Geo’s Special Gordon Zlot Blog. 7/24/18

Mr. Businessman says a lot of distasteful things but the line I despise the most is when he says, “I’m going to have to let you go but it’s not personal, it’s only business.” What the f*ck is not personal about being fired? I think these guys make this sh*t up hoping we won’t hit them. Thankfully, all businessmen are not created equal and one of the better ones lives in Santa Rosa California. His name is Gordon Zlot and he deservedly is about to be inducted into the Bay Area Radio Hall Of Fame. (Gordon pictured on top with his favorite dog, Molly)
Gordon, a young engineer at the time, built his very own FM Station in Santa Rosa California and launched it in April of 1971 as KZST. Not only did KZST become successful very quickly, but today it’s still known as “The Big One” in Sonoma County. Since he launched KZST he has added four more stations to his roster in Santa Rosa. I didn’t know Gordon back then because I was still in Canada working for Ted Rogers who once told me, “In order for someone to become more successful than they already are, sometimes they have to leave behind the people who made them successful. Gordon Zlot totally disagrees with Ted’s philosophy and in fact, believes the exact opposite. Gordon believes that you always stick with the ones that brung ya!
About 30 years ago, Gordon and his crew, GM Tom Skinner, and PD/ Morning Man Brent Farris visited me in Coronado where we came up with a way for us to all work together and I’m proud to say that we still do. In fact, whenever I visit Santa Rosa now, it feels like I’m going home.
I’ve worked for a lot of radio companies over the years but I assure you that none are run like Gordon run’s his. I assure you. How foreign does this sound, he pays his people well, they have the finest equipment available to work with, which they do out of a super modern facility. They also have profit sharing, a good health plan, plus a great pension plan that Gordon fully funds.
He’s has had many opportunities over the years to sell his stations for a huge profit, but I would venture to guess that he didn’t do it because of his staff. He didn’t believe that the people who were pursuing his stations would take care of the staff, so he didn’t sell. Even though his stations run pretty fat, Gordon still manages to have two beautiful homes, one in Santa Rosa and another in Palm Springs which he travels to in his own jet which he flies himself. Knowing Gordon as I do, to him, this is not just business, it’s very personal! Here’s to the newest member of the Bay Are Broadcasters Hall Of Fame, Gordon Zlot.


Sometimes when you hold out for the very best, that’s exactly what you get.

My writing goal has always been to write something profound in a simple manner. So far all that’s shown up is the simple part.

According to publisher Jerry Del Colliano, the time to stop chasing your dream is never.

Movie star Sophia Loren says that sex appeal is 50% about what you have, and 50% about what others think you have.

Radio guy Brent Farris claims that Lions don’t lose much sleep worrying about the opinions of Sheep.

My Daughter Cami signs so I was excited to tell her that I had just learned that the huddle used in football was invented by a deaf school’s coach who wanted to hide the signing from the opposing teams. She said, “I know daddy, and I also know that the coach’s name was Mr. Huddle. 

It’s never been about the money, it’s always been about the product. If it was about money, who could be more focused on it than today’s radio’s leaders, and they can’t even pay the rent.

Unfortunately, the only radio promotions that work, are the ones the air talent like.

No matter what Nielsen’s PPM device says, mornings are still the most listened to radio daypart.

Women lose most of their power when we no longer desire them. Men lose theirs when we run out of money.

If you want to appeal to 30 something Women, you have to look and act like you’d make a wonderful Father. However, by all means, wear a condom, women in their thirties tend to forget about birth control.

HBO’s “Game Of Thrones” has everything, sex, violence, nudity, adult situations, adult talk, great actors and great scripts. It’s gotta be the perfect series, what the hell else could you possibly want?

Is the reason Bernie Madoff is one of the very few Wallstreeters in jail because he stole from the 1%ers instead of the 99%ers like the rest of them do.

It takes a lot of courage for a person to apologize.

The closer to death you are the more alive you feel

I’m always hearing that Social Security is about to run out but I never hear that about Welfare?

Don’t you just hate the part when you’re in the middle of a very intense argument and you realize that you’re wrong?

How come Asians never whine about their life or demand special privileges? What the hell’s the matter with them, don’t they realize that they live in America?

My Father Sandy Johns always advised me to stay away from the bad girls which made no sense to me back then but unfortunately, I now totally understand.

However, is there is there anything more powerful than a beautiful bad girl walking into the room?

If you’ve ever wondered whether or not you’re crazy you’re not, don’t worry about it. Crazy people never have crazy thoughts about that.

Red Sox have won 71 and still have the best record in baseball.

#Geo’sBlog above is about #GordonZlot and my #LifeLiners amongst other things are about #Money #BernieMadoff and #GameOfThrones above. Much more about everything else is @ On Twitter@GeoOfTheRadio. Sharing and commenting is appreciated.


16 thoughts on “Geo’s Special Gordon Zlot Blog. 7/24/18

  1. Well said Brent. It sort of puts it all in perspective regarding one’s position in life. Too many lions, or people who think they are, these days.

  2. Well, George, a mere six lines after you typed about not having been profound yet, you were. SO true about promotions and air talent.

      • And I loved your comment on “not personal, but business” too. My nine years as successful morning drive guy at KOOL Phoenix ended with my SEVENTH GM (really) calling me into the conference room and saying “I didn’t get much sleep this weekend, since I have to tell talented people like you that I can’t afford to keep you.” I’m thinking, “Wait, I’m getting canned, and I’m supposed to be concerned for YOU that you didn’t sleep well this weekend?” By the way, during the time of my SEVEN GM’s, Tom Skinner was ALWAYS the GM at KZST!

        • In the over 25 years I have been going up there Bill, Tom skinner has always been the GM and Brent Farris has always been the Morning Man. Great station, fun to hang out at.

  3. There’s a great radio connection to the story of he origin of the football huddle. Twenty some years ago I was driving in the U.S. during afternoon drive time and Paul Harvey came on with his “The Rest of the Story” during which he’d tell a story, leaving out one crucial fact until he brought it to a climax.

    He spoke about the origin of the football huddle. He told us that back in the late 1800s when there was no grass on the field, one quarterback started gathering his team together a few yards away from the line of scrimmage. He would use a stick to sketch the play in the dirt, and then when leaving the huddle, the players would scuff up the dirt so the defense wouldn’t see what they were planning to do.

    Now football is played on well manicured grass, and even expensive artificial grass. It has been a hundred years now, since that first recorded football huddle. It happened first at Gallaudet University. (then Paul’s impeccably timed pause….)

    For the deaf.

  4. My reaction to your comment, “No matter what PPM says the truth is that mornings are still the most listened to Radio daypart”… AMEN! People grab the device out of the charger on the way out the door! (Even so, your former baby is still rocking mornings in PDX).

  5. Mornings is the most listened day part, but I wonder if TSL has shortened over the past 20 years in some markets. I begin a morning show in two weeks on an AM sports talk station. I have not been on a regular morning radio in 15 years. The first thing I did, upon accepting the job, was remember two things George told me 40 years ago: “The word You connects in a personal way. Say You every time you open the mic,” and “We have a license to broadcast. We do not have a license to bore.”

    • Bob PPM is right and wrong. First of all it is missing probably a half hour of listening each morning but what it did right was show us that people didn’t listen to their favorite morning show as often as we thought so the combination has brought morning ratings down significantly.

  6. Gordon and I grew up in Vallejo and both started working at a 250 watt daytime, KGYW/KNBA when we were 12 and 13. I was more interested in on-air work; he was more interested in engineering, although he did on-air work as well. Even at that age he built a carrier current station at home and we broadcast to the neighborhood from his bedroom. No one deserves the Hall of Fame induction more than Gordon.

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