Geo’s Media Blog (We’re #1 Right Here Right Now!)

When I started my consulting company, one of my first clients were the Shadeks who owned KOGO and KPRI in beautiful San Diego. KOGO which was an AM radio station was doing a unique format called the Radio Magazine, and KPRI was an FM album rocker. However, they also owned a radio station in San Antonio and this one ended up changing my life. The Shadeks, Tom and Ed who had tried every format under the sun, were hoping that I could bring a little of the same magic we used in Dallas on KVIL, to San Antonio.
The first thing I did was change the call letters to KLLS and begin referring to ourselves as Class FM. Then we launched it exactly the same way I had launched KVIL in Dallas and WRMF in Palm Beach with a oncept called, “Build Your Own Radio Station.” The concept had worked extremely well in Dallas and Palm Beach, so I figured, why not here? Then with a lot of help from Bill Gardner, Reid Reker, and later, Cat Simon, not only did we blow San Antonio away but before long, “Class FM” went nationwide.
The GM at that time was Jack Collins who did something I’ll never forget, he got the money before we got the ratings. The way he did it was by doing a zip code run with Arbitron that showed that Class FM was #1 in the northern half of the city which just happened to be where the malls were located, but also where the affluent lived.

Next, he printed up a bunch of city maps, drew a line drawn down the middle of them and sent them to all the advertising agencies. On the northern half of the map Jack had printed the words, CLASS FM IS #1 RIGHT NOW, RIGHT HERE! He instantly got all the money.

GEO’S LIFE-LINES

The only time a PD really hears his radio station is when his boss is listening to it with him.

I wonder if they preach socialism at the Harvard Business School like they do at the rest of the university?

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 our’s?

Women make a lot more sense when we love them.

Women are into the why of “it” whereas men are only into what “it” is?

COMMENTS

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 just remember when all of us from KLSI, showed up in Phoenix for the annual Sandusky meetings. All of their stations rocked, so I’m sure that when our presentation tape was about to be played they probably thought that they were gonna 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 use 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)
John Lund: 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 just the news department John. They don’t even have that many at a whole radio station now. (Hockey, Football, & Sex)

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.

 

 

4 thoughts on “Geo’s Media Blog (We’re #1 Right Here Right Now!)

  1. Although KVIL allowed Consulting Engineer Charles Crossno to attend and heavily influence KVIL Staff Meetings, I did not want to attend. I was providing a service and didn’t really have anything to lend. And Larry Reid & I were very busy fending off interference by the aforementioned Crossno.

    But preventing leaks is a better reason. Managers, Accountants, Programmers, Jocks, and Salespeople are competitors, but Engineers view other Engineers as colleagues regardless of where they work. A fellow Engineer has loaned equipment or has come to help put a station back on the air and I have done the same. XEROK Chief Engineer Bruce Miller Earle came over to KINT-98 after midnight with the loan of a critical piece of equipment and read every Memo on every wall. I’m sure that Jim Taber would have had a fit. I wasn’t paying attention and I really didn’t care. But that’s the sort of pointless leak that would go directly to an opposing PD. This was not a problem at KVIL because Ron did not tend to post memos on walls.

    Engineering should not be included in Strategy Sessions for security reasons and I would include Accounting, who can smother any idea in its cradle. Ann Bradley being a notable exception.

      • Ron did have an Engraved Plaque on the wall with this (as I recall):

        “Rules Do Not Cease to Be Rules Merely Through the Passage of Time.” R. Chapman (1976).

    • Hollis, I have the scars to prove that most engineers are part of a fraternity and not at all a part of the radio station.
      At a couple of my stations, we’d discover a new piece of equipment that once installed, would make us so loud that the other stations sounded like they were coming in from out of town. However, this would only last a couple of weeks before we’d all be equal again. When I would ask the engineer why he turned us down, he’d say, “I didn’t turn us down, the other stations just got louder.” When I would ask him how they did that, he would say, “I told them about the new equipment we got, so they got it too.” What!

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