Growing weary of the “old guard” attitude at CFRA, I was almost too ready for the call I received from a head hunter.
He asked if I could fly to Toronto that afternoon to interview for the program director’s position at a station at an undisclosed radio station. The combination of my being bored and his sounding like he was hoping that I couldn’t make it too hard for me to resist.
Unfortunately, I hadn’t figured out until we were already in the air that the station in question was CFTR. I had no interest in working there, so this interview was going to be a complete waste of time.
A couple of hours later, there I was in the headhunter’s office trying to make the best of it. However, to make matters even worse, he was trying to persuade me to take what appeared to be an aptitude test. Being mad at myself for coming, I finally confessed that I had zero interest in working at CFTR. I then asked if he could call me a cab so that we could stop wasting each other’s time.
Looking somewhat relieved, he said, “I’ll be more than happy to drive you back to the airport, but first, I have to make a quick phone call.” When he returned a few minutes later, he said that his client was nearby and was on his way over to thank me for coming to Toronto on such short notice.
A few minutes later, a man who introduced himself as Keith Dancy (pictured above) walked in. He thanked me for coming and then asked the headhunter what the test had revealed about me.
When told by him that I refused to take the test, Keith looked at me quizzically and I just shrugged it off and said, “CFTR sounds like sh*t, and it will take a miracle to fix it, and I doubt that there’s a miracle lurking in that test.”
Even if there was, I went on to say, “Most owners don’t have the stomach to do what it takes to win.”
“Hold onto to that thought,” he said as he dialed the phone and said to whoever answered, “Ted, you gotta meet this guy, he’s a piece of work.”
A few minutes later, Keith was introducing me to Ted Rogers (pictured on top) and saying, “Ted, George here thinks that your radio station sounds like shit and you don’t have the guts to do what it will take to fix it.” Ted’s only response was to ask me if I would do Keith and him the honour of joining them for an early dinner.
After making some small talk before dinner, Keith turned to me and said, “Let’s play a game called, what if? For example, what if, I told you that we both agree with you that CFTR sounds terrible? But, what if, I also told you, that we’d let you do whatever it takes to fix it. What kind of money do you think it would take to get you interested?” Surprised, and not ready for his question, I just blurted out a figure that was double my current salary. The table went silent for a moment, and then Ted leaned over and asked if he could also throw in a car. And just like that, I was the new Program Director of CFTR in Toronto.