When I began consulting, my very first clients were the Shadeks who owned KOGO and KPRI in San Diego. KOGO was an AM radio station doing a unique format called the Radio Magazine and KPRI was an FM album rocker. Luckily for me, Tom and Ed also owned the radio station in San Antonio that changed my life. They’d tried every format under the sun, and were hoping that I could bring a little of the KVIL magic in Dallas, to San Antonio.
The first thing we did was change our name to Class FM and then begin to launch it the very same way that KVIL in Dallas and WRMF in Palm Beach were launched. The concept was, “Build Your Own Radio Station” and before long, with the help of legendary Bill Gardner, (shown above) Reid Reker, Bruce Buchanon, and Cat Simon, doing most of the heavy lifting there, (I love being the idea guy) not only did we blow away San Antonio, but “Class FM” also went nationwide.
The GM at that time was Jack Collins who got my attention when he got the money before we got the ratings. He did it by having Arbitron do a zip code run which showed that Class FM was already #1 in the northern half of the city. North San Antonio just happened to be where most of the malls were and the affluent lived.
Next, he printed up a bunch of maps of the city with a line drawn down in the middle deviding the city in half. On the northern half he printed in large block letters, “Class FM Is #1 Right Here Right Now” and then sent them out to all the advertizing agencies. He instantly got most of the advertising dollars.
The only time a PD really hears his radio station loud and clear, is when he’s listening to it with his boss.
I wonder if they teach socialism at the Harvard Business School?
The mere passage of time does not change the rules.
How is one supposed to handle your 14-year old grandson having a much more manly voice than you do?
Why do women think that their family is more important than ours?
Women make much more sense when we love them.
Women are into the why of ‘it’ whereas men are only into what ‘it’ is?
One performance is worth a hell of a lot more than a bunch of promises.
Every major event on our planet has left behind some kind of artifacts except for two. The Exodus and Noh’s Ark. Hmmm!
Sometimes baby steps are just not big enough.
If I had it to do over, the smarter way to go would have been to have the big fancy place down south for eight months a year and a small cabin on a lake up north for the rest of the time.
Chris Duffy: As an imaging director, I had to come work at WGN to finally learn the most stop-in-your-tracks method to announce important breaking news is not a powerful drone, stab or sweeper intro. It’s the news guy cutting in saying …’ Hey can I interrupt here?’ (It’s Ok To Lie About Sex)
Bruce Munson: “A woman you adore saying to you … ‘Hey, but we can still be friends’ feels about the same as someone saying your dog just died but you can still keep him.” Yes, that one will be on my Facebook page soon. Now, it’s not plagiarism if I give you credit, is it, George?
Geo: Have at it Bruce, lord knows where I got it from? (It’s OK To Lie About Sex)
Paul Meacham: George, you are a great storyteller. I did a TV commercial and jingle for your Classy in Kansas City and I think also for Seattle with my company Eagle Marketing … Was that Sandusky? I think Dana Horner was one of the GMs. Great format.
Keep em coming, George…
Geo: Yes it was Sandusky, Paul. Toney Brooks ran the company which was filled with AOR stations but he decided to give “Class Fm” a shot with KLSI in Kansas City. Steve Dinkle was the GM and it all went so well that we also got KLSY in Seattle where Dana was the GM. Fun days!
Steve Dinkle: Paul, every once in a while I get out that song that was written around our TV commercial and play it again. No one would ever play a 2 to 3-minute promo song anymore but when you get the University of Missouri marching band playing your song at a Chiefs football game.. not too shabby!
At the beginning of KLSI, we were the strangers in the mostly AOR mix at Sandusky… until the money truck pulled up at our door and unloaded! They were fun days George.
Geo: Steve, I remember when all of us from KLSI showed up in Phoenix for the annual Sandusky meetings. All of their other stations rocked, so I’m pretty sure that when our presentation tape was about to be played they expected to hear something very wimpy. Instead, KLSI blew the room away. (Women Are Not Welcome Here)
Moto: Good advice; Never Kill a Client – you could end up in a bit of a bother. If at all feasible, attempt to find a less drastic and more reasonable solution. Killing a client is just plain wrong – no matter how well thought out your excuse. – Inspiration from Brett Halliday.
Geo: Moto, as one of our former sales managers told me recently. At every Hilliard meeting, he was ever at, Jim would always say, “Nothing happens in Radio until somebody sells something.”
I told him that at our programming meetings Jim would say, “We don’t have anything to sell until you guys put something worth selling on the radio. (For The Good Of The Country)
Steve Taylor: On another subject, Dion. Mr. DooWop finding new ways to reinvent himself. He is like the Eveready bunny of the music biz. After over a decade in the music biz, he reinvented himself with Abraham, Martin, and John. Fast forward to April 19, 1974. I was witness to one of the biggest musical trainwrecks ever. Dion unplugged on the stage at Grand Valley State College, near Grand Rapids, MI. Dion was the “surprise” warm-up act for Frank Zappa! Frank’s legendary sonic orgies fueled by his fusion of jazz, screaming Stratocaster arias to an audience predisposed to experiments with chemical auras led to the most outrageous vacant stare in music history when Mr. Dimucci quietly walked to the middle of the stage and sat upon a tall, gray, 4 legged stool. I thought to myself, this guy has got more guts than a government mule!
What is Dion going to do to win this crowd of pre-lit college kids over? No horns, no driving beat? Dion with an acoustic guitar playing his biggest hits, and new socially aware tunes. He attempted to appease the crowd with a brief editorial about the fact that he was surprised to be there too! Unless that spruce top had a secret pickup, fuzzbox, and stack of Marshall amps connected, Mr. DooWop was going to find out the hard way when the music died.
He left the stage after a couple of songs, with tear-filled eyes and a one-handed salute celebrating the smallest whole integer.
Fast forward to December 2011, and Dion 37 years later is promoting a new album? Frank Zappa is dead and his legend lives on. Dion is alive and still trying for one more grab at the brass ring.
Stranger things have happened, but you will know when Dion has arrived… when he does his first commercial for Colonial Life or some reverse mortgage outfit. “I’m the kinda guy that likes to hover around… ”
Geo: I’ve always loved Dion’s sound, Steve, in fact, I think if James Dean was alive today, he’d want Dion’s voice to sing with. (Who The Hell Are You?)
Chuck Knapp: Hey George, My wife Cheryl told me that she instantly fell in love with you. So take that. She’s using lower case letters for love though, not the upper case, but hey at least you’re on her keyboard. Keep smiling
Geo: Tell Cheryl that I’ll take all the love she’s got, upper or lower. It’s lonely out here, Chucker. 🙂 (What’s Love Got To Do With It)
The Big 8. Just taught a graduate radio journalism class Thursday at MU in Columbia, MO. Nothing illustrates the best of radio news in the Drake era than CKLW. Check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDCdbmwy9l8
Geo: I understand that they had 23 people in their the news department alone. Hell, they don’t have that many at a whole radio station now, John. (Hockey, Football, & Sex)