While sipping some wine at Duffy’s here in South Florida with Tom Skinner (pictured above with me) who was visiting recently, we traded Gordon Zlot stories and at some point, he mentioned that he was only 27 when he joined KZST.
He had been hired as the station’s new sales manager but having no management experience and needing to conduct job interviews, he bought a book called, “The Ten Best Questions To Ask A Prospective Employee At Their Job Interview. Tom said that the book was a great help until he discovered that there was another book out called, “The Perfect Answers To The Ten Most Asked Questions At A Job Interview.”
Unfortunately, when Tom first arrived at KZST, he soon discovered that the former Sales Manager who had not only left Gordon high and dry also hadn’t left him any sales tools. No sales brochures, no leave-behinds, no rate cards, no nothing.
The owner, Gordon Zlot, an engineer by trade had put KZSY on the air with his bare hands so Tom wasn’t quite sure how to approach him about any of this. Finally, because he desperately needed something to work with, he just blurted it out. Gordon, who is now a member of the Bay Area Hall Of Fame, not only said yes; he asked if he could help?
The first thing they did was get one of the more creative agencies in town to help them with some suggestions. Unfortunately for Tom, who desperately needed the stuff, the project then went into slow motion. Unbeknownst to Tom, Gordon was a very detail-oriented kind of guy who needed to see all the various shades of the colors that they’d decided to use and what fonts were available.
As Tom looks back at it now from semi-retirement, even though the process was very frustrating, he’s so glad Gordon did it that way because it set the standard of what KZST was soon going to become.
When the artwork was finally finished and all the sales tools were produced, the local advertising community raved about how San Francisco it all looked. In fact, even though the programming wasn’t quite in place yet, KZST instantly became the “Big One” in town because they already looked like they were.
Shortly thereafter I’m proud to say, KZST become #1, and just like WRMF in Palm Beach, and K-103 in Portland, they have remained there for over thirty years.
Unfortunately, the station that they were designed after and was the biggest of them all, KVIL in Dallas, is now just an embarrassment.
Why do we care about the rights of people who don’t think we should have any?
It’s never too late to be what you should be.
Seeing as drummer Don Henley is the only original member of the Eagles left, I guess that makes them the best tribute band of all time?
Speaking of drummers, can you imagine Ringo calling his All Starr Band the Beatles?
Buying smart water is a dumb thing to do.
Is it true that some cities in California are beginning to look like they are in third world countries?
I wonder how many so-called poor people are scammers?
The reason more women aren’t running more things right now might be because they don’t want too?
The problem with music research is lots of women love the Stones, but none of them want to hear them on their favorite AC station.
My FAVORITE Georgeism: “OK…let’s stop discussing this great idea before we talk ourselves out of it.” (Write The Wrongs)
Geo: Joe is one of the great ones as you well know, Michael.
Joan Vidler: Got a candlelit here Georgie for you and your neighbors’ safety. (Hurricane Mathew)
Geo: Miss you and Gar so much, “Young Joan.”
Mister Below: Speaking at a broadcasting class at Butler University recently, I told them that when they get to do the radio station tour in a few days, the BMW’s Cadillac’s, Audi’s, Lexus’ and so on… in the parking lot, belonged to the sales folks. (faster Cars)
John Walton: Some undeniable truths posted here. Some bromides that don’t pass the litmus test of the “real world.” Here’s my reality, I’ve had a fairly successful radio career for 45 years and a very successful morning program for 35 straight years now if we had blindly accepted and implemented even half of what was “strongly” recommended by a dozen big-name consultants, we would have most assuredly joined the post Telecom 96 off the air club. But, I have always read it all there is because there is so much left to learn. (Nuthin’ on but the radio)
Geo: You’re right John, sometimes the key to success is just being curious.
We are lucky radio dudes. (Hey There Nathaniel)
Tom Hoyt: George, I love ya man…..but as I see this weekly, I am bemused by your always referencing Canada and Fairbanks. Great stories those, but what about KFROG and the stuff Joe asked you to do? Every once in awhile, I see a reference to Joe and Betsy, but KFROG was also a big success. Joe w’ the investment $ and yours truly, executing the plan…..I was there for 16 years, with Amaturo, American Radio, and CBS, and many of the folks I put in place are still there today. Scott of The Frogmen in the Morning, Leslie Bischoff the Marketing/Promotions gal, Michael Valenzuela, a sales guy I hired from XEROX, who is Entercom’s Market Manager today and 3 or 4 AEs still selling. You have had a hand in all of that….ever think of a column on KFRG/KXFG/KVFG/KEZN? They deserve some props…..just my view. (Classy)
Geo: The Frog was good to both of us Tom, and not only did we win big in the Inland Empire, we had a lot of fun plus also a few memorable adventures. Things started to spiral down when CBS bought it, but now that Entercom owns it, they have sunk to new lows. Not only have they taken the Frog names off, but I hear they program it out of San Diego.
Dee McGinn: George, I knew you via Don Garrard (dandy) back in the late 70s/early 80s. I was married to him while he was in Indy at the buzzard through his stint with you in San Diego. I still have a note you sent him asking, “Don, you haven’t caused any trouble for a while…are you ill?”I only met you a handful of times, but you were just delightful to talk to, and Don thought very highly of you. I spotted your blog while trying to see what Tom Cochran and Buster are up to now, and thought I’d say hello and wish you well. Take care! Dee (Garrard) McGinn (Comments)