Geo’s Media Blog (Do You Believe In Magic?) new for 2/3/20

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.

GEO’S LIFE-LINES
Kids haven’t changed; parenting has.
 
The only way our exorbitant health cost gets solved is when the Hospitals, Doctors, Nurses, Drug Companies, Insurance Agencies, the Government, and the people cooperate with each other. 
 
There are a lot of reasons why you shouldn’t do anything, but you’re only one good reason away from why you should. 
 
The only reason I’m pissed today is that I feel like creating, and I’m always more creative when I’m pissed.
 
Why do women always look so good in a plain black cocktail dress?
 
How come when you’re a little be overweight people always tell you how healthy you look, but when you’re in the best shape of your life, they think you’re dying of Cancer?
 
How come when talking to black guys about sports, they only remember great black players, whereas I remember all the great players?
 
I think until an NFL coach is half as good as Belichick, they should have to give up that arrogant “all-knowing” look on their face.
 
My folks lived through the tail end of World War I, the Depression, World War II, and the only dropping of the Atomic Bomb. What the hell are we whining about now? 
 
Loving a particular style of music may work if you’re a musician, but it doesn’t if you’re a PD.
 

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 think that they should play the Superbowl on Saturday and the Probowl on Sunday in the same city. What a huge weekend that would be and then the players from the Superbowl could participate in the game, should they want to.

Wow! What a game huh? However, Kansas City got lucky when the kid got hot near the end of the game.
 

COMMENTS

Tim Moore: What Micky created, Cumulus wrecked in record time. A group that couldn’t take “yes” for an answer.
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)

Bill Gardner: I remember hosting a KVIL morning show in the late ’80s and wondering at 6.15 about our scheduled 6.20 newscast since Andy McCollum had yet to arrive. When he walked in about 6.19, I hit the intercom and asked if he wanted me to scrub the 6.20. He said, “No, I’ll be ready.” I introduced him as my song faded at 6.20, and Andy proceeded to do a newscast that sounded every bit as good and prepared as all the rest!  An amazing guy and fun to work with.
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)

Paul Cavenaugh: Hey, George, Starting with Russia issue.  WHOAH.  MAY have intervened???  The real “fake news” along with social media, combined to spread massive volumes of misinformation that may have further tainted the entire election process and further divided us as a people.
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)

Little Jim Hilliard: Hunkered down in Ft. Lauderdale and our AC broke last night. 81 degrees in the house and we are just getting started! I wanted to start drinking this morning and organize the neighborhood men to learn how to juggle power saws but my wife put the kibosh on that idea…Dream Killer! (Hurricane Mathew)

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.

 

Geo’s Media Blog “The Genius” New for 1/27/20

Most successful people had a mentor who helped them claw their way up that wobbly and very tricky ladder of success.

For example, my mentor was and still is, Jim Hilliard, while my nephew Jamie Boychuck’s was Hunter Harrison. Hunter was a genius who unfortunately passed away much too early. However, before doing so, he taught Jamie how to become the new executive vice president of CSX. (Pictured above is Jamie along with the president, ringing the bell on Wall Street.)
 
After reading a book about Hunter’s life called, “The Railroader,” I realized that not only was Hunter a force to be reckoned with, you also better not fuck with him.

Unbelievably, during his short stay on earth, he turned around four Railway companies — the Illinois Central, the CNR and CPR in Canada, and CSX Railway back here in the US.
Even though his tenure at CSX was short because he took ill, he still managed to turn it into a twelve billion-dollar company before his untimely death.
 
Hunter was paid in the high millions because not only did he make his companies more efficient, he also made their stock go through the roof. Even with Hunter gone, CSX’s stock continues to rise because he was wise enough to teach some folks around him like my nephew, how to keep it going.
 
I may be awed by Hunter, but I’m amazed by the folks who run radio. They’ve got to be much smarter than Harrison Hunter. Hell, not only did he have to make the companies he ran more efficiant, he also had to increase their revenue, and make the stock rise before he got his millions.
However, the people who run radio today have to be smarter geniuses because they’ve figured out how to be paid millions with their revenue going down and their stock making that sucking sound. Wow!
 
 
GEO’S LIFE-LINES
When I lived in Canada, I thought all black people were special, but when I moved to America, I soon discovered that this wasn’t true. 
 
I’ve always known that my children needed my protection, whether they knew it or not. 
 
You sure know when the New Yorkers are in town. Nothin’ but horns! 
 
Taking too long to decide your career path might mean that you’re already on it. 
 
If Trump is responsible for all the bad things in the world, then he must be equally accountable for the good. 
 
We all compromise, the only question is, how much? 
 
I attended school in Transcona at TCI in but got my education at Pete’s Pool Room on my way home.
 
Speaking of Canada, have you ever noticed how kind and gentle Canadians are until you give them a hockey stick? 
 
Wow, I Heart has come up with new words to describe future firings. Deplacement and dislocation.
 
Promising to take care of something tomorrow doesn’t solve the dilemma today.
 
You thirst for intellect but hunger for love and success. 
 
Being bold creates magic. 
 
How come Whitney is in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and not Celine? It looks racist to me. 
 
The air talent all sound the same to accountants, so they get rid of the expensive ones — simple math. 
 
I think I’d rather be in a foxhole with a Russian rather than an Arab.
 
Worrying about all the things that you haven’t got done yet takes twice as long as just doing them. 
 
Wait till Archie finds out who he used to be. 
 

When you turn 30, you become who you’re going to be for the rest of your life.

For the first time in a long time, the Winnipeg Jets are closer to the bottom than the top. 
 

Why are liberals so shocked when they discover that there’s a different point of view than theirs. Hey, that’s why they have two parties.

Hey Canada, Neil’s now a Yankee!
 
So here’s a peek at the future for today’s radio executives. Somewhere down the road, the performance fees are going to hit, and the owners are going to say, “Stop playing so much music, get those Dee-Jays to say more.” Unfortunately, you’ve fired the folks who had something to say. Now it’s your turn to suffer the consequences; owners don’t like excuses from high priced employees. Good luck.

Wow, Kobe Bryant is gone.
 
COMMENTS

Denver: Geo, it’s obvious you do not like our President, which tells me (and the rest of the awakened people) that you are still sound asleep!OH, MAN, ARE YOU GOING TO END UP WITH EGG ON YOUR FACE! (Unthinkable Trump)

Geo: That’s funny, Denver, my liberal friends think I like him so much that I must be sleeping with him. 🙂

Bruce Walker: WOW. I’m having trouble concentrating. Did I say WOW? I’m beginning to understand why you loved your jobs so well. (Let’s Hear It For The Girls Part I)

Geo: Having to work continuously under these conditions, Bruce, I find myself becoming more and more distracted with each passing day.

Jed Duvall: Hello Cami: I have known your father since May of 1973. As a 22-year-old right out of college, I was afraid of your dad and his boss, Jim Hilliard. I was terrified that I would open my mouth, and they would see that whatever they thought I was would be discovered as a fraud. Your dad (and Mr. Hilliard) were always tough, but fair. Very likely, being George Johns’ daughter is a challenge, but I am confident that his presence in your life has added dimension and character.  I believe that you will set the world on fire and make your mother and father incredibly proud. Congratulations as you enter a new passage in your life and best wishes. (Camera Graduates)

Tyler: This is the most disconnected, nonsensical, senile word vomit I’ve seen in my entire life. This blog had nothing to with anything. You’re incorrect about a lot of things, least of which your apparent idealism of the Beatles or of the way radio worked 40 years ago. You sound like a cranky, bitter old man who is upset because the world changed around him and let you and your glory days behind in the dust.  Feel free to continue writing this garbage, which all it does is persist the notion that your brand of media is outdated, useless, and dead. Please stop posting this blog everywhere — it’s not relevant to anywhere you’re posting it. (Canada Lied)

Dave Martin: Bravos, George. Thank you. You have, as ever, provided a lucid theory of the case. Please let me suggest the obvious (always the hardest thing to see since it hides in plain sight): winners respect and are obsessed with the fundamentals. Winning involves the cumulative effect of essential details (e.g., superior blocking and tackling, prowess at the free-throw line).
My sense is what we have here is a leadership problem, a continuing failure of imagination. The excellent news – is as you have taught us – is competing against luck remains relatively unaffected. Hard work, audacity, resilience, and having fun on the radio continues to produce incredible results. Allow me to add … today is not a dress rehearsal.
Again, thanks for the inspiration, George. All the best (Nuthin’ On But The Radio)

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

Geo’s Media Blog (Guess Who?) New 1/20/20

In the early days of Rock & Roll, the smartest thing a musical act could do if they wanted a long career was not have a named frontman. If they were known only by the name of the group, they could perform forever no matter how often the group members changed. 

However, when the Supremes became Diana Ross and the Supremes, The Supremes were screwed, as were The Miracles, The 4 Seasons, The Pips, and many others. There is no way any of these groups can go on tour without Diana, Smokey, Frankie, or Gladys. Whereas The Temptations, The 4 Tops, The Platters, The Crystals, The Drifters, and The Coasters, can go on and on and on.
 
The Beatles changed all that, though when they individually became so famous that there is no way that anybody could tour as the Beatles without all 4 of them being present. The Who couldn’t tour without Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey nor could Led Zeppelin without Jimmy Page and Robert Plant or The Stones without Mick and Keith. The only group that seems to get away with it today is The Eagles. Hell, they have to be the biggest cover band in the world what with Don Henley being the only original member left.
 
The only reason I bring any of this up is because after a 10-year drought, it is rumored that my old friends from Winnipeg, Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman (shown above), are getting ready to tour again. Even though Burton and Randy will be touring as Bachman & Cummings, all of Canada will know that they’re really watching, The Guess Who and Bachman Turner Overdrive at the same time.
 
GEO’S LIFE-LINES

If you can’t seem to change anything, change yourself. 

When you’ve watched as many movies on Netflix as I have, you begin to realize that if you’ve never heard of the actors, move on. 
 

We all die sooner than planned.

Even though everything is illegal in Massachusetts, everyone still has everything.
 
I’m not sure if this is true anymore, but when I lived in Canada, you could walk down any street without feeling afraid.
 

So do I have this right, it’s ok to slam, the President, old white guys, policeman, Christians, Russians, and rednecks, but not women, blacks, Jews, Mexicans, Muslims or LGBTQs?  

Sometimes you have to decide just whose side you’re on, the guy hanging on the cross, or the guy banging the nails?

How is the government in California able to ignore the homeless?

We only believe what we agree with. The rest is fake news.

Rich people never lose at war.

Isn’t it weird how amazed the press is every time a black person or a woman does something special?

It sure looks like the Royal Brits can’t handle Yankee girls, huh? Both Harry and his Grand Uncle Edward should have listened to American Woman by Winnipeg’s Guess Who before drawing their swords.

You never own success; you only get to rent it for a little while.

Ok, I’m ready, Chiefs and Niners. Bring it!

COMMENTS

Doug Chappelle: George, the shows like American Idol, The Voice AGT show the reality of an age-old question posed to the record companies. If only one in ten artists makes money, why not just sign the one. It is because nobody can forecast what the public will want…Hell, the public does not even know what they want. These artists have viewers watching these shows and even getting them to do the voting. Everyone that does that has their favorites…BUT…. what happens when the recording comes out… most fail. There have been a few big stars emerge, but the percentage is just as bad as the record companies….hit records and hit artists are things of wonder. (It’s The Song Man!)

Geo: When I was doing the Class format all over North America, Doug, I wouldn’t even add a record until it was in the top 30 and even then, I was wrong half the time.

Jack Schell: Well said and done, George. Very well!

Along those lines (“When you’re on hold, and you hear “your call is very important to us, thank you for holding” Do you think they really mean it!), whenever I hear the on-hold recorded speaker – for the tenth time – say, “…someone will be with you momentarily.”, I usually shout, “WHAT IS YOUR DEFINITION OF MOMENTARILY?”  Y’know? (Ladies Of The Night)

Geo: Jack, have you also noticed that there are fewer and fewer people taking care of us at all the stores we shop in? That’s because we the customers are doing all the work and they’re not even paying us minimum wage. 

Tim Moore: Moore: George: it’s true…we ARE only one F-up away from our most defining moment. Leadership is lonely; some of our most shining moments come when we’re unapplauded and alone. But a decisive leader always prevails, because everyone else is indecisive. (Ladies Of The Nite)

Geo: Yep, It reminds me of the old joke, Tim. I build beautiful bridges, long roads, and tall skyscrapers, but just one time I …, and now I’m known as Benny the —! 

Robin Blair: Thanks, George. Daughters are amazing, and it’s nice to hear it from a loving Dad! Blessings (Happy Birthday Baby)

Jim Davis: Fairchild (KLIF’s owner) hired RKO’s Paul Drew to Craft “one last dance” in 1977. I was fortunate enough to be the PD at that time. I was surrounded by a magnificent staff and great leadership under Edd Routt Who was a friend until his passing. while the end was inevitable, it will always remain as one of the textbook examples of what a great staff can do when they play to win. (KLIF vs KVIL)

Geo: I never realized that Paul Drew was involved, Jim, how fun!

Chris McCarty: I grew up in Dallas and for me personally there was a big difference between KLIF and KVIL. When I was a kid I’d stay up after my bedtime and listen to KLIF on my transistor radio under the covers. When I was a young adult I’d listen to KVIL on my badass stereo system and on top of my covers. Long live radio! (KLIF vs KVIL)

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 Geo’s Media Blog @ GeorgeJohns.com. On Twitter @GeoOfTheRadio. Sharing and commenting​ is appreciated. ​