Years ago when I had an AC format called Class/Classy FM on a bunch of stations in North America, one of them was WMAG in the Carolinas. The station did well, but things change, and at some point, I moved on.
However, as fate would have it, years later the owners of WMAG who spent their winters in West Palm Beach got in contact with me again. It seems that they spent a fair amount of time down here listening to WRMF and wanted to know if I was still involved. When I told them that I was, they wanted to know if I thought I could make WMAG sound like WRMF? When I told them that I would enjoy trying, we put a deal together. and I headed for the Triads to meet with Ivan Braiker, WMAG’s GM. (pictured above)
Now the good news was that I already knew Ivan from back in the day when we were competitors in Indy, so when the owners marched me into his office and said, “Hey Ivan, we got you, George Johns, he’s gonna put his magic, back on Magic,” it was like old home week. Ivan was great to work with and before long we had all of WRMF’s bells and whistles on the air so I went back home to West Palm Beach.
Several weeks later though, the owners once again marched into Ivan’s office, but this time they said, “We just got back from West Palm Beach and Magic doesn’t sound anything like WRMF. You need to go down there and listen to them for a few days and then tell us why we don’t sound like that?
Ivan spent three lonely days on the beach drinking Mojitos as he listened to WRMF and made notes. When he returned to the Triads, he met with the owners who asked, “Did you hear WRMF’s magic and can you tell us why our Magic doesn’t have that magical sound? I did hear it, Ivan replied, and I know exactly why it’s not on WMAG. We play the same music as WRMF, our air talent uses the same on-air style as they do, our news and traffic reports are very similar and we use the same jingles and promo voice as they do. However, you’re right, we sound nothing like them because George John’s magic is not what he does, it’s what he doesn’t do.
Kids haven’t changed, parenting has changed.
The only way our exorbitant health costs gets solved is when the Hospitals, Doctors, Nurses, Drug Companies, Insurance Agencies, the Government and the people all cooperate with each other.
There are a lot of reasons why you shouldn’t do something but you’re only one good reason away from why you should.
The only reason I’m pissed today is that I feel like creating and I’m always more creative when I’m pissed.
Why do women always look so good in a plain black cocktail dress?
How come when you’re a little be overweight people always tell you how healthy you look but when you’re in the best shape of your life, they think you’re dying of Cancer?
How come when talking to black guys about sports with a black guy they only remember great black players whereas I remember them all?
I think until an NFL coach is half as good as Belichick, they should have to give up that arrogant “all-knowing” look on their face.
My folks lived through the tail end of World War I, the Depression, World War II, and the only dropping of the Atomic Bomb. What the hell are we whining about?
Loving a certain style of music only works if you’re a musician, it doesn’t work if you’re a PD.
Why would you ever stop doing what you’re good at?
Tim Moore: What Micky created, Cumulus wrecked in record time. A group that couldn’t take “yes” for an answer.
I had the fun of moderating at R& R’s last News Talk Conference in LA. Mickey was on my panel–a fellow Michigan guy by origin. He put his life into KGO.
“Smoking wreckage” might be too soft. (Radio Rants)
Moto: Radio is dead. I think you boys missed the story. It was a few years ago and it received little notice. Few cared and more laughed at its demise. It had become such an awful entertainment venue, more of a dead skunk in the middle of the road, a putrid roadkill carcass. Deregulation was listed as the cause of death, with boring musical formats and even more boring personalities listed as contributing factors. The fact of its timely demise is hardly worth writing about and yet here we are, commiserating over the beating yet another dead horse. It was ruled a suicide. (I Write The Wrongs)
Bob Christy: I’m an old hockey player too, My senior year in High School, 4 guys got D-1 scholarships and I wasn’t one of them. That said, a couple of months ago I ran across a piece of tape from WHDH during the massive blizzard of 78. WHDH was an AC with a very good news department. It was a total emergency situation, A city bus was buried on the street below the station’s studio windows. The snow was so deep in the city it reached the 2nd floor of buildings, No power, etc. The jocks were acting as news anchors while the news people gathered news. I wonder how many people on music stations today could step up and do something like that for 4 straight days and do a great job of it? They all did a hell of a job and when you talk to them today, they all say it was one of the best things they’ve ever been involved in.. (Writing The Wrongs)
Bill Gardner: I remember hosting a KVIL morning show in the late ’80s and wondering at 6.15 about our scheduled 6.20 newscast since Andy McCollum had yet to arrive. When he walked in about 6.19, I hit the intercom and asked if he wanted me to scrub the 6.20. He said, “No, I’ll be ready.” I introduced him as my song faded at 6.20, and Andy proceeded to do a newscast that sounded every bit as good and prepared as all the rest! An amazing guy and fun to work with.
Saw Andy last at one of our KVIL reunions, and like Bob Morrison who you mentioned, and even the legendary Ben Laurie, miss them all personally and professionally. (News To Me)
Paul Cavenaugh: Hey George, Starting with Russia issue. WHOAH. MAY have intervened??? The real “fake news” along with social media, combined to spread massive volumes of misinformation that may have further tainted the entire election process and further divided us as a people.
As for politicians? Every single one of them is corrupt. Democrat and Republican. Add voter suppression, Gerrymandered districts and Corporate lobbying…along with the relentless attack on the validity of the mainstream media, we get one step closer to fascism every day. I predict Trump will eventually go down, but it will be for Obstruction of Justice while in office, along with Money Laundering and Tax Evasion prior to his presidency.
As for women and gays, I can’t explain it but have noticed over the years that gay men treat women with a different level of respect, long before the sexual orientation issue ever came up? (R2-D2)
Little Jim Hilliard: Hunkered down in Ft. Lauderdale and our AC broke last night. 81 degrees in the house and we are just getting started! Wanted to start drinking this morning and organize the neighborhood men to learn how to juggle power saws but my wife put the kibosh on that idea…Dream Killer! (Hurricane Mathew)
Doug Thompson: That whole Brill Building era had several husbands and wife teams including Jeff Barry & Ellie Greenwich, Carole King & Gerry Goffin, Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil and other teams such as Doc Pomus & Mort Shuman (who went to to write “Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living In Paris”, plus Neil Sedaka & Howie Greenfield. Jeff Barry told me (and probably told you George), that he came up with that opening drum riff for “Be My Baby”. “Bum-bum-bum-cha” by banging on a filing cabinet. (Hanky Panky)
Doug Chappell: George, Another year has passed by and I must tell you how much I enjoy reading your blogs… it gives a connection back to a time when we were all young “bucks” full of vim and vigor. Anyone who had the good fortune to live through the wonderful days of “Radio and Records” like we did are very lucky indeed, funny all that time and effort and when we look back it seems that we didn’t work a day in our lives. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and yours, proud to call you my friend. (Some More Comments)
Doug Erickson: George, I had the most delightful conversation with Jack Schell earlier this week. We had never met. Bill Gardner gave me Jack’s number. From the instant he answered the call, he had me laughing. Half an hour with him provided more entertainment than I’ve heard on all American radio stations I’ve heard this year combined. Pick the market, pick the talent — Jack would draw higher ratings within a month. That airstaff you assembled at KVIL will never again be duplicated. Simply the best talent ever collected on one radio station. (KVIL 1974)
Geo’s Media Blog is an inside look at Radio, Music, Movies, and Life. For a sneak peek at some upcoming Blogs or to see some that you may have missed, go to GeorgeJohns.com. On Twitter @GeoOfTheRadio. Sharing and commenting is appreciated.