My old traveling partner, Bobby Cole, who was the National PD of Fairmont Communications, once told me that radio salespeople are all fairweather listeners. (Bobby and me pictured above)
Yeah, I knew exactly what he meant. They hate the music, despise the PD, and also dislike one or two of the jocks. However, when that excellent book shows up, they always claim that they already knew it would be a monster.
Nevertheless, when you have a great book, you can count on them to find something bad in it. Whereas, when I was the National PD of Fairbanks Broadcasting, Jim Hilliard insisted that I get to see all the rating books for the company’s radio stations first, because as he said, “If anyone can find anything good in any rating book, it’s Johns.”
I’ll never forget the day in Indy when the Arbitron book showed up and WIBC, an AM in an FM world, went from a great 13 share to an astounding 19.3.
As we were all standing around laughing, high-fiving, and trying to figure out where the best place would be to have a rating party, one of the sales guys piped up and said, “Hey, what happened to the 18-24-year-old men?”
I bring this all up because recently, one of my all-time best friends, Tom Skinner, a V/P at KZST in Sonoma County, couldn’t help but show his true colors. (Tom, shown above with me.)
Just last week, we received one of the best rating books KZST has ever had. Can you say, “#1 in every demographic?”
However, as we were pouring over the great numbers, my old friend, Tom, reverted to his origins when he said, “Hey guys, I hate to rain on your parade, but we don’t sell share, we sell average quarter-hour persons, and they’re down from last year.”(Tom and me pictured on top.)
“Fuck it;” I’m celebrating with a large glass of Canadian Whiskey anyhow.
Speaking of ratings, Jim Hilliard used to say, “Anybody can sell great ratings.” However, now that hardly anybody even has good ratings anymore, hows that sales thing working out?
The same people who didn’t “get” Ron Chapman in the ’70s, ’80s, 90s, and early 2000s are the same ones who are running and writing about radio today. Think about that for a moment or two.
Speaking of Ron, I head to Dallas on Tuesday to celebrate his incredible life with a bunch of the folks who worked with him.
Back in the day, did the lady dee-jays troll the hit lines looking for studs?
Oh, so now old Joe finally understands why Trump banned travel from China. (India)
Speaking of the president, I remember when I began to feel old. It was when George W Bush became president, and it was the first time that I was older than the president. Now, Joe Biden and I are about the same age. Should I feel young again, or should he feel old?
Why does Mr. Business Man always think that his part’s biggest part? I don’t think that Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Mozart, Beethoven, Frank, Elvis, or the Beatles agree.
Like so many others, the only advice I want is that which I ask for.
Other than golf, I believe this to be true, “If you can do it right once, you can do it again.”
Does anybody other than government workers believe that government workers deserve more money?
If you talk the talk, you better be able to walk the walk.
Things are never as bad as they could be.
We’re so free in America that even though it could hurt people, we can refuse a covid vaccination or wear a mask. Hell, we can even loot and set fire to buildings as long as some protest people are around.
The host determines the rules.
Keep it simple stupid is the best advice one can ever receive.
I liked very few radio sales managers because most thought they had the right to lie to me.
I don’t remember any of my buddies while growing up saying that they were dreaming about becoming fathers.
Was HD just a scam?
Churchill once said, “Americans will eventually do the right thing but only after exhausting all the alternatives.”
Just as radio sales have to find new clients, radio programming has to find new listeners.
There’s got to be one good story out there about a record company?
At my age, why would I want to change my lifestyle when a pill can get everything under control?
I think the Hollywood types should get their own lives in order before telling us how to live ours.
No matter who’s in power, the CIA remains the same. Think about it.
Does anybody know what happened to those folks that Oprah set up in business?
Always remember, every novel you read and every movie you see is at least half true. Scary huh?
When you receive enough money sitting at home instead of working, that ain’t liberalism; that’s socialism.
Tim Moore: Having left DFW to launch my first ownership experience in Coastal Northwest Michigan (106 KHQ), I committed to doing my own morning show in that highly competitive 23 stations regional market.
I had studied Ron and KVIL while a young exec for TM Productions & Programming in Dallas and through “K-Vill” heard what I came to call “cinematic radio.”
Once back in Michigan on the KHQ morning show (which went from zero to #1 in the first Nielsen (Arbitron), I decided to call Ron on my show; he said, “Tim, can you wait 5 minutes? I want to simulcast this on my show!”
So there we were, Ron and I talking about our shows and stations!
A few years ago, while on a NAB planning board, I was asked if I cared to nominate someone for the Hall: “Ron Chapman!” I said. “The most remarkable talent I’d ever known!”
GEO: Well said, Tim, thank you.
Jed Duval: When I was a WHO-AM in 1984, through WHO-TV’s consultant (Magid), I got access to what was going on inside WGN-TV and Radio. Of course, I was tremendously interested in WGN’s top three programs, Wally Phillips (mornings), Roy Leonard (mid-days), and Bob Collins (afternoons). I don’t know why Wally Phillips was so opposed to minimal basic changes. Bob Collins was the most contemporary of the trio and would have been Wally’s successor if he had not died in the plane crash.
Bob Collins had zero problem cross-promoting and, most important, giving the call letters frequently. Roy had a tough time remembering to give them, but Wally, as great as he was in other things, would only say “WGN, Chicago” at the top of the hour. If he had given them several times an hour, think how much bigger WGN’s ratings might have been. (P O I)
Geo: The thing that amazes me to this day, Jed, is how the trades ignored Wally Phillips and Ron Chapman, which resulted in very few radio people getting to study what it was that made them successful. Now it’s a lost art.
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.
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