Geo’s Media Blog (Who The Hell Is George Johns?) New 10/21/19

When I left Fairbanks Broadcasting to start my own consulting company, Jim Hilliard who ran Fairbanks, thankfully became one of my first clients. Then when out of the blue Mr. Fairbanks sold WIBC/WNAP in Indianapolis and KVIL in Dallas to Blair, Jim went with the deal so nothing changed for me. However, when Blair sold Indy and Dallas, that ended that because of course the folks at CBS know better. Eventually I also had a falling out with Mr. Fairbanks, so, unfortunately, I lost touch with most of the Fairbanks guys.

Then when Mr. Fairbanks decided to sell WVBF in Boston, he hired Jim to get it in shape, and just like that, I was back in “Bean Town.” Not only was I back in Boston with Jim, but I was also back in Palm Beach at WRMF with Russ Morley again. How cool was that?
Even though I mainly worked with Russ Morely, occasionally, George Mills who was the GM, would ask me to help out with the air talent on his talker, WJNO and put my ear on their recently purchased beautiful music station, WRLX, whenever I could.

At some point during one of my market visits, George asked me to meet with him and Paul Dunn who was the PD of WRLX to share thoughts about the station. Paul was silent during the meeting, and only George had questions. Later, Bruce Buchanan, who had done the original launch of WRMF along with Russ and me, said that Paul had come to him shortly after the meeting and asked, “Who the hell is George Johns?” Bruce replied, “He’s Jim Hilliard’s best friend, but luckily for you, he also knows a little bit about radio.” 


There is no such thing as too much improvement; there’s always room for more.

The only guys who use the word vagina, are Doctors.

I have instant respect for people who can do the things that I can’t do. Everybody else has to earn it.

Anger is fear cleverly disguised.

Why would any woman think that a good looking guy who wears Baroni suits, drives a Ferrari and lives in a penthouse, is out at night looking for a wife at a club?

Being a good example is the best advice you could ever give anyone. 

I always believed that the next woman in my life would be the one who was going to make me happy until I learned that only I could make myself happy. Hey, where the hell has this intel been, I could have saved thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands.

The Blue Bombers blew another big lead against the Stamps. I guess they want the season to be over so they can go south?

I see that the Dolphins and the Bengals are running neck and neck for the first pick.


Bob DeCarlo: When you first came to KOGO in San Diego, you put me on a plane and sent me to Dallas to listen to Ron and KVIL. Thanks to you, I finally found out how great radio was done. And those George Johns lessons paved the way for a very rewarding 25 more years in our industry. You truly are the wizard, George. (I got Lucky!)

Geo: Bob, thank you for your kind words but it’s not what people say that counts, it’s what they do, and you did it, man! 

Jed Duvall: George: The caricature which was drawn by Lotse Balough, of Jim Hilliard (I guess between 1978 and 1979) to me is somewhat unfair, at least to my eyes and ears. (see above) Jim, from the time I first met him in 1970 to the last time I spoke or wrote to him, was and is one of the most modest titans of the industry I have ever met, especially in the media business.  Jim always discussed his success in terms of a combination of hard work, luck and hiring the right people. He never bragged about his “toys” or the power he could wield, real or imagined. Yes, Jim has an ego, but I do not think he has anything to prove to anybody, except to those who make him angry (most of those instances were people who went back on their word to him or back against him violating a contract without calling him first).  Yes, Jim has always been confident in a realistic, reasoned way in his explanations to little old me, but I never once saw or heard him running off at the mouth, telling everyone within earshot how successful he was and is, instead bragging on his people and how proud he was/is of those who served with him, like you, Dick Yancey, Dick Smart, Jerry Bobo, and Ron Chapman. (My List)

Geo: You’re right Jed, Jim would never commission have something like that. It was created by some of the staff members, and Norm Wilkens of our agency. (My List)

Rich Stevens: Cami…
You made it, and you deserve only the best!
So remember this little bit of advice…
There is no “one way” to do something. Even though many will try to convince you that their way is THE way.
Do things the way that works for you. Even if someone tells you, “this is the way it’s always been done,” if you think of an easier or more sensible way, do it.
Be you. Plain and simple. No matter where you go. Be you. And be the very best you that you can possibly be.
Look for the good in people. It’s easy sometimes to find what’s bad or wrong with people, but it feels so much better to see what’s good. When you’re struggling with this, try even harder because you’ll feel so much better when you do.
Have fun. Really we’re here to have fun. So even the mundane or monotonous…
Make it fun! (Cami Graduates Today)

Bill Gardner: That theory of taking almost EVERY cent of every dollar to the bottom line is the prevailing 21st-century thinking. I remember arriving as VP/Programming in Oklahoma City in the mid-1980s when the independent owner told me our annual “promotion budget” was $600,000. I asked him if I’d be his hero if I pulled it off for $150,000 a year? And for the first year, I think I was his hero 🙂 I think we all designed “client promotions” when there weren’t any more “promotion budgets.” Do you agree? (Could Have Had Her)

Geo: I do agree, Bill, I discovered early on that the money was in the sales manager’s office. All you had to do to get it was tell him what was in it for the client. (Could Have Had Her)

Chet Tart: Recently, John Parikhal reminisced to Lee Abrams that nobody stays up all night anymore creating radio that would be executed the next day. But I bet they do at Google. I truly miss that time and the people involved! (Are You F^^king Kidding))

Jim Hilliard: A most timely, and beautifully framed note on a special day George. Maybe the World is not going crazy! Thank your friend for making this Holiday, something meaningful, again. (In Flanders Field – Bruce Walker of The Jury)

Geo: Haunting, isn’t it? I’m resending it again on November 11th, but this time it includes the poem itself. Glad you enjoyed it, Jim.

Doug Thompson: You humble me with your comments George. I’m a Leo (but on the Cancer cusp, so it’s sort of balances out). You and I both started out as board operators, then moved into production, but then you moved on up into programming, management, and consulting. I could never have done what you did George, so I stuck with what I knew (expanding into television documentaries as well)….so here’s to production people everywhere…often the unsung hero of any radio station. (Comments)

Geo: Dougie, I think there should be a special place for the production folks in the Radio Hall Of Fame. Who would you nominate Doug? You’re definitely on my list. 

Camera Anne: Even the mom is too young for you, daddy. I think that should tell you to “don’t even think about it”!!!! 🙂 (Don’t Even Think About It)

Daddy: I think you’re right, honey.

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 Geo’s Media Blog @ On Twitter @GeoOfTheRadio. Sharing and commenting is appreciated.

1 thought on “Geo’s Media Blog (Who The Hell Is George Johns?) New 10/21/19

  1. Bruce Walker: Hi George please thank Jim for his comments on my version of Flanders Fields. He probably would never remember meeting me in Winnipeg at the station when we were recording and at the CKY reunion. I found him to be very forthright and I was struck by the careful attention he paid to people. I could see why he became a great leader. (Who The Hell Is George Johns>)

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