No matter where you live in the United States, you’ve probably heard Johnjay Van Es talking over the airwaves. The morning show host from the Johnjay & Rich show is heard across the country with listeners tuning in weekday mornings on their local station or via the 24-hour channel on iHeartRadio. But it’s right here in the Valley where Van Es, a Valley native, broadcasts live from the KISS FM 104.7 FM studios in town from 5:30-10 am, along with Rich Berra and Kyle Unfug.
What drew you to radio?
Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to be on the radio. There is nothing like it! Where else can you share your life, interact with people, laugh together, cry together and grow up together?
Tell us about your current show.
Our show is basically pop culture whiplash! Whatever is going on in the world of pop culture, we’re on it! Relationships, entertainment, pets…
What do you love most about it?
Meeting the people who listen to the show and when they talk about things they’ve heard and how those things made them feel. I LOVE IT!
What is your least favorite part?
Getting up early and missing taking my kids to school in the morning, which is why I try to pick them up from school every day.
Can you explain #LoveUp and #LovePup?
#LoveUp is an accidental movement I started because of an autocorrect text exchange from my friend, Kurt Warner. He said, “love it,” and it changed to “love up”—and the phenomenon was born!
#LoveUp is a way to remind people to pay it forward and spread the love. It’s a mindset to try and do nice things for people every day, and it has caught on!
#LovePup is a foundation my wife and I started to rescue puppies and dogs. So far we’ve rescued almost 1,000 dogs and puppies and found them new fur-ever homes! To view those that are available visit www.lovepupfoundation.org, and you can see the puppies on my Instagram: @johnjayvanes.
You are involved in so many causes. You also have a foundation that helps kids, right?
Yes, anything with kids; kids deserve to be happy all the time. Currently our foundation [Johnjay and Rich Care for Kids Foundation] is helping kids in the foster care system. There are more than 18,000 kids in the foster care system in Arizona, and we’re trying to find them all homes. Yes, ALL of them!
Let’s talk Phoenix…what are some of your favorite spots?
I LOVE Orangetheory Fitness in Paradise Valley! Also, I love my man cave in my house, the view from Camelback Mountain, walking to breakfast on the weekends, Bikram Yoga AZ, the new movie theater at Scottsdale Fashion Square [Harkins Camelview at Fashion Square] is fantastic, riding bikes with my family on the Indian Bend Wash Greenbelt, watching my kids play baseball at Big League Dreams, walking around the Phoenix Zoo, taking my boys to [a Arizona] Cardinals game, catching an outdoor concert with my wife at Ak-Chin Pavilion, and taking a nighttime stroll at Scottsdale Quarter.
Any favorite local restaurants?
What do you like to do in your downtime—if there is any?
I love, love, love to hang out at home with my family and our six rescue dogs, watch a family movie or hang out in my man cave and watch TV.