You Win God! (new geo blog for the week of March 19/18)


A few weeks ago I wrote about the fact that when I left Canada to become the National PD of Fairbanks Broadcasting in Indianapolis, I didn’t have a good reputation with any sales departments. However, as they say, “Necessity is a Mutha” so when I met Dick Yancey and Jerry Bobo, I realized that if I wanted to succeed, I would need their help.
At Fairbanks, the only budget we had was how much the sales department was expected to bill each month, and any promotional ideas that I came up with had to be presented to Jim Hilliard, the CEO of the company. If  Jim liked any of them, the money magically appeared but more times than not he’d say, “Johns, I think you’ve got something there, why don’t you rework it a little and bring it back. “The reworking part that worked the best was tying sales into it without ruining the concept. Figuring this part out necessitated my spending a lot of time with Dick Yancey who was my counterpart in sales. Not only did we figure out how to pay for the promotions, we even started making money with them. Going through this exercise was excellent training because later when I became a consultant, I quickly discovered that nobody who had a promotion budget ever turned their radio stations over to a person like me. Unfortunately, I don’t know how to do radio without promotions, so the first person I ever wanted to meet at a new client station was the sales manager, he had the bags of money I needed.
When I first met Tom Skinner who is the GM of KZST in Santa Rosa, he was the sales manager, and it didn’t take me very long to figure out that he was one of the very best. (pictured above with me) Tom and I met in the mid-eighties when his owner Gordon Zlot, finally tiring of kicking my tires, hired me to consult KZST. Gordon who is “Mr. Question” still had one more to go before we cut the deal though. George, he said, “As successful as you are, why would you want to work with us in Santa Rosa?” My answer was simple, “It’s because I need a boat, Gordon.” The boat is long gone but I still have fun working with Gordon, Tom, and Brent Farris to this very day but back in those days, whenever I got a new station, I rewarded myself, and each client represented something I wanted. The Shadeks of KOGO/KPRI in San Diego plus KLLS in San Antonio made my Coronado house payment, Fairbanks Broadcasting bought me my Jag, Yancey Corp (the magic ticket) made my Benz payment, Sandusky’s KLSY in Seattle and KLSI in Kansas City, dug my pool, KLCY in Sault Lake City heated it, KRBE in Houston paid for my skiing adventures, KZBS in Oklahoma City bought me a ticket on the Orient Express, Key 103 in Austin bought my daughter a brand new convertable for her 16th birthday, and Fairmont Communications, K101 San Francisco, WLAC Nashville, WNIC Detroit, and KKOB in Albuquerque bought me a Rolls Royce. (what a fool, I should have been saving up for my old age)
I love Santa Rosa, and when I met Tom, we immediately clicked. Tom took every one of my promotions and put his own spin on them which upped the dollars even more, and I would venture to say that I learned a lot more from him than he ever learned from me.
As you read this, I’m on the way to our annual “Confab in the Desert” which we do in March at Gordon’s beautiful place in Palm Springs. Hopefully, we’ll once again come up with something that will bring us even more ratings and revenue in the new radio world. The link to hear one of the promotions we are considering is at the bottom of the page, we’ve done everything else, it’s time.

One of the things I learned early on from Tom was a new version of “Client Golf.” Being somewhat of an obsessive person, I’m always addicted to something, and when I met Tom, I was addicted to running and was so competitive about it that I raced almost every weekend. It was during one of my early visits to Santa Rosa when we were all getting to know each other that Tom asked if I ran? When I acknowledged that I did, he invited me to join him and Gordon for a fun run around Spring Lake later that afternoon. It was a beautiful day, cool and sunny and things started out smooth enough until I began to notice that Tom was starting to pick up the pace up a little and the small talk had stopped. When we reached a small hill, Tom suddenly made his move and pulled out to pass me but I stayed with him, and when we reached the top I hit it and pulled away. A little while later as I was stretching in the parking lot Tom showed up, and while we waited for Gordon, he said, “Jesus Christ Johns, don’t you know how to do Client Run?”


How come it’s not ok to be against gay marriage, abortion, transgenders in the military, illegal immigrants, global warming, women, Jews, Hispanics, blacks, poor people, kneelers at football games, or racism against whites? But, it is ok to be against guns, the police, lobbyists, lawyers, big business, the electoral college, rich people, white people, campaign funding, drug testing, background checks, rednecks, military spending, religion, etc.

I wish all government employees would spend a lot more time thinking about how to do a better job and less time thinking about their pension.

What makes people think that the military is an equal opportunity employer?

So what’s up with Cruz since his killing all those school kids in Florida, what about his brother, is anybody checking him out? How about that guy a while back who shot up the Ft. Lauderdale airport, what’s up with him?

Why does radio keep hiding from the fact that its part of show business?

Has telling some hysterical person to calm down ever worked?

Have you ever noticed that when folks ask where you’ve been, you always answer with a city unless you were in California, Florida, Hawaii, or Alaska?

There is no sense ruining a good story with the facts.

Without commitment, everything is just hopes and dreams.

I don’t think I’m racist, but I sure became more prejudice since moving to the States. In Canada, I kinda only disliked the French.

So how do you ladies feel about transgenders coming into your sports world and kickin’ ass?

There is no security without loss of some freedom.

Wow, Stephen Hawking has left the planet huh? What a mind. He proved that no amount of adversity could ever hold down a brilliant man. 

Anything I ever did that turned out well usually scared the hell out of me in the beginning. 

For sneak peeks at new Blogs under construction, go to On Twitter @GeoOfTheRadio.


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