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YHN Network Anchor J. Holland retiring after 50-year broadcast career

2024 has been a big year for legends to announce their retirement. First, it was former University of Alabama Coach Nick Saban, followed by radio icons Rick & Bubba. Now, another power player is hanging up the headphones. Veteran Alabama radio broadcaster, J. Holland, will sign off with his signature booming voice later this month after having been on the air in the Yellowhammer state for 50 years. 

Listeners across Alabama hear Holland on a daily basis as the afternoon news anchor on YHN Network: a news network that is heard on more than 25 radio stations. 

YHN Network is owned and operated by YHN Media Group, LLC., the parent company of Yellowhammer News. Commemorating Holland’s achievement, Yellowhammer News President Ellis Terry said, “On behalf of YHN Media Group, LLC, we want to congratulate J. Holland on his retirement. He is an icon in Alabama broadcasting and has made such an impact over the last 50 years. We are grateful for his service to Yellowhammer News.”

(J. Holland working at WERC in Birmingham)

Holland’s career in radio started in his hometown of Dalton, Georgia at WTTI-AM in 1973. He came to Alabama to attend Jacksonville State University, where he worked at the legendary college radio station WLJS “92-J.” Early in his career, Holland was part of the pioneering WQEN-FM “Q-104” in Gadsden, which went on to be known as 103.7 “The Q” in Birmingham. He also worked at numerous other radio stations including WGAD-AM, WGSV-AM, WAAX-AM, WERC-AM, WVNN-AM, WKLS-FM, WHMA-AM and FM, WKXX-FM, WJBY-AM, WELR-FM, and others. Minus a brief stint as an evening television news anchor at WJXS – TV24 in Anniston, J. Holland has always been, and will always be, a self-proclaimed “radio guy.” 

In the 1990s, Holland took his signature sound to talk radio. He hosted the first conservative talk show on WAAX-AM 570 “The Big WAAX” in Gadsden. Holland said “the station had just flipped from country music and callers would repeatedly call asking to hear George Jones or Travis Tritt.” Meanwhile, Holland was talking about Newt Gingrich and his contract with America. Holland takes pride in educating listeners and feels he played a small part in the “Republican Revolution” of 1994. From WAAX in Gadsden, he went on to host popular talk shows on Huntsville’s 770 WVNN and News Radio 960 WERC in Birmingham during the early 2000s.

(J. Holland)

Since 2015, Holland has anchored network news for YHN Network. The radio landscape has changed in the 50 years since Holland did his first radio broadcast – there is no longer a drive to a radio station. Technology allows him to sit in his state-of-the-art home studio, located in a picturesque historic home in downtown Gadsden. From there he broadcasts to the entire state of Alabama.

Fellow YHN Network Anchor Elisabeth Chramer commends Holland on an impressive radio career. “No list of Alabama’s most iconic broadcasters is complete without J. Holland. J. brings decades of expertise to his passion for Alabama’s communities. I’ve worked with no one else as committed to their craft.”

In retirement, Holland will be spending more time with his beloved family and traveling with his wife Marcia. The couple will soon celebrate 46 years of marriage. Together, they have three grown children and eight grandchildren. Being a highly sought-after voiceover talent, Holland will still be heard on radio and TV: He records commercials for various companies across the southeast and serves as the promo voice for the ETWN Global Catholic Network.

(J. Holland)

Serving as his news director and anchoring alongside him has been a true honor. Radio without J. Holland is hard to imagine – he is like family to me. As a child, I would listen to him on the way to school and, at 17, I began my career anchoring news for his talk show at the Big WAAX in Gadsden. J. has been a friend and mentor my entire career. He may be retiring from the daily news grind, but I know he will always be a phone call away.

When asked what he would like to say to his listeners over the past 50 years, Holland said “A big ‘thank you!’ I’ve been highly rated everywhere I’ve been. How do you say thanks to that?” In closing out our conversation, he added a quote from General Douglas MacArthur, “old soldiers never die, they just fade away.” 

If you would like to send J. Holland a message of thanks as he heads into retirement, listeners can reach him directly at [email protected].

Scott Chambers is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News. He is the News Director and Senior Anchor for the YHN Radio Network. @ScottChambers

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