Guitars & Radio & Wild Wild Women (inside the world of radio&records)Chapter XLIII July/17

 

” HELLO GOODBYE “


 My new love lived in Florida
so that’s where I’ll be
Jim had some stations there
which was lucky for me.

When Hot New Country became the new thing all over America, Bob Christy and I talked Hilliard into giving it a shot. When we launched WKLB, we knew that it was gonna be tough. Boston never had a country station before, and they were kinda proud of it. Luckily, our first rating book was decent, so it looked like we’d made the right decision. Then one morning we woke up and discovered that there were two. We still weren’t sure that one country station would make it Boston, but we damn well knew two couldn’t. Somebody had to be driven from the format, let the war begin.
Although I was doing battle in Boston, since I was the company’s consultant, occasionally had to visit WRMF in Palm Beach. During one of my visits, Russ Morely, WRMF’s PD, introduced me to a friend of his, Kari Summerfield, who was a psychotherapist.(pictured above) Kari was not only beautiful and smart, but she was also funny which was a lethal combination I was unable to resist. Can you spell smitten?
Bobby-in-BostonBack in Boston, the battles were becoming expensive and had gotten more intense. Even the agency folks were taking bets on which station was going to be forced to drop the format. Then, it got ugly! The ugly part began the day Bob Christy (pictured above) gave “a used to be” (who was in serious financial trouble) a job. As they say, though, no good deed ever goes unpunished. Bud (as he liked to call himself on the radio), repaid Bobby’s kindness by sneaking out the back door with our music and joining the enemy. All “Bud” accomplished with his slimy move was to incite us to kick their asses harder.

Even though we were winning the war, as I said before, Jim’s real goal in Boston was to sell the station. So, when Scott Ginsburg made Jim an offer he couldn’t refuse, WKLB was gone. Scott appeared to be the perfect buyer; he claimed that he loved the station and was emphatic about having no plans to change anything or anybody.
At the time of the sale to Scott, I was already spending more and more time in South Florida and was seriously thinking about moving there. Things were going so well with Kari that I suspected that we must be getting close to “The Talk.” One night at dinner she asked me what I thought we should call ourselves. Introductions were awkward because we were more than just friends and boyfriend girlfriend sounded just corny. Prideful of my quick solutions to problems, I answered with, “I guess you could say that we are engaged to be engaged.” My answer must have looked like a big old basketball coming over the tennis net at her. She didn’t even pause before saying,  “And just when do you see us getting engaged?”The engagement took place on Valentine’s Day during a WRMF skiing trip to Telluride. Thank god I already had plans to move to Florida because, back in Boston, the horrifying news was that Scott Ginsburg had just traded WCLB to our mortal enemy.
This meant, that even though we kicked their asses, those losers became winners by buying the station that beat them. I regret few things, but I do regret, not being in Boston the day our enemy showed up to fire everybody. I would have given anything to have seen my pal Bob Christy having the last word. After packing up all his stuff and while waiting for the elevator, they all got off. Bobby looked them up and down for a moment or two before saying with a scowl on his face, “Fuck you guys!”

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