio’s greatest broadcast legends and many up-and-coming talents.
Joe also made major contributions to the City of San Antonio, including the annual Christmas lighting of the Riverwalk and the design of the Spurs Fiesta logo. After his retirement from radio in 2002, Joe and his wife Theresa started Red Bird Direct, a successful direct mail advertising company.
Joe passed away in July 2020.
SAN ANTONIO RADIO HALL OF FAME