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 to San Antonio.
The first thing we did was change our call letters to KLLS and our name to Class FM and then launched it the same way that we launched KVIL in Dallas and WRMF in Palm Beach. The concept was called, “Build Your Own Radio Station” and then with the help of legendary Bill Gardner, (shown above) Reid Reker, Bruce Buchanon, and Cat Simon, not only did we blow away San Antonio, but before long, “Class FM” went nationwide.
The GM at KLLS was Jack Collins and got my attention when he got the money before we became #1.
The way he did it was by getting Arbitron to do a zip code run for him that showed Class FM was #1 in the northern half of San Antonio (See above) which was where most of the malls were located and the affluent lived.
Next, he printed up some maps of San Antonio and drew a line down the middle of the city and on the north side he wrote,“Class FM Is #1 Right Here, Right Now.” He then sent them to all the advertising agencies which instantly got him most of the radio dollars.
You probably couldn’t get away with that now, but back then it was a killer move. Good on you Jack!
The only time a PD clearly hears his radio station 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 a lot more sense when you 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? (It’s ok to lie about sex.
Geo: Have at it Bruce, lord knows where I got it?
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 mostly AOR stations but he decided to give my “Class Fm” a shot at 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!
In the beginning, KLSI was the strange station in the Sandusky group because the rest were AOR. That, of course, was until the money truck pulled up at our door and unloaded! They were fun days George. (Women Are Not Welcome Here)
Geo: Steve, I remember when we 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 the rest of the stations expected to hear something very wimpy. Instead, KLSI blew the room away.
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. (For The Good Of The Country)
Geo: Moto, as one of our former sales managers told me recently. At every Hilliard meeting,Jim always said, “Nothing happens 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 on the radio worth selling.”
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… “(Who The Hell Are You)
Geo: I’ve always loved Dion’s sound, Steve, in fact, I think if James Dean was alive today and wanted to sing, he’d want Dion’s voice.
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. (What’s Love Got To Do With It)
Geo: Tell Cheryl that I’ll take all the love she’s got, upper or lower. It’s lonely out here, Chucker.:-)
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
(Hockey Football & Sex)
Geo: I understand that they had 23 people in their the news department alone, John. Hell, they don’t have that many at a whole radio station now.