Years ago, when I was doing an AC format called Class/Classy, it was on a bunch of radio stations and one of them was WMAG in the Carolinas. The station did well, but things change, and at some point, I moved on.
However, as fate would have it, years later, the owners of WMAG who spent their winters in West Palm Beach got in contact with me again.
It seems that they spent a fair amount of time listening tp WRMF and wanted to know if I was still involved with it. When I told them that indeed I was, they asked if I thought I could make WMAG sound the same? I told them that I would sure enjoy trying, we put a deal together and I headed for the Triads to meet up with Ivan Braiker, WMAG’s GM. (pictured above)
Now the good news about this was, Ivan and I knew each other from Indy where we were competitors. So when the owners marched me into Ivan’s office and said, “Hey Ivan, we got you, George Johns and he’s gonna put the magic back on Magic,” we were well ahead of the game.
Ivan was easy to work with, so before long, we had all of WRMF’s bells and whistles on the air at WMAG.
However, several weeks later, though, the owners once again marched into Ivan’s office, but this time they said, “We just got back from West Palm Beach and WMAG doesn’t sound anything like WRMF. We need you to go down there and listen for a few days and then tell us why we don’t sound like them?
Ivan spent three lonely days on the beach drinking Mojitos as he listened to WRMF and made notes. When he returned to the Triads, he met with the owners who asked, “Did you hear the magic on WRMF, and if so, can you tell us why our station doesn’t have it? I heard it, Ivan replied, and I know exactly why WMAG doesn’t have it.
We play the same music as WRMF, our air talent uses the same on-air style as they do, our news and traffic reports are very similar, and we use the same jingles and promo voice as they do, however, you’re right, we sound nothing like them. The reason for that is because we’re not doing what WRMF’s not doing. It’s not what George Johns does that creates the magic, it’s what he doesn’t do.
Why would you ever stop doing what you’re good at?
My daughter Cami who recently graduated from USF has been working part-time at Express in the Outlet Mall near where we live. She’s only been working there since September but yesterday, they promoted her to her new position, Operations Expert, along with a big raise. Color me proud!
Wow, The Winnipeg Jets are headed for the basement.
I had the fun of moderating at R& R’s last News Talk Conference in LA. Mickey was on my panel–a fellow Michigan guy by origin. He put his life into KGO.”Smoking wreckage” might be too soft. (Radio Rants)
Moto: Radio is dead. I think you boys missed the story. It was a few years ago, and it received little notice. Few cared, and more laughed at its demise. It had become such an awful entertainment venue, more of a dead skunk in the middle of the road, a putrid roadkill carcass. Deregulation was listed as the cause of death, with boring musical formats and even more boring personalities listed as contributing factors. The fact of its timely demise is hardly worth writing about, and yet here we are, commiserating over the beating yet another dead horse. It was ruled a suicide. (I Write The Wrongs)
Bob Christy: I’m an old hockey player too, My senior year in High School, 4 guys got D-1 scholarships and I wasn’t one of them. That said, a couple of months ago I ran across a piece of tape from WHDH during the massive blizzard of 78. WHDH was an AC with a very good news department. It was a total emergency situation, A city bus was buried on the street below the station’s studio windows. The snow was so deep in the city it reached the 2nd floor of buildings, No power, etc. The jocks were acting as news anchors while the news people gathered news. I wonder how many people on music stations today could step up and do something like that for 4 straight days and do a great job of it? They all did a hell of a job and when you talk to them today, they all say it was one of the best things they’ve ever been involved in.. (Writing The Wrongs)
Saw Andy last at one of our KVIL reunions, and like Bob Morrison who you mentioned, and even the legendary Ben Laurie, miss them all personally and professionally. (News To Me)
As for politicians? Every single one of them is corrupt. Democrat and Republican. Add voter suppression, Gerrymandered districts, and Corporate lobbying…along with the relentless attack on the validity of the mainstream media, we get one step closer to fascism every day. I predict Trump will eventually go down, but it will be for Obstruction of Justice while in office, along with Money Laundering and Tax Evasion prior to his presidency.
As for women and gays, I can’t explain it but have noticed over the years that gay men treat women with a different level of respect, long before the sexual orientation issue ever came up? (R2-D2)
Doug Thompson: That whole Brill Building era had several husbands and wife teams. Jeff Barry & Ellie Greenwich, Carole King & Gerry Goffin, Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil and other teams such as Doc Pomus & Mort Shuman (who went to write “Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living In Paris”, plus Neil Sedaka & Howie Greenfield. Jeff Barry told me (and probably told you George) that he came up with that opening drum riff for “Be My Baby.” “Bum-bum-bum-cha” by banging on a filing cabinet. (Hanky Panky)
Doug Chappell: George, Another year has passed by, and I must tell you how much I enjoy reading your blogs… it gives a connection back to a time when we were all young “bucks” full of vim and vigor. Anyone who had the good fortune to live through the wonderful days of “Radio and Records” like we did are very lucky indeed, funny all that time and effort, and when we look back, it seems that we didn’t work a day in our lives. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and yours, proud to call you my friend. (Some More Comments)
Doug Erickson: George, I had the most delightful conversation with Jack Schell earlier this week. We had never met. Bill Gardner gave me Jack’s number. From the instant, he answered the call, he had me laughing. Half an hour with him provided more entertainment than I’ve heard on all American radio stations I’ve heard this year combined. Pick the market, pick the talent — Jack would draw higher ratings within a month. That airstaff you assembled at KVIL will never again be duplicated. Simply the best talent ever collected on one radio station. (KVIL 1974)
Geo’s Media Blog @ GeorgeJohns.com 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.