Geo’s Media Blog (Whose Caddy Is That?) New for 11/04/19

After recently attending a KVIL reunion in Dallas it not only conjured up a bunch of promotional things we had done at Fairbanks back in the day, but also the memory of my first weekend living in America.

When I worked at CFTR in Toronto, Ted Rogers had thrown in a brand new fully loaded Pontiac Grand Prix as part of my deal. Unfortunately, when I accepted the National PD’s job in Indianapolis, I had to give the car back. Damn! Now I was back in my old ’67 Thunderbird.
Hey, heading to America was scary enough, but showing up in Indianapolis in front of the two-story brick on North Illinois driving a beat-up old T-Bird, how uncool was that?

When I left Toronto for Indy, I had to leave Lana, (shown above with me) and the kids behind to sell our house which I was ok with it because I wasn’t really sure my car would make it. The plan when I got there was to stay at the Hilliard’s until our new house in Carmel was ready and then go back and get them.

I don’t think I’ll ever forget my first weekend in Indianapolis. First of all, I U was in the final four and Bobby Knight had the whole town stirred up with his patented tantrums. Then Jim who is not only my boss but also my best friend decides that he’s in the market for a new Cadillac so on Sunday morning, he takes me car shopping. Hey, I’m always up for car shopping but the guy who drove out of the dealership in a wine-colored Cadillac Eldorado with white leather interior and a killer stereo system looked an awful lot like me.

Talk about becoming Americanized right from the get-go, but hey, what the hell’s a guy to do? I’m driving a junker and my boss is telling me that not only did I deserve a new Caddy, it also said that it looked good on me and claimed that the Feds thought so too because they were gonna help me pay for it by letting me deduct the interest.

I mean, how the hell could I resist? However, the only way I could justify it even to myself was to think of it as a work-related purchase. Hey, Fairbanks owned FMs, I needed a car with a stereo radio in it, right? That line of reasoning worked for me, but somehow I knew it wouldn’t play for Lana who managed all the bills.

I loved that car, but as I drove around Indianapolis in it listening to WNAP-FM, what kept bothering me was, “What the hell am I gonna tell Lana?” Fortunately, I had another three weeks before I was heading back to Toronto, surely I could come up with something by then? However, when I headed out to Canada, I still had nothing.
Realizing though that I still had hours before I even hit the border, I just relaxed while I listened to WIBC’s coverage of qualification day at the track and waited for something to pop into my head.
Unfortunately, when I hit the Canadian border, I still had nothing, nor did I when I pulled into my driveway in Toronto. Lana’s first words to me when I got out of the car were, “Whose car is that?” The only response I could come up with was, “It’s yours honey, Happy Mother’s Day!” I never drove the Caddy again.


When you make a company more efficient the expenses go down but so usually does the revenue. Then when you have nothing left to cut but you, what then? 

When the wall came down in Germany it sure didn’t help the West Germans.

The only way to get all the drug dealers, hookers, Churches, and rich people to share our tax burden, a giant sales tax. Absolutely no other tax, just a sales tax.

I wonder how Clemson feels even though they’ve won more games than any other team, whoever does the rankings, believe that at least 3 teams can beat them?

Speaking of winning and losing, the Dolphins win their first and the Patriots lose theirs.


Brent Farris: How old does a tune need to be before it becomes a “Classic”? Is it when you’re reaching for the car radio in your to turn up a song just as your kid is also reaching to turn it down? (I’m For Men.)

Reid Reker: If I feared your retaliation at your roast, what makes you think I would feel any differently now? 🙂  First, I’m honored to even be mentioned in this circle of people. Second, thank you for putting me on the Streetcar Named Desire 35 years ago; otherwise, I might be broke and destitute today. Wait a minute… I am broke and destitute today:) Third, seriously, what an incredible ride we have been on together and Fourth, it ain’t over yet!! Thank you! I love you like a brother! (Thank You)

Geo: I guess I forgot to teach you, the being brave part. 🙂 Love you too man!

Warren Cosford:  As George knows, I ‘sing the praises’ of WMOM in Ludington Michigan. Small Town Radio, intensely Local, owned by a guy who has among The Best Ears for Music of any I know and a Passion which inspires The Kids he has working for him. They’re not ‘Slick’ and often sound ‘Hokey’ but there’s a real Charm to the station.  They ‘cleaned up’ at the recent Michigan Broadcaster’s Convention yet there are 9 people working there. Yesterday Elizabeth and I spent the evening with Colin Kennedy, once an Op at The Big 8 CKLW when Paul Drew was PD.  Colin claims to have invented The Layover.  All I know for sure is…..the first time I heard one was when I arrived in Toronto from Winnipeg to work at CHUM and saw Colin working with Big Tom Rivers.  From a production standpoint, it was like nothing I had ever heard.  The two of them were creating Radio to an Extreme.  Was that Radio as An Art Form?  Could anyone in Today’s Radio do that today? Would anyone listen?
On the Other Side of that was Progressive Radio.  My Fav was WLIR New York. As with Pat Martin, PD Denis McNamara had ‘Great Ears’ for Music and inspired a Creative Quirkiness between the Records. Showtime just aired a documentary about them.
But really….perhaps it was the role that Music played in Pop Culture at the time. It seems that Music simply isn’t as important in the lives of My Kids as it was to me…..and now that they’re adults, the only Radio they listen to is in The Car and it’s mostly News/Talk. They can get the music on The Web where The Playlist is a couple of thousand. (Writing The Wrongs)

Tom Cochrun: George, I really enjoyed hearing the aircheck with Bob Richards. He was a real trooper and loved radio right up to his last day. The composite brought back a lot of fond memories of that era. (WNAP Indianapolis 1974)

Bob Hill: I would love to contact Craig Walker after all these years. I started listening to him when he followed Uncle Don Wright in the early ’70s. He may or not recall but in 1979, he and Jon Erickson were given autographed balls by me with several baseball Hall of Famer signatures. At the time, I was the mascot of the Portland Beavers.
I always enjoyed Craig’s show and of course remember him, often playing his favorite song by Lenny Welch, “Since I Fell For You.”
Like myself, I’m sure Craig wakes up some mornings wondering, “How did I get this old?” (K103 Craig Walker)

Steve Smith: George, Interesting. I look forward to additional chapters in your life and career. My cousin, Bob Zens, was CKOM news director from 1988 until he retired about ten years later. He is a Saskatchewan native and still lives in Saskatoon. (Guitars & Radio & Wild Wild Women Chapter XV)

Hugh Whaley: Regarding East Coast Amtrak service, Geo…I used to take Amtrak from Raleigh to Washington, DC soon after I relocated here from St. Louis to spend time in the home office of the organization for whom I worked. The first couple of times worked fairly smoothly both going and returning.  However, about the fourth time I did this trip, the return trip departed DC on time but arrived in Raleigh two hours beyond its stated arrival time.  The fifth time I made the trip, my return leg was scheduled to arrive in Raleigh at 7:55 pm, but we eventually arrived at 12:55 the next morning. Needless to say, I drove from Raleigh to DC every time afterward. We sat on one stretch of track for over an hour with no explanatory announcement or updates. It is my understanding that Amtrak leases the track time from the freight train companies who own the track. Thus, freight trains always have track priority.  Not sure if that is the case on the western US tracks that Amtrak uses. (Train Wreck)

David Wolfe: George – I vote for this thought and I think it’s very relevant – “As a Canadian/American I have no interest in any policy that allows someone easier access to America than I had.” (Canada Lied To Me)

Geo: I second that emotion, David. 

Dennis Linsin: Just for the record, George, I believe the only way federal employees can receive a raise is if the entire Congress approves it…..not just one man.  (I’m sure I’ll be corrected if that’s not the case.) (Is Obama Racist?)

Alan Sterger: On a recent visit to our marriage counselor, the counselor asked me to apologize to my wife for something. I started out sincere and then added in my defense with a But… The counselor said it was a good apology, up to the But part. (Bad Cops)

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

3 thoughts on “Geo’s Media Blog (Whose Caddy Is That?) New for 11/04/19

  1. In retrospect, Pat (Martin) Lopeman would have made a good programmer for Fairbanks or for one of George’s “Class FM” stations. He is an excellent finder and developer of talent as well as fine-tuning a radio station like WMOM in Ludington. The station is for sale, by the way, as Pat is seeking to retire and stop the driving between Milwaukee and Ludington. It would be a great opportunity for someone whom want to own an FM in a resort small market area. – Jed Duvall

  2. Hi George
    Please let Bob Hill know that I remember getting the baseball from him over 40 years ago. I still have it and I’ve added many Hall of Fame names to it. I have Mays, Mantle, Berra, Aaron, DiMaggio and several others on the ball. It’s one of a kind. It will be passed on to my son and grandchildren. I have always appreciated his help getting it to me.
    Concerning my advancing years, I’m just elated that I’m still here. I just wish radio was as healthy as I am.
    Stay well, George.

  3. George
    Your Eldorado story reminded of Charlie Van Dyke who came to KLIF the Mighty 1190 in 1977 to do mornings for one last gasp for a formerly AM legend. He bought a beautiful black Biarritz when he got to Dallas.
    I worked mid-days. When we looked out the window to the north there was a KVIL billboard with Ron, Larry, and Seldon. Taped to the window of our studio was a sign with an arrow that pointed toward the billboard. It simply said “Get ’em”. :o) After KLIF I moved with Edd Routt to Mobile to program WKRG-FM. I took all the knowledge I had learned from KLIF and from listening to KVIL and applied it. We went from a 4 share to a 20.8 12+ in our first book. Flipped the market leader WABB on it’s ass.A year later I came back to Dallas as Production Director of WFAA/KZEW. That lasted a few years and finally Dave Spence called me and offered me my dream job. Working at KVIL as Operations Manager. That lasted until Mel bought the place and the economy went to hell. Billing dropped significantly and my job was eliminated 2 weeks before Christmas 87. I left radio for advertising, production and jingles. Best move I ever made. Much more lucrative. But I miss what radio used to be. Thanks for your column. I enjoy it.

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