Ever since I got into radio I wanted to own my own radio station. Hey, if they won’t give you a piece of the rock, then you’ve got to figure out how yo get your own rock. Eventually, my brother Reg and I along with financial guy Bill Yde raised some money and purchased a new facility in Portland Oregon which we named K103.
Shortly before operating the station, I visited Portland to check out the radio landscape and discovered that #1 station in town was an AM called KGW. I also discovered that they had a great morning man by the name of Craig Walker (pictured above) who reminded me of Ron Chapman in Dallas. I had to have him. Not only was he warm smooth and very local, I could tell that he liked the ladies and the ladies adored him.
When I finally got to meet with him, I discovered two things, he was going be very expensive, and because of his having contract, I couldn’t have him for a year. The way I handled the expensive part was to mortgage my house so I could guarantee his salary. (Craig claims that he still has the napkin that I wrote my offer on) Having to wait a year would have been a deal breaker for most, but for us it was perfect. Our plan was to do exactly what we did in Dallas on KVIL which we codenamed, “build your own radio station”
In Dallas we did it to stall the full launch of the station until they put the Dallas and Ft. Worth rating books together. In Portland, we needed to stall until Craig could join us. The concept was simple, as soon as the FCC granted us our license, we’d run promos claiming that we were now turning 103 on the FM dial over to the people of Oregon. It was now their radio station and we were standing by the phones to hear what they wanted us to do with it.
Every Monday morning we would launch something new using their phone calls telling us to do it. All we had to do was come up with enough stuff until we could launch Craig as the final piece. Even though we didn’t have Craig yet, I had a piece of paper said that he was coming, so why keep it a secret right? From the moment Craig agreed to join us, I began to let it slip that Craig was going to be K103’s new morning man. Eventually, a newspaper reporter came a-calling. She started the interview by asking about our plans for the station and then, of course, she asked about the rumor I had started. She claimed that when she first heard the rumor that Craig Walker was going to be our new morning man she asked KGW about it and they said, absolutely not. I asked her if she’d ever heard Craig, and when she replied that she listened to him every morning, I just said to her, “Can you imagine how good he’s gonna sound on K103 in stereo?”
As the year slowly crept by, we kept adding things to the station and keeping the rumor alive about Craig joining us and KGW just kept on denying it. Craig, because of his contract never said a word, but the lady reporter did mention that the last time she asked him about it, he did have a mischevious smile on his face. Thankfully, the press continued to report on it now and then and then with about six months to go, suddenly KGW pulls Craig off the air. I guess they were hoping that the folks would soon forget about him, but what they forgot was that Craig was on TV every afternoon as the host of PM magazine.
When Craig finally hit K103, the folks were so hungry to hear him on the radio again that he went #1 his first morning as did the rest of the station. Oh and KGW? Well, they went from first to worst and the rest, as they say, is history. Enjoy your retirement Super Star, and thanks for the ride.
Sometimes diplomacy just doesn’t work. Hey, just ask the folks who had to deal with Attila The Hun, Genghis Khan, Hitler, Mussolini, Himmler, Hirohito, Stalin, Castro, Idi Amin, Pol Pot, Ghadafi. Sadam Hussein and Osama Bin Ladin.
Few people notice when you do something right, but everybody notices when you do something wrong.
Wealthy people are all similar even rich thugs don’t share.
The people who bitch the most are usually the people who caused what they’re bitching about.
Nobody is more powerful than the middle class, we elect the government and we get to throw them out.
When asked if you want to hear a joke does anybody ever say yes?
People who are hurting, hurt others.
I actually remember when people were known for more important things than being a Republican or Democrat.
THE FAMILY BLOG
I remember my Mom always scolding me about taking Cami when she was very small to special places. She said, “Son, she’s too young to remember any of it.” I responded with, “Mom, I don’t care if she remembers any of it, she’s enjoying it now.”
You know you’re getting old when people start calling you mister. However, whenever I hear Mr. Johns, it still startles me and I can’t help but look around to see what the hell my Dad was doing here.
Why would Trump think that whatever the hell he’s working on is more important than kids being with their parents?
Much more@ GeorgeJohns.com. On Twitter@GeoOfTheRadio. Sharing and commenting appreciated.