Color Me Stupid! (new geo Blog for the week of April 09/18)

Download PDF

I’ve never been a big fan of salespeople which could be because my father was one of them. He never brought any of that sales charm I’d often heard he had because I guess he left it at work. Nevertheless, lately, I’ve felt compelled to write about some sales folks who without their help I couldn’t have been very successful. They helped me do some very big promotions that I had no budget for by finding the money I needed to do them. However, now I would like to switch gears and salute the guy who created the best contest/promotion I’ve ever heard on the radio.
I the legendary met Jack McCoy (pictured above with me) in the winter of ’72 when I traveled from Toronto to San Diego to buy his “Last Contest.” (for a taste of how it sounded, click on the link at the bottom of the page) Upon my arrival in beautiful San Diego, I had to call the front desk of the hotel I was staying at on Mission Beach to ask where the air conditioning was. Coming out of Toronto in the middle of winter and suddenly experiencing summer-like conditions was quite a shock to my system so when the desk person told me to simply open the sliding glass doors and let God do the rest, I remember thinking, “Why the hell am I not living here”? It took me ten more years to accomplish that task, but eventually, I did live in San Diego which still is the best place in the world to live even though you can’t afford to do so.

When I met up with Jack the next morning, it was at the old KCBQ studios; he was dressed like Clint Eastwood from the movie “The Good The Bad And The Ugly” although he had a meaner voice. After using that voice to explain to me what the secret of the “Last Contest” was, I realized that I had my work cut out for me. I had to come up with a way to give away a car and an airplane in a country where the CRTC only allowed radio stations to give away $5000.00  worth of prizes a month. However, I finally did find a way to do it but what that was, has to remain a secret just in case I have to use it again. Although now I hear that if the programmers back in Canada had five thousand a month to give away today, they’d be elated.
The thing about Jack McCoy that has always blown me away is his ability to ad-lib promos. (he claims that its the music that writes the promo for him) When we got together that first day, he interviewed out of me what our station was about and what was unique about Toronto. He then laid down some brilliant promos, but the weird part was that he didn’t use a script. Later when I was told that not only had Jack ad-libbed about 300 prize package promos on KCBQ for the “Last Contest,” he did them all in one take and they only ran once, I didn’t and couldn’t believe it. When I moved to America a couple of years later Jack and I became good friends which I took advantage of by having him cut me a ton of promos, I got to witness first hand his ad-libbing ability and of course like Sinatra, he did them all in one take.
Even though Jack explained in great detail to me exactly how the “Last Contest” worked that first day, I, of course, knew better. Jack’s version on KCBQ only lasted a total of 13 days which was so exciting and went by so quickly that everybody who lived in San Diego then, still thinks that KCBQ gave away all the prizes. I like a fool thought more is better, so I ran it for a month, color me stupid.


Could it be true as rumored that the Broward County School Board entered into an agreement with Broward County Law Enforcement officials to cut a way back on arresting students? The rumor is that this was done so that they could receive more federal funding. Is it also true that killer Cruz benefited more than once from this agreement?

I’m pretty sure I would rather my kids have the health care plan Obama’s on now rather than the one he left behind.

As my former girlfriend, the “Hunny Bunny” once told me, “All bartenders are thieves. All you can do is hire the ones you think will steal the least.” Kinda reminds me of politicians.

If Trump was really like Hitler, wouldn’t he be trying to confiscate guns instead of protecting them?

My parents who had a lot less freedom than we do were also a lot safer.

As we move closer and closer to an electrical world, we don’t have to worry about the power companies gouging us right?

Who won the war on drugs?

If you’re done changing, you’re done.

If it doesn’t come with jail time, by all means, do it!

Worrying about all your missed opportunities prevents you from taking advantage of those you didn’t.

If what you do doesn’t frighten you, you’re not living up to your full potential.

Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

Even if you’re a self-made millionaire, you owe somebody somewhere something.

Criticising the work of others doesn’t improve yours in the least.

As difficult as it is to make yourself happy, it’s impossible for others to do it for you. 

Hey, the Winnipeg Jets are in the playoffs. Go Jets!

And now to hear on the greatest contest of all time, click on the link below

Sneak peeks at Blogs under construction @ On Twitter @GeoOfTheRadio.








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

Download PDF


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.


Fear: The Great Motivator (new geo Blog for April 02/18)

Download PDF


When I think back to the days when guys like me used to collect and carry around tapes of all our favorite jocks and the legendary radio stations they all worked on, I wonder what the hell happened and why? These days I only know the names of the owners and have no idea who the new radio superstars are if any? Then suddenly it came to me, “The fear is gone.”  
Back in the day, most owners were afraid not to be #1, because they’d be bankrupt. However, in those days, only a few radio stations had big ratings and when you would check out why you’d usually find a crazy person at the helm. Today, I doubt if most owners even know or care who’s #1 let alone who’s at the helm. Back in the day, owners reluctantly turned over their radio stations to a handful of crazy people like Buzz Bennett, (pictured above) Jack McCoy, Lee Abrams, Randy Michaels, Bill Drake, Scott Shannon, and Bill Tanner to name just a few.

The thing about those so-called crazy people was that they knew how to blow markets up. Not only were they famous, but they were also feared coast to coast, and the trades who wrote stories about them referred to them as geniuses. The owners, on the other hand, had a love-hate thing going with them. They loved the ratings they got but hated the power these guys had over them. Most owners were afraid to do any radio without these geniuses but also didn’t like doing it with them, so they were always on the lookout for another way. The other way finally showed up in the form of research, and before they knew it, their fear was gone but so were the huge ratings and the crazy people who knew how to get them.


The fear of failing has left the radio room.

It amazes me that Congress feels like they need hundreds of people armed to the teeth protecting them but don’t think that our children do. How about putting a few ex-Marines at the schools, a Marine would have taken that punk Cruz out the second he walked onto the school grounds.

How can you trust any group or company that needs a lobbyist?

“If you see something say something” unless of course, it’s the FBI, then you’re just wasting your time.

Chris Rock recently asked why you never hear of a white kid being gunned down by the police. That’s easy Chris, white kids are too busy shooting up schools, and as we know, schools are a cop-free zone.

Nothing has changed. When you tell the guys that you’ve met a new girl, they just wanna know what she looks like? On the other hand, when your new girl tells her girlfriends about you, they only want to know what you do for a living?

The only thing more powerful than God is a beautiful woman, just ask King David.

I don’t think the Democrats or Republicans are aware yet that America appears to be done with them both. When the Democrats wouldn’t give them Bernie, they chose a businessman who they thought was the lesser of two evils.
The beauty of social media is that no company nor no person can hide anymore.
Everybody is for free speech until somebody says something they don’t like.
There is nothing the government can give you that you haven’t already given them.
So if Hillary won the election as the Democrats say because she won the popular vote, why not teach her how the electoral college works and run her again?
If a couple of black dudes wearing Kung Fu pajamas bring you your food, you’re not eating real Chinese.
If I had to choose between Muslims and Russians, I’d go with Russians; the girls are a hell of a lot better lookin’.
I wonder how Canadians managed to live similarly to Americans without having a revolution or civil war?
It doesn’t matter if gun laws work, if the people want them, ya gotta give it to them.

Isn’t it weird that no matter what country you live in or what kind of government you have, or what religion is dominant, the one thing that’s the same, the one percenters have all the money?

A patent, just another word for Monopoly.

I’m one of the lucky ones; I figured out early on what I loved doing, then I really got lucky when I found someone willing to pay me to do it.

America isn’t Black or White; it’s all Grey.

I’m beginning to think that the FBI’s only job must be to protect the interests of the rich. They sure don’t do much for the rest of us, so maybe the rich should be the ones who pay them?

Out of the box, the reboot of Rosanne was #1 everywhere except New York and LA where it didn’t even crack the top twenty proving once again that New York and LA don’t represent America.

Sneak Peeks at upcoming Blogs @ On Twitter @GeoOfTheRadio.


Geo’s Media Blog. (Sales Promotions) 3/05/18) #2 in 2018

Download PDF
When I left CFTR in Toronto to join Fairbanks Broadcasting in Indianapolis as their National Program Director, I didn’t have a perfect relationship with sales departments. (I mean how many times can you be slimed before you say, “Fu#k it?”)
Anyway, years later, when CFTR hired my brother Reg to be their new Program Director I found out that my reputation back home was still intact. As they were introducing him to everybody, the Sales Manager said, “You’re not related to that prick George Johns are you?” Hell, even after just arriving in America, the entire WNAP sales staff marched into Jim Hilliard’s office and said, “It’s either him or us?” Jim said, “Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out.”
Doing radio in America was very different than doing it in Canada. Everybody was a lot more aggressive, and the sales folks were also very driven. The big difference between American and Canadian salespeople was that the American Sales Managers controlled the promotion money. In Canada, the CRTC (FCC) controlled it because you were only allowed to give away $5000 a month thus making it a budget item. In America, there was no limit to how much you could give away; you just had to figure out how to get sales to pay for it.
It didn’t take me too long to discover that all the money that I needed to do my giant promotions was already in Dick Yancey’s office in Indy, (pictured above) and Jerry Bobo’s in Dallas. (pictured on top) All I had to figure out was how to tie their clients into my latest promotion, and they were all over it.
How it worked, Fairbanks Broadcasting was, I was the National PD of the company, but also the local PD of WIBC and Dick Yancey was the National Sales Manager and the local SM of WIBC. We loved running commercials at WIBC, and we ran so many of them that Mr. Fairbanks paid cash whenever he bought a new radio station. We’d figured out that you could run a lot of commercials if you had a lot of restrictions, no remotes, no yelling car dealers, and if you needed a live read, you better come with a boatload of money. Oh yeah and we also had some of the best voices in the country doing them, so they flowed right into our programming.
Dick Yancey and I didn’t agree on everything, and sometimes Hilliard would have to flip a coin to solve what he thought was a ridiculous argument. What we did agree on though were promotions that the sales folk thought were sales promotions, and the air-staff thought that were programming promotions. The “Magic Ticket,” I believe may have been our best creation and was so successful that the FCC investigated it and when it received a clean bill of health, Dick syndicated it. I think other than the ratings and revenue it gave us, what I loved about the “Magic Ticket” was that it paid for my first Mercedes.
When Jim Hilliard bought KVIL in Dallas for Mr. Fairbanks, and I met Jerry Bobo, (pictured on top) he quickly became one of my favorite Sales Managers.
Unfortunately for Jerry, when we launched the new KVIL in Dallas, he had absolutely nothing to sell. We didn’t have any ratings, we didn’t do remotes, we didn’t have any air talent yet, so no live reads but what we did have was a shi#load of rules about what he could not do if he were lucky enough to find someone who wanted to buy a commercial. Oh did I mention, absolutely no remotes and oh yeah, we were doing a brand new format which had never been on the radio before? C’mon Jerry, there’s no crying in radio, and we did keep Ron Chapman, maybe he’ll catch on fire, ya never know.
What made Jerry stand head and shoulders above most SMs was that when he discovered that the only thing he did have to sell were promotions, he became the best in the world at it. He also didn’t sit around waiting for me to bring him things like the “Magic Ticket,” “The Checks In The Mail,” “The Prize Catalog,” and “The 50% Off Free Fair,” he’d just head down to Ron Chapman’s office. Once there he would ask Ron if there was anything that he wanted to do that he hadn’t done yet? There was always something, and once Jerry found out what it was, he would scurry back to his office and package it up. I was never against any of this because if Ron wanted to do it, it never failed.
Once KVIL was cookin’, Hilliard would use Jerry to help out at our other stations. One of my fondest moments occurred when he visited Boston to do a “Magic Ticket” presentation for F-105. (WVBF) We did it a fancy Boston hotel for the executives, managers and their spouses of a restaurant chain called Friendly’s. Right in the middle of explaining how it worked, Jerry said, “Hell it’s impossible to explain how excited your customers are going to be when this promotion hits the air, so I’m just gonna show you.” With that, he reached into his briefcase and started throwing money at the startled Friendly’s folks who soon were not so friendly as they began to shove each other out of the way. It’s hard to explain how ridiculous the scene looked as they all crawled around on their hands and knees as they tried to gather up as much free money as they possibly could.
As George Harrison once said in a song though, “All things must pass,” and even though I was still having fun, after being at Fairbanks for eight years, it was time for me to move on so I left to start my own consulting company. However, I soon discovered that being a consultant was very different than being a V/P of programming. When you’re the V/P, most of your ideas make the airways; when you’re a consultant, you’re lucky if half of them do.

Thankfully, when I left Fairbanks, they became one of my clients, and I’ll never forget my first visit to Dallas as their brand new consultant. When the clock radio went off the next morning, Ron Chapman was doing his show from the parking lot of a shopping mall which was bad enough but the fact that it wouldn’t be open for hours made him sound lonely. What the fu#k? Upon investigation, I found out that Jerry had found out that Ron had lusted after a tricked out RV with a studio in it for years. Ron wanted to do his show once in a while from the towns that surrounded Dallas as a sorta, thank you for listening thing. Jerry came through with Ron’s dream studio but of course, needed a little help. He needed Ron to do a few trial runs around town before he took that beautiful tricked out RV on the road to make sure it all worked well. C’mon Jerry!


I wonder if Jews, Hispanics, Muslims, Native Americans, and Asians in America feel better treated than black folks?

When you’re young, you worry about what people think of you. When you’re middle-aged, you don’t give a damn, but as you grow older, you realize that they were never thinking about you.

My nephew Jamie Boychuck who is an executive with CSX Railway got to ring the bell to begin trading on Wallstreet last Friday. How cool is that?

Your destiny isn’t about your getting lucky; it’s about your ability to choose what it is you want it to be.

Each dumb mistake you make gives you another opportunity to become smarter.

Is there anything louder than the crickets suddenly stopping?

Defeating the enemy inside your head is tough.

The time to start worrying about the stuff that you don’t control is when what you do control is perfect.

Following the well-worn path leads to nothing of any consequence.

It’s not the all the great things that you do now and then that makes the difference, it’s the everyday things that you do.

As sophisticated as Shakespeare’s writing appears to be, it was written for the common man as were all the Beatles compositions.

The difference between winners and losers is, the winners are the ones who got back up one more time to give it another shot.

Unfortunately, we only get to elect our presidents but not our kings who are the wealthy big business guys.

The rest of the world may not like America, but they sure love our benefits.

Why is it so much harder getting the generic medicine out of the container than the original?

In this politically correct world that we live in, people only want to communicate with those who agree with them thus leaving the planet running in place.

What if Mother Nature intended us to screw up the planet. Maybe she’s hoping that we’ll eliminate ourselves and then she could get on with whatever is next without her having to send another comet.

Why do politicians once elected work on everything except what we elected them to work on, “The economy and jobs?”

Having enemies is a good thing claimed Winston Churchill because it means that at one time in your life you stood for something.

The only thing more irritating in South Florida in the winter time than a person from Quebec is an even ruder New Yorker with a horn.

Any person who is not a little wiser today than they were yesterday is on a fast train to nowhere.

Since deregulation began, can anyone point out anything good? All I see are radio groups going into bankruptcy, and people losing their jobs.

I dislike negativity so much that I get excited whenever anything positive shows up like waking up and realizing it’s Friday. Even though the days of the week stopped being a big deal to me when I got into radio, Friday still feels special.

Isn’t it weird when somebody quits smoking they immediately start lecturing us all on the evils of smoking? It sometimes gets so bad that I start praying that they start smoking again.

How do we free our politicians from the chains of lobbyist money so they’d be free to do what’s right?

When I got a record deal, I thought all the dealin’ was done. Little did I know that the dealin’ had just begun.

Have you ever noticed that everyone except the Democrats and Republicans criticizes the evil money that flows from lobbyists to politicians?

Listen up ladies, what most men want from their woman is unconditional adoration.

The sales side of #KVIL, #LifeLiners about #Winners and #DeregulationLosers, plus #Radio are above. Comments about many other things are @ On Twitter @GeoOfTheRadio. Sharing & Commenting is appreciated.