Geo’s Media Blog (Fairweather Listeners) New 5/10/21

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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 @
On Twitter @GeoOfTheRadio. Sharing and commenting is encouraged and appreciated.

Geo’s Media Blog (More Memories Of The Legend, Ron Chapman) New 4/29/21

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Another one of my favorite memories I have of Ron Chapman occurred when he was being inducted into the NAB Radio Hall of Fame.
What a great evening, hell; even Jerry Jones flew in for it.
My date​ for the affair was the beautiful, Lorenda Rae who is pictured with Ron above. Not only, as you can see, is Lorenda beautiful, but she’s also a very talented on-air person at one of the Christian Radio groups.
Anyway, the next morning, when we were all having breakfast together, Ron turned to Lorenda and said, “Not only are you beautiful, you’re also very smart.” “How would you know that, queried Lorenda?” Ron replied, “Well, while two legends were chatting, you were smart enough not to interrupt.”
Another story that I only heard about because I wasn’t asked to attend, was when Ron was stupidly banished from KVIL. He was being sent to their oldies station, and at that meeting, I am told, executive Dan, after telling the GM of KLUV that his new morning man was Ron Chapman, asked, “Can you hit your f**king numbers now?”
“Yes, sir,” replied the GM, who immediately went out and bought a bigger house. I wonder if KVIL’s GM downsized? I’ll have to check with Bob Cooper; he’d know.
Another great story that shows just how tough Ron was, happened a few years ago when I talked him and his wife Nancy into visiting the wine country and all expenses would be taken care of by KZST if he would do one tape session with Brent Farris.
KZST has been a client of mine for well over 35 years. (I’m not bragging, but I guess I am, the new ratings just came out, and KZST is #1 in every demographic.) Anyway, luckily, Brent adored Ron because when I started the tape, about 10 seconds in, Ron yelled, “THIS IS UNFUCKING ACCEPTABLE,” and the tape session went down from there.

Oh, here’s something I can’t understand. Gary Donohue told me that he’d once done an analysis of the DFW market and discovered that Ron was not only the P1 leader but also the P2 and P3 leader. According to Gary, this had never occurred before in any market.
So my question is, how can Ron do something that has never been done before, be inducted into three radio halls of fame, the Texas Hall of Fame, the NAB Hall of Fame, and the National Hall of Fame and yet never win a radio award? I guess he was too busy getting ratings and didn’t have time to suck up to all the trades.

Ron’s ratings were enormous, but if you ever broke out just the females, you couldn’t count that high; they adored him. So I once asked him how he resisted all those beauties, and he replied, “As they walk towards me, I say to myself, is she worth paying all her Visa bills? The only one that’s passed that test so far is my wife, Nance.

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 @
On Twitter @GeoOfTheRadio. Sharing and commenting are encouraged and appreciated.

#4 All-Time Radio Geo’s Media Blog (The Ron Chapman Edition) Published 4/26/21

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I’m very sad to report that an old friend of mine has just passed.
Not only was Ron a good friend, but he was also one of America’s greatest broadcasters. (Ron is shown on top and with me below at his induction into the NAB Radio Hall Of Fame.)

I met Ron Chapman for the first time at the Fairmont Hotel in Dallas, where we were having breakfast with Jim Hilliard and GM Bob Hanna.
Fairbanks had just purchased KVIL, but until we received FCC approval, we couldn’t discuss anything about the station’s programming.

Being recently from Canada, I had no idea who Ron was, and he, of course, had never heard of me.
Ron later recalled that breakfast at a KVIL reunion, thinking, “This quiet Canadian is going to be our ratings savior?  However,” he added, “We did manage to make a little magic together.”

KVIL was magical from the very beginning, but most of that magic came from Ron’s attention to detail.
What amazes me, though, is that even though KVIL was on its way to becoming the darling of the industry, we never won any awards, and none of the National trades ever noticed us.

Maybe it’s about how much suck-up you put into the game, but we were too busy chasing ratings to do any of that.
However, when KVIL hit #1, the trades had no choice but to notice us, so they treated us like an overnight radio sensation, which couldn’t have been further from the truth.

When KVIL became huge, and radio folks from all over America were flying in to steal what they could, unfortunately for them, they all missed what started the fire.
We were okay with stealing our stuff because, without the beginning of the story, it wouldn’t make much sense elsewhere.

In 1981, I left Fairbanks Broadcasting to start my own consultancy, and thankfully, I was retained by Jim Hilliard to continue working with Ron.
Then, in 1987, when Mel bought it, like most money guys, he believed he was all-knowing, so that ended my association with KVIL, and unfortunately, I had to watch the destruction from the sidelines.

One of the first stupid things “All-knowing Mel” did was move Ron from KVIL to their oldies station, KLUV.
The next thing was even more mind-boggling; they let Ron promote that he was moving to KLUV for a whole month.

A couple of months later, the new rating book showed that Ron’s listeners had moved with him.
Kay-Ville was done, but Ron wasn’t; he ended up in three Radio Hall of Fames.

KVIL’s PD at the time was a young preppy research kind of guy who loved to wander around the halls, referring to KVIL as KVI-Elderly while whining about how Ron Chapman was killing him.
Bill Figenshu said it best when he said, “Our PD was absolutely right when he claimed that Ron Chapman was killing him because as I look at the new rating book, Ron did kill him. Now it’s my job to fire his ass.”

KVIL never recovered. Rest in Peace, Ron.


If you insist on talking 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 some 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.

It’s the host who determines the rules.

Keep it simple stupid is the best advice anyone 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, while growing up, any of my buddies 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 sales have to find new clients, radio 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 lives in order before telling us how to live ours.

It’s tough to get rich, but even tougher to get rich cautiously.

It’s a hell of a lot more fun being the Puppeteer than the Puppet.

Damn, this is no time for the Winnipeg Jets to be falling apart.

The Countdown Continues Tomorrow With #4

Radio Geo’s Media Blog is a politically incorrect inside look at Radio, TV, Music, Movies, Books, Social Media, Politics, Religion, and Life, primarily written with men in mind.
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Chapter XVII (Wild Thing) 2/03/23

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We moved to Sudbury
for only a four-month stand.
Cuz Ottawa came calling
and changed all my plans.

 I learned to get ratings
which we got in abundance

But before then,
I just went with my hunches.

Growing weary of the drama in Saskatoon, I took a sideways job at CKSO in Sudbury.
Even though it was about two hundred and fifty miles north of Toronto, it was still in the east, so maybe I’d get noticed.

Sudbury is a nickel mining town, and because of early mining techniques that scorched parts of the land, it’s not the prettiest place on the planet.
In fact,
the astronauts used to practice their moonwalks there. (See the photo on top)

Unlike Saskatoon, I was pleased to discover that CKSO already sounded pretty good.
They had some great weapons like G. Michael Cranston, Roger Klein, and Bill Drake, so all it needed, I figured, was a little fine-tuning and some sizzle to take it from good to great. (G. Michael is pictured below)

As I began putting my plan together, a Van Morrison look-alike would occasionally appear outside my office door and just stare at me.
Figuring him to be some sales guy from the TV side, I just ignored him.

2015-10-17-16-40-43-1380780411After being there for about two weeks, my boss, George Lund, asked if I was ready to meet the big guy.
Surprised, I said, “George, I thought you were the big guy?” He laughed and said he ran the radio division, but Ralph Connor ran the whole company.” (George Lund is pictured above)

Ralph’s office was at the other end of the building, and after arriving at his outer office, his secretary said that Mr. Connor was on the phone, but he would be with us shortly.
While waiting, I couldn’t help but peek over her shoulder, and sure enough, there on the phone was the Van Morrison look-alike. (Ralph Connor is punctured at the top)

When we were ushered into Ralph’s office, Ralph motioned me to the chair in front of his desk and said, “George, you can stand.”
As I sit down, Ralph then says, “Mr. Lund, while you’re standing there, perhaps you can explain to me what it is your genius programmer is doing because whatever it is, I can’t hear it.”

George explained that I was busy putting a plan together, which he’ll be presenting shortly, and also familiarizing himself with the station’s policies.
Ralph then turns to me and says, “George, even though you don’t know me yet, could find it in your heart to do me a small favor?”

Before I could respond, he got to his feet and yelled, “DO NOT FOLLOW THE STATION’S F*CKING POLICIES; IF THE STATION’S POLICIES WERE ANY F*CKING GOOD, THE F*CKING RADIO STATION WOULD SOUND GOOD,” and with that, he dismissed us with a wave of his hand like we were Hop Sing from the Ponderosa.

As we leave Ralph’s office, George tells me not to worry about what happened because it’ll blow over soon enough.
Seething, I replied, “I don’t want it to blow over George; I wanna bring that f*cker to his knees!

I was now ready to tear the place apart but to do so, I needed my guys. So I convinced Woody Cooper and Doc Harris from CKOM and Gary Russell from CKLW to join me in Sudbury. (Doc Harris is pictured above, and Gary Russell is with me below)

After streamlining the music and tightening up the formatics, it was time to create some buzz.
The first thing we did was bring summer to Sudbury.

We threw a massive picnic at the local lake with free food, face painting, balloons, clowns, and street magicians. Then at the stroke of summer, we had the Canadian Airforce fly a squadron of jet fighters over the lake straight at us. Can you spell S-P-E-C-T-A-C-U-L-A-R?

I hadn’t seen Ralph since that first meeting, so  I relaxed until his secretary called and said Mr. Connor wanted to see me.
When I got to Ralph’s office, I noticed that George Lund was not present, which made me a little nervous.

Sensing my discomfort, Ralph immediately put me at ease by saying he loved our new sound.
Then he says,
“But I think we need to promote the new sound, so I’m giving you a TV budget and a camera crew; all you have to do is to come up with a great TV spot. (I’m pictured above editing the spot )

When I told the guys about it, they were very excited, and before long, we produced an outstanding TV commercial.
Wanting to get it on the air quickly, I rush the spot to Ralph’s office to get it cleared. 

When he slipped the cassette into his VCR, he turned the volume down.
Then a
s we’re standing there watching, he turns to me and asks, “George, what the hell is this spot about?”

Sarcastically, I tell him that if he had the audio up, he’d know because the audio is killer.
Ralph lets my sarcasm slide and then says something that has saved me thousands of dollars, “George, people don’t listen to TV; they watch it.”

After fixing the TV spot, things continued to go well, and then once again, I was summoned to Ralfph’s office.
He starts the meeting by telling me that he’s a New York kind of guy and that the only way that he can handle living in Sudbury is by bringing a little New York to the market.

“George,” he then says, “You have CKSO sounding as good if not better than a lot of the New York stations.
And because the station sounds so good, I’m throwing a big celebration party for you and your crew at a fancy resort just north of here.”

What a weekend! A bus filled with booze and food picked our wives and us up at the radio station, and by the time we got to the resort, the party had already started.
I don’t remember too much about that weekend, but I’m told that we had a great time.

I guess Ralph was right about how good CKSO sounded because shortly after that great party, CFRA in Ottawa hired me away.
I’m pretty sure Ralph would have paid me almost anything to stay, but when the “Bigs” call, ya gotta go, man.

Ok, you can get off your knees, Ralph.

Chapter XVIII (A Suit) 2/03/23

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We arrived in Ottawa,
 a family of three
Consisting of Lana, Candis,
and, of course, me.

But a man needs a son
so we added one more
And it felt  good

to hit Toronto
a family
of four

When we moved to Ottawa, other than the adoption of my son, Curtis, it wasn’t a very enjoyable experience.
In fact, the only time I ever returned was when my friend Gary Russell was inducted into the Radio Hall Of Fame there some 30 years later.

Initially, I was hired by the Chum group to be the new Program Director.
However, they neglected to tell me that not only was I following the legendary Alden Diehl, but the staff didn’t like the “suits” from Toronto.

First of all, I wasn’t from Toronto, nor even though I wore one, a “suit.”
Oh, and I’d never even been to Toronto, and the only person I knew at CHUM was J Robert Wood because, like me, he was also from Winnipeg.

I quickly found out that most of the staff still worshiped the previous owner, Frank Ryan, even though old Frank and the Mrs. left them high and dry when scooted with the loot.
Being a bit of a maverick, I’m sure the CHUM folks were a little nervous about me too, but they definitely, knew I wasn’t a “suit.”

I had two programming consultants, Ted Randal out of LA, who I loved because he, like me, was into concepts and philosophy, whereas George Davies from Victoria was mostly about mechanics. I was also only a phone call away from CHUM’s PD, J Robert, and Fred Sheratte, the company’s V/P of programming, so as you can see, I had more than enough help.

CFRA, with its 50,000 watts, had a huge signal, but it didn’t sound huge; it sounded like it was coming out of the phone.
It’s probably a coincidence that the chief engineer used to work at Ma Bell, but when I finally got him to back the compression down, it gave us a little more fidelity.

I didn’t worry about the adversity I felt at the station because even then, I knew you only needed 5-7 like-minded individuals around you to kick major ass.
Time to gather my team. First, I brought in the golden throats of Roger Klein and Woody Cooper from Sudbury, which made our production sound Major League.

Next, I hired Shelley Emmond out of Regina for afternoons and added Sharon Henwood to the promotion department.
Then when our midday guy, Joel Thompson, came around to our way of thinking, I knew we were all set.

CFRA was a great radio station, and one of the best things about it was its award-winning news department.
I’ll never forget watching the evening news one night when the Prime Minister answered a reporter’s question with, “All I know about that is what I heard on CFRA this morning.” How often do you suppose we ran that little sound bite, “Eh?

My favorite newspaper ad we ran was the one Roger Klein created. It showed Lowell Green trudging up the steps of the Parliament building with a slug line that read, “When Lowell Green Has Questions, He Knows Where To Go To Get Answers.”

I was a little nervous when my first rating book came out because of all the changes we made to. 
Not to worry, it was huge, and the next one was even bigger.

If you put the rest of the Ottawa radio stations together, they didn’t add up to  CFRA’s numbers.
Hell, we even had a 100 share on a weekend daypart.

Unfortunately, right after that wonderful rating book, my radio world went silent.
Years later, I was told that the owner, Allan Waters, told everyone to back off because, as he reportedly said, “I don’t want anybody slowing down this kid’s train.”

Unfortunately, Mr. Waters neglected to tell me, so the only input I got now was from the old guard, who liked the ratings but didn’t like how we got them, so my rage began to heat up.

The CFRA studios were all on the third floor, and my office was on the second.
Getting to my office from the studios required taking an elevator that opened up right in front of the GM’s office.

Terry Keilty was the GM, and on this particular day, as I walked by his office carrying a tape filled with promos, he waved me in.
Sitting in there with him
was his sports director buddy, Ernie Calcutt.

When Terry said that he had a question for me, I told him to fire away.“Ernie and I, he said, are wondering why you hired Roger Klein, knowing full well that he’s too good for our market, so he’s just gonna end up leaving?”

I just snapped at that moment and my rage, which had been festering for a while, finally boiled over.

Then I threw the tape I was carrying against his mahogany wall, where it shattered. 
I watched in horror as what looked like brown tinsel slowly drifted down and covered up Terry and Ernie completely, and as they struggled to free themselves, I stormed out.

Terry was right about Roger, though, because he did leave when he left with me for CFTR in Toronto.
(As you can see on top, I’m pictured in my office at CFRA wearing a sport jacket, not a suit.)