Geo’s Media Blog (Who The Hell Is George Johns?)


When I left Fairbanks broadcasting to start my own company, Jim Hilliard thankfully became one of my first clients. Then when Mr. Fairbanks sold WIBC/WNAP in Indianapolis and KVIL in Dallas to Blair, Jim went with the deal so he hired me to continue consulting in Indy and Dallas. At the same time, I still had my deal with Fairbanks for Boston and Palm Beach, but because I never had a relationship with Mr. Fairbanks, we eventually had a falling out.
Years later, when Mr. Fairbanks hired Jim to get Boston back in shape so that he could sell it, the next thing I knew I was back in “Bean Town” helping Jim with the project. Soon afterward, Jim talked Mr. Fairbanks into my also going back into Palm Beach again, to make sure WRMF doesn’t slip.
My deal was to work with Russ Morely at WRMF, but occasionally, the GM, George Mills would ask me to do a little work with the talent on his talker, WJNO. Then he also asked if I would mind giving a listen to the new beautiful music station Mr. Fairbanks had recently purchased, WRLX. After listening to WRLX one day, I sat down with George and his PD Paul Dunn and gave them my thoughts. All I remember about that meeting was that Paul was mostly silent and George asked all the questions.
Bruce Buchanan, who had done the original launch of WRMF with me and Russ said that Paul had come to him later and asked, “Who the hell is George Johns?” Bruce answered with, “He’s Jim Hilliard’s best friend, but luckily for you, he also knows a little bit about programming.” 

GEO’S LIFE-LINES

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 just fear cleverly disguised.

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

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

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 can make me happy. Hey, where the hell has this intel been, I could have saved thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands.
COMMENTS
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.
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! (I Got Lucky!
Jed Duvall: George:  The caricature 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.  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.
Geo: You’re right Jed, Jim would never have something like that drawn up. It was commissioned by some 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?
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. 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)

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