Radio Geo’s Media Blog (Questions, Yes, I Have A Few.) New 4/17/23

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Can you spell S-C-A-R-E-D? So there I was a couple of days ago, running a little late for an appointment, and as I got on the elevator (I live on the 19th floor), I noticed that all the floor buttons were lit and a loud buzzing noise.
“Oh shit,” I said as the doors closed, and we just sat there.

I tried pushing the main level and door open buttons, but nothing!
Then I saw a call button, and when I pushed it, a voice I could hardly hear said something I couldn’t understand.

I told whoever it was that I was trapped on the 19th floor of the Washington Tower.
The same faint voice said that she also could barely hear me.

Now you’ve got to imagine this as best you can.
There I was on my hands and knees, using my best radio voice, shouting into a speaker near the bottom of the elevator.

Whoever I was talking to claimed they’d be sending help but being a little claustrophobic, I was starting to get nervous.
Then all of a sudden, the buzzing stopped, and the lights on all the buttons went out; thankfully, when I pressed the door open button, the doors opened, and I got the hell out of there.

The next thing I did was bravely jump onto the other elevator, and when I finally got to the reception area, I told the lady at the front desk to tell whoever showed up to rescue me, that I escaped!”

Why does everything but the bad stuff fade away in your rearview mirror of life?

The thing I notice the most about air and train travel is that the staff doesn’t have any sense of urgency.

Unfortunately, eventually, everything will fail.

What the airline industry needs to learn is “Communication is the beginning of understanding.”

To be successful, one must be passionate about persevering.

There is no such thing as dying of old age; something always kills you.

The drummer is the only member of the band who needs a band.

It’s not the booze or drugs you’ve overindulged in that make you look old; it’s your sobering up and realizing what a fool you’ve been.

Why do my days seem to last longer than my years?

Everybody’s good at something.

Remember when everything was about the customer?

Becoming happy is the most complicated thing you’ll ever undertake.

I think the Republicans hate Nancy Pelosi as much as the Democrats hate Donald Trump. Having them both gone would be a good thing.

I’m not sure what words I dislike more, no, never, or, that’s not my problem.

Reasons and excuses are not that closely related.

I guess Musk has proved that you can’t be a genius at everything, huh?

Rules are made for those who’ll follow them.

Other than in the music business, contracts usually favor the underdog.

Bobby Cole claims that there is no such thing as a real phony.

Does anything ruin your cool look more than a missed belt loop?

Thinking that prayer will solve everything is rather silly; a person is usually the answer to every problem, not God.

Wow, on my Thanksgiving adventure to California, I had the opportunity to fly Alaska Airlines a couple of times. Nice attitude.

Steven Stills may have sung it a long time ago, but that’s where we still are; “Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong.”

Why do they think we know where the venues are by​ only giving us the stadium name?

Wow, Gisele’s already got a new boyfriend.

The more frightened Mr. Businessman becomes, the more he listens and cooperates.

Even though the word, eventually, isn’t very optimistic, I like it more than the word never.

Do you think that any talk show host or celebrity has gotten even one person to change their vote?

Why are people who believe happier than those who don’t?

I wonder why folks find it so hard to say thank you.

Progress, no matter how slow, is still progress.

​How come everybody but women understand, “He with the gold rules?”

Sex only becomes important when you’re not getting any.

Whenever you stop learning, the end is near, my friend.

Every time something becomes popular, something else becomes unpopular.

When your best days are behind you, sometimes your best hours are just ahead.

Wow, both my Winnipeg Jets and Florida Panthers snuck into the playoffs. The Jets play the Golden Knights, and The Panthers, play the Bruins. OUCH!

Speaking of hockey, how ’bout dat Connor Bedard, eh?

Oh, and did I mention that my Daughter Cami is a big hockey fan? Not only does she go to the games, but she has a bunch of Panther Jerseys, Jackets, Touques, and T-shirts, so I’m pretty sure she wears a different outfit for each period.

Don’t you just hate it when the words “Update available” show up?

How sad, one of the legendary Buzzard boys of WNAP in Indy, Buster Bodine, passed away. 🙁

Bruce Munson: George, you know I love you and your blog. But. (You knew there’d be a but.”)  You seem to have run out of keystrokes to add space between ideas.  I have a few extra; here you go:
Geo: That’s what you get when you sneak backstage before the play’s finished, Bruce.

Reid Reker: Geo- I loved every bit of this piece. I have also not listened to the radio in years for the same reason-no characters. You put it so well… as you always do! (Character!)
Geo: Good to hear from you, Reid. As you know, you found many of those characters for me, and I thank you for it.

Radio Geo’s Media Blog is a politically incorrect inside look at Radio, TV, Music, Movies, Books, Social Media, Politics, and Life, primarily written with men in mind.
For a peek at some upcoming Blogs or to see some that you may have missed, go to On Twitter @GeoOfTheRadio. Sharing and/or commenting is appreciated. If you’d like to subscribe, email yoor address to 


#11 Radio Geo’s Media Blog (Burnout) Part 3 of Character! 11/28/22

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While watching the Rose Bowl every year on TV back in Transcona, I used to look out the window at all the swirling snow, which seemed never-ending.
I remember envying all those folks sitting in the stands wearing shorts and short sleeve shirts, and then I would start chanting to myself, “Someday, Man, someday.”

Eventually, I got so busy cutting records with the Jury before starting my radio career I didn’t think about it much anymore.
Then one day, it came thundering back when I woke up with the chant, “Someday, Man, someday,” pounding in my head, and I knew that if I didn’t go to California right now, I never would. (A wee bit of the mid-life crazies may have also been involved.)

Anyway, after almost ten years with Fairbanks Broadcasting in Indianapolis, I packed my bag and headed for California, leaving family and friends behind. Luckily, my first client was KOGO/KPRI in San Diego, which was owned by the Shadek Family.
KOGO was doing a new format that Jack McCoy had created called “The Radio Magazine,” and KPRI was an AOR radio station.
(San Diego, pictured above)

I loved living in San Diego, and I loved working on the magazine format, but unfortunately, it was very time-consuming, and unbeknownst to me, I was soon going to be all out of time.
I still think the Radio Magazine concept is still a good one, but as I said, it’s time-consuming, and radio doesn’t have those kinds of chops anymore.

Besides their San Diego properties, the Shadeks also owned an FM in San Antonio.
They’d tried several kinds of formats on it, but nothing had gotten any traction, so they were hoping that I could duplicate KVIL’s success.
(The Riverwalk pictured above)

Doing KLLS in San Antonio was a great opportunity to show some potential clients that even though KVIL was unique, I believed it was a concept that could be done anywhere.
We’d already proved in Palm Beach with WRMF that it would work without the great Ron Chapman, but would it work outside of Fairbanks Broadcasting? That was the question.

While working on KVIL and WRMF, I was often asked if I could pinpoint what it was that made those two stations so special. I would respond with, “They did everything with Class.”
So, of course, the new name of the new format had to be “Class.”

Not only was Class/Classy a great descriptive name, but philosophically, it kinda told the stations what to do and what not to do. Hey, does it fit in the class box or not?

A few of the folks down the road who “got it” and did an excellent job running with it were Steve Dinkel at KLSI in Kansas City, Dana Horner, and Chris Mays at KLSY in Seattle, along with Chris Kampmier and Bob Glasco at KLZI in Phoenix.
Not only did their radio stations sound great, but their marketing was also superb. Hey, but I’m getting a little ahead of myself here.

When we launched “Class FM” (KLLS) in San Antonio, just like in Dallas and Palm Beach, we built it on the air piece by piece.
The only difference between KVIL, WRMF, and KLLS was; KVIL took two years to get the money, WRMF one year, and KLLS six months.

The GM, Jack Collins, was another character who more than fit into the scheme of things.
Jack brilliantly had Arbitron do a zip code run which showed that KLLS was already #1 in the northern half of San Antonio.

Next, he printed up a map with a line drawn through the center of the city and a slug line in the northern part that read, “KLLS IS #1 RIGHT HERE!
Then he sent the map to all the advertising agencies, which resulted in our getting all the money.

Oh, the north part of San Antonio happened not only to be where all the Malls were but also where the upper middle class and the affluent lived. (See the zip code run below) Now all I needed was somebody to spread the word about the success of Class FM and be able to tie it together with KVIL and WRMF. There was only one guy who I knew could do that, and his name was Jim West.
Jim ran a company out of Dallas called Fairwest that syndicated Music Of Your Life and Continuous Country, so the “Class” format was a perfect fit for him, so off into the future we went.
(Jim West pictured above)
Bam! And just like that, I was all out of time. Jim had gotten so many clients so quickly that I couldn’t possibly keep up and desperately needed some help.
The perfect answer was my brother Reg who was a successful programmer at CKRC in Winnipeg, CKGM in Montreal, CFTR in Toronto, WVBF in Boston, and Fairwest Programming in Dallas.
(Reg and me pictured above)

When we combined forces, we also opened an office that overlooked La Jolla cove.
(La Jolla Cove is pictured below)

While taking the “Class” concept nationwide, the only thing we did a little bit differently was turn up the heat with more talk-causing promotions and some stunting.
The result was we blew out a few phone systems, which we did so that we could get the TV news people to talk about us.

Oh, and somewhere along the line, we also figured out how the stations could make a few bucks with some of our promotions without hurting programming.
Doing some of these promotions with a sales twist eventually led Reg in a new direction and a new career.

The only problem we had with “Class” was it just grew too damn fast.
We began creating road crews whose job it was to teach and find us more characters.

We even tried bringing the clients to us when we did regional seminars in San Diego on a huge ocean-going yacht in Dallas at Texas Stadium, at JR’s ranch, in Nashville on the stage of the Grand Opry, and in the Mountains of Utah, it was still unmanageable.

Not only were we getting stressed out by just trying to keep up, but Reg and I were on the road nonstop, which was burning us out.
Hey, I agree that every market is somewhat unique, but Hotels, Restaurants, Bars, and  Airplanes ain’t.

I, for one, was not only growing tired of the travel, but I was also growing weary of explaining to the sales folks over and over again that doing a remote from a tire store wasn’t at all classy.
However, I still loved coaching the air talent, so that’s where I started to spend my time, and Reg began to get much more involved in the promotion side.

In the beginning, Reg and I had set out to build a very solid consulting company, but we were now starting to realize that it’s impossible to do hands-on radio when you’ve got forty of ’em.
Trouble was beginning to brew, but unfortunately, it was cleverly disguised as opportunity. 

Unfortunately, we’d never spent any time preparing for our success, so as we were approaching our fortieth market, instead of celebrating, we needed to figure out how to make the format more philosophical.
As I said, we could no longer do the hands-on approach because we were out of time.

However, chaotic and stressful as things were, not only did we manage to buy a syndication company, but we also became owners of several radio stations, but that’s another story for another time.

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.
For a peek at some upcoming Blogs or to see some that you may have missed, go to On Twitter @GeoOfTheRadio. Sharing and/or commenting is appreciated.
If you’d like to subscribe to Radio Geo’s Media Blog, send your name and email address to


Radio Geo’s Media Blog (Radio with Character!) Part 2 11/22

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In part 1 of “Character!” I was talking about how I loved listening to the fun characters on the radio when I was growing up.
Then after working with a few of them at CKY, when I got my shot to be a PD at CKOM in Saskatoon, that’s the way I’d have to go. Hey, If I didn’t listen to the radio, who the hell would?
Hiring on-air characters worked out so well that I started thinking, “If characters on the radio can attract a large audience, what if the radio station had some character too?

When I landed at CKSO in Sudbury, we turned the heat up by adding some unique promotions to the mix.
One of them was we brought summer to Sudbury by throwing a giant picnic by the town’s lake.
The picnic featured clowns, magicians, bands, and free food and then, at the stroke of summer, a bunch of Air Force Jets screamed across the lake right at us; whew!

CFRA in Ottawa was where I began to texturize the music and write some storytelling promos using Roger Klein to talk about how great Ottawa was and, of course, our radio station.
When they hired me at CFTR in Toronto, I realized that it was time to put it all together because this was Canada’s biggest market, and it was gonna take everything I had to put a dent in it.
We started by playing nothing but hit records, but the filter was they had to have the same texture as the music in Ottawa.

The promotions, the Great Rip-Off, and The Last Contest, were similar to the stuff we did at CKSO in Sudbury, and our billboard campaign was as controversial as we were. (See our billboard above stuck on Yonge street during rush hour, darn)

Most of the air staff on CFTR did most of the National commercials in Canada, so they knew how to be warm and smooth, but like in Saskatoon, we also had a couple of characters like Bob McCadorey and the Magic Christian to stir things up.

When we launched our new format, if nothing else, it sounded different than all of the other radio stations in Toronto. (It was later named Adult Contemporary and became the biggest radio format on the planet, and still is.)

When I arrived in Indianapolis as Fairbanks Broadcasting’s new National PD, I figured out real quick that I had a few problems to overcome.
One of them was,
how do you make WNAP more listenable without destroying its hip image?

At the time, they were playing a lot of unfamiliar AOR-type music, but we needed more listeners, so we had to make the music more familiar.
As we began evolving it by inserting the long versions of big top 40 hits into the music mix, we started making everything between the records hipper.

We also used our nickname, “The Buzzard,” a lot more than the call letters and also began adding some hip programming elements like the 25th Hour (Playing Led Zeppelin’s new album uninterrupted), the WNAP Raft Race (It rivaled the Indy 500, which after nine years had to be shut down because the traffic was so out of control you couldn’t drive anywhere in Indianapolis.

We also created a make-believe rock concert called Fantasy Park that sounded so real that hundreds of folks were driving around Indianapolis trying to find it.
As the station evolved, so did the Buzzard’s appearance. (see below)

Down the hall at WIBC,  not only did we have the best News Department and Jock staff in the state, but we also ran incredible promotions.
We raced Gary Todd and Chuck Riley around the world and then took some listeners with us to search for Santa Claus, the Fountain of Youth, and the Great White Shark when Jaws was so big, people wouldn’t even go in their pools.

While all this going on, as NAP got squarer, I was busy making WIBC’s music hipper. Meanwhile, In Boston at WVBF, we changed our name to F-105, and then we hired some outrageous jocks and started doing some strong promotions.
One of the better ones was a good one I got from my brother Reg back in Canada. It was called, “Show us a sign you want to win.”

Before long, there were F-105 signs everywhere. Folks running the Boston Marathon were wearing them; they were at all of our competitor’s events which was priceless, but my favorite was the one shown on the TV news.

The New England Patriots were playing at home and won the game in the last minute when Jim Plunkett threw a pass to his tight end in the endzone.
The best part was when the tight end had to leap high in the air right in front of a bedsheet that had a huge F105 on it to grab the pass. They showed it over and over again on TV.

The best promotion F-105 ever did, though, may have been when we retired WRKO on air and threw them a huge going-away party in the hippest club in town. It did them in. They changed their format to talk radio.

In Dallas, at KVIL, we had a unique problem that required a unique solution.
As I was arriving in Indy to start my new job, Fairbanks had just purchased Kay-Ville, but Jim Hilliard didn’t want to do a big launch until they combined the Dallas and Fort Worth rating books.

Unfortunately, we still had to operate the station, so what we came up with was “Build your own radio station.”
Hilliard liked it and said, “While you’re stalling, why don’t you use the music you did in Toronto, and I’ll get you some Heller Jingles from LA, oh, and you can use Riley to do your promos.

Talk about being unique and different; here we were in the jingle capital of the world, playing jingles that sounded nothing like the ones the other radio stations played.
Our promos were saying that 103.7 on the FM dial had been turned over to the people of Texas.

When the folks would call to tell us what to do, we’d make promos out of them.
Every Monday, we’d use one of the calls asking us to do what we were about to do.

Before long, KVIL became the most copied station in America, but all they were copying was the music.
They never copied our jock style (They thought that they were too off the wall), they never copied the Jingles (Too Expensive), they never copied our billboards (Too expensive), they never put a jet chopper up to do traffic (Too Expensive), they never did color radar weather (Too expensive), and they definitely didn’t copy our promotions or contests (Much too expensive)  
Not only did KVIL turn out to be a great radio station, but it also launched my consulting career; more about that next week in Chapter 3. (When Character Gets Philosophical)

Radio Geo’s Media Blog is a politically incorrect inside look at Radio, TV, Music, Movies, Books, Social Media, Politics, and Life, primarily written with men in mind.
For a sneak peek at some upcoming Blogs or to see some that you may have missed, go to On Twitter @GeoOfTheRadio. Sharing and/or commenting is appreciated. If you’d like to subscribe to Radio Geo’s Media Blog, simply send your name and email address to

Radio Geo’s Blog (The Secret to Life) New 3/06/23

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Last Fall, I wrote about trekking my way to Pasadena, California, to attend Grandparents Day at Nathaniel’s High School.
I’ve been attending this event since ‘N’ was in kindergarten, but sadly this was the last; next fall, he’ll be in college at either Harvard, BC, Brown, Yale, or Berkley.

While there, I also attended a Pasadena Philharmonic concert in which Nathaniel played violin.
Oh yeah, and there was also the football wind-up banquet, where I proudly watched him receive the exemplary player of the year trophy. (Pictured below)

Being a Grandfather is very cool, but it does come with the burden of some heavy responsibilities.
One of those responsibilities is to offer up some sage advice occasionally.

This advice is supposed to come from the fact that as you grow older, you grow wiser.
I’m definitely growing older, but I’m not so sure about the wiser part.

However, I am wise enough to know that giving unsolicited advice is not very wise.
But I do know the secret to life is “Faster Cars, Older Whiskey, Younger  Women, and More Money.” So in that spirit, Nathaniel, may I share five things that I believe will get you there much quicker.  

1. Pursuing happiness is a great quest, grasshopper, but first, I’d try to figure out what makes you happy before chasing it.

2. What interests you? What are you curious about? What kinds of work do you think you’d like to do?

3. When you get that figured out, then find somebody who’ll pay you to do it.

4. Now, the next one is very tricky; most of the pretty things you’ll meet on life’s journey are also pretty shrewd. In my opinion, you should never ever tell any woman other than your Mother that you love them until you’re at least thirty.

5. Oh, and I’ll also share what my Dad once told me, “Stay away from the bad girls.” It took me years to realize that the heart can’t distinguish between the good and the bad. (Needs to be discussed much further)

Nathaniel, I’m pretty sure that if you do the five things listed above, you won’t have to pursue happiness; it will find you.
Proud of you, Buddy; see you at graduation. I may be a little rowdy, though.
(Nathaniel and me pictured below at the last Grandparents Day.)


I wonder why, after our parents raised us with so many rules and restrictions, we thought that if our children didn’t have any, it would improve them.

Hey guys, something to think about before you trot down the aisle; when you have children, unfortunately, the woman you love will always love your children more than they do you.

I wish I could be man enough to be like Rip in the Yellowstone series and be able to say to the woman I love, “I don’t care who you sleep with; I only care about you.”

Why do the lost ballots that show up at the last minute always seem to favor Democrats?

Most people only like change if they don’t have to change.

Being smart ain’t enough; you’ve gotta be ambitious too.

You don’t miss being young until you’re old.

We’re all liberal until it gets personal.

The folks who understand the Grassroots tune “Let’s live for today”  the best, unfortunately, are alcoholics and druggies.

Besides killing them, how do you handle someone who tells you why they did something before telling you what they did?

The two words nobody wants to hear are no and never.

Interesting how Florida has become a Republican state just like California is a Democratic state. However, I prefer the tax structure in Florida much more.

When you’re arrogant enough to bad-mouth America, you better not need her help.

Just because you have the right to say it doesn’t mean we have to listen.

As you grow older, you start to lose some of the people you love, but unfortunately, they will also lose you.

There are still more good guys than bad guys, but unfortunately, the bad guys don’t have any restrictions.

When you’ve got to make payroll, your standards tend to deteriorate.

How come Trump gets the blame for the lack of the red wave, but Biden gets no credit?

When did you realize that hearing, “Can I help you” really meant buzz off?

No doubt I’m a better Grandfather than I was a father, but then again, I have fewer responsibilities, so it’s much easier.

You are who you are when you do what you do when nobody’s watching.


Bobby Hatfield: After more than 40 years, I often thought, and now, I finally know why I was hired and promoted to a full-time midday position at WNAP. There I was, sandwiched between Chris, Freddy, Bo, and Smash, WTF…you didn’t have to watch Sesame Street to ask the question, which piece doesn’t fit. Thank you, George; I sincerely appreciate this from the bottom of my heart, this blog. Finally, I know. (Character!)
Geo: As I recall, Bobby, you were a bit of a character too. Loved your show, Man!

David Carfoite: In Philly, I recalled Bill Bircher on WCAU doing “The Trading Post,” a sort of garage sale done on evenings that brought the entire Delaware Valley together like a small town. Bill left WCAU to join Tommy Roberts on WTMR in Camden. He had over 200 carts for sound effects he used liberally on his shows. (Character!)
Radio Geo: Ahh, the old “Tradio” I remember it well, David.

Jack Schell: Hey, George!  I am one of those who forward to your notes and Life-Liners all the time. Your Flanders Fields reference reminds me of one of my all-time favorite songs (“Marieke,”…one of Jacques Brel’s compositions), as sung by Elly Stone.If you would care to hear it, just CLICK:,vid:o_wHuw9ze4Q  Meanwhile, keep up the good work and words! (In Flanders Field)
Geo: Beautiful, Jack.

Hugh Whaley: I enjoyed this post immensely, Geo! Thanks for the shout-out to my friends Buster Bodine and Orly Knutson. They were characters then, both on and off the air, and they are characters still. (Character)
Geo: Writing this piece, Hugh brought back many memories.

Bob Glasco: I always like your stuff George, but this was the most entertaining so far. As for radio today, the talent seems to be focused on nothing but their internet presence and the next concert coming to town. Few seem to realize their listeners will bond with them if they give them something they can’t get anywhere else; their unique take on the topics of the day. (Character!)
Geo: Exactly, Bob.

Dave Charles: This creative radio gallery of talent it the reason that you had a brilliant career George and you knew a favourite of mine Cactus Jack Wells. What a voice presence.
Seeing all of this great talent inspires me!!! Thanks, Dave Charles. (Character!)
Radio Geo: Not only did I know Jack, but I was also his board op, Dave.

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.
For a peek at upcoming Blogs or to see some that you may have missed, go to On Twitter @GeoOfTheRadio. Sharing and/or commenting is appreciated.
If you’d like to subscribe to Radio Geo’s Media Blog, send your name and email address to


#1 Radio Geo’s Media Blog (Character!) Part 1. 11/14/22

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I just realized the other day why I hardly listen to the radio anymore; it’s lost its character!
What I mean by that is most of the creative characters that used to be on the radio are long gone.
For me, the love of characters on the radio began while I was growing up in Winnipeg/Transcona,
I used to listen to CKY, which was filled with guys who didn’t sound like announcers, Jack Wells, PJ the DJ, Deno Corrie, and Mark Parr.

(Cactus Jack is pictured above with TV star Marvin Miller. Mark Parr is pictured below. Deno Corrie is pictured at the CKY reunion with me, Jimmy Darin, and Burton Cummings on top.)
Later on, when I became a radio man, I started as a board op at CKY in Winnipeg, where they’d added even more fun guys like Jimmy Darin, Chuck Dann, and Daryl ‘B’.
(Daryl ‘B’ is pictured below)
I was raised on radio characters, so when I got a shot at becoming a PD in Saskatoon, I couldn’t imagine doing it without some off-the-wall young guys like Gary Russell, Ken Sebastian Singer, Doc Harris, Woody Cooper, and Alfie. (All of whom went on to become radio legends.)
(Gary Russell and me, right below.)

While in Saskatoon, I realized that if I wanted my radio work to be noticed, I’d have to do it in eastern Canada, so I took the PD’s job in Sudbury.
Luckily Michael Cranston was already there, and not only did he sound good, but he also sounded bigger than the market.

Needing more talent, though, I got to bring in my guys, Gary, Doc, and Woody from Saskatoon. (My first road crew)
(Doc pictured below)

In Ottawa, Ken “The General” Grant was already a big deal, so when I surrounded him with smooth-sounding guys like Joel Thompson, Shelley Emmond, and Roger Klein. Their warm, smooth delivery made him stand out on the radio just a little bit more. In Toronto, my main character was the “Magic Christian,” whose board op you may have heard of, Rick Moranis.
Magic and Rick were preceded by the silky smooth sounds of Sandy Hoyt and “the voice,” Earl Mann.

I don’t know how or why, but at some point, I discovered that when you put smooth guys like Larry Dixon and Jack Schell of Dallas around all the characters, it makes them sound a little more bizarre. (Pictured above is Earl Mann, on the left Bob McAdory, and Magic)

When I moved to America to work for Jim Hilliard, I lucked out because he was even more into characters than I was.
By now, though, I was also searching for the “gifted” type of characters; those were the ones that got my full attention.

In Indianapolis, what was so unique to me about Cris Conner was his ability to observe life and then make some very clever (gifted) comments about what he had seen.
(Cris and Adam Smasher pictured above) Buster Bodine not only sounded just like his name, but he also had a lot of great local content, which he would perform by using a kinda Cajun boogie rap.
Adam Smasher was just a singer in a rock and roll band which gave him a naturally raspy voice, so when we put him on the radio, he jumped out right at you.
(Buster shown above)
Down the hall on our AM, Chuck Riley not only had one of the best voices ever heard on the radio, but he also had an infectious laugh that made you laugh along with him.
One day when he asked me what I thought he should do to get even bigger ratings, I, of course, said, “laugh more.”
(Riley pictured above) width=Riley must have taken my advice because before long, Mr. Fairbanks hauled me into his office to ask, “George, can you explain to me what the hell Chuck Riley is laughing about all the time?”

Orly Knutson was our mid-day guy, and he had so much magic in his voice that I believe he was involved with most of the female staff members. A bunch of us marveled that he could still walk.
(Mr. Fairbanks is pictured above, and Orly below)
In Boston, Charlie Kendall, like Buster Bodine in Indy, also had a boogie-type delivery which was different from Buster’s and a lot more southern.
There’s no doubt that Charlie stood out in Beantown as only a Redneck would. Then, of course, there was Austin in Boston, who had a great voice and a smooth delivery, but it was his content that was outrageous and that scared management to death.
Austin had the whole town talking, though, and that added a hundred thousand folks to our cume in less than six months.

Unfortunately, Austin was so hot that eventually, he flamed out and was replaced by Loren and Wally.
(Austin shown above, Loren and Wally below) width=Loren and Wally couldn’t have sounded any more different than Austin or each other.
Loren was the big voice guy who prepared everything, and Wally was Boston’s biggest sports fan. Other than that, Wally kinda just hung out.

Luckily, Wally found Loren very amusing, and Loren just loved making him laugh. Wally, like Chuck Riley in Indy, also had an infectious laugh, so you couldn’t help but chuckle along.
In Boston, Loren & Wally had their own kind of magic, and it lasted for decades. Delilah was so un-radio that she not only sounded unique, but she sounded extremely special. At the time, though, we had no idea that she’d go nationwide.
She, like Ellen K in LA, has something in her voice that makes women love her.
(Delilah, pictured above)
In Dallas, the great Ron Chapman’s gift was his sensitivity to humor, and his ability to find humor in most things which made his show very funny, even though Ron never told a joke.
If you wanted to be a stand-up comedian, you needed Ron in the front row because he’d be on the floor howling halfway through your first joke.
(Ron and me pictured above at his induction into the Radio Hall of Fame) Bill Gardner, who won personality of the year when we were working together in Dallas, was one of those rare characters who can take a whole paragraph and pare it down to seven words.
Not only would his words be local, but they would also make you laugh out loud.
(Bill shown above) Mike Selden was another Boogie Maniac, and Cat Simon, who followed him, was even more outrageous.
(Mike Seldon is pictured above)

I remember when Cat called the Queen, but my favorite call was when he talked to the guard outside Paul McCartney’s jail cell when Paul was busted for Marijuana.
Cat was trying to get the guard to ask Paul if he could fill in for him with The Beatles while he was incarcerated. (The Guard only spoke Japanese)Oh, and lest I forget, Major Tom Lewis’s content on his nighttime show was so bizarre that Ron Chapman would play back some of the stuff he found on the tape machine the next morning.
Ron would ask the folks if they knew what any of this was about. They did!
(Major Tom, Jack Schell, and Larry Dixon are shown above, Chuck Knapp is below)
In Philly, it was Crazy Bob McClain, who did a show much like Dr. Don Rose and Jimmy Darin with whistles and sound effects.
Chuck Knapp, who was also there, sounded so hip that you just knew that there had to be some weed involved.
In West Palm Beach, Dandy Don Wright sounded so happy that even though you didn’t know what he was happy about, you had to have some.
(Dandy Don, shown above, and Kevin Kitchens and his long-time partner Jennifer Ross are pictured below)Kevin Kitchens was very local and used his unique style of delivery to become a South Florida radio legend.

Ken LeMann, our mid-day guy, like Gardner in Dallas, also had a warm delivery with content that was as equally outstanding. When we hired a guy out of Dallas for West Palm Beach called Dancin’ Dave, by the time he arrived, we had already changed his name to Buzz Barnett.
When he heard his new name, he hit the air sounding like a hummingbird on crack.
(Buzzy above, Jo Myers below)
Oh, and then there’s one of my all-time favorites, Jo Myers.
All you had to do was ask Jo what she did last night, and you had a whole morning show. In Portland, it was Craig Walker, who, like Jim Harper in Detroit, was so warm and friendly that you just wanted to hang out with him and be his friend.
(Craig Walker pictured above, Jim Harper below)
In Greensboro, Bill Flynn not only had a magic quality in his voice, but he was also a magician.
Bill loved doing his magic tricks at all the station events, which in my book, made him a double threat.
In Sonoma County, where I must admit I’ve had more than my fair share of wine, Brent Farris is so local sounding that unless you live there, you don’t know what the hell he’s talking about.
Whatever he was talking about, though, was good enough to get him into the San Francisco Radio Hall of Fame.

Speaking of San Francisco, when I was working with Don Bleu, he simply jumped out of the radio and grabbed you by the ears.
(Brent Farris is shown above, Martin Milner below) width=
In San Diego, I hired movie star, Martin Milner, to do mornings on a new format I was working on called “The Radio Magazine.”
Talk about standing out, Marty was not only a great human being, but he also had all the agency ladies up in LA throwing money at him, trying to get his attention.
A few years later, when Jeff and Jer came to town, I had recently become a radio consultant, so I got to work with them.
Part of their magic came from the fact that they didn’t hang out together, so they were genuinely glad to see each other and catch up.

Jeff was a homebody with kids and stuff, but Jerry, who was newly married to his former PD, Pam Cesak, liked to hang out with the stars at night.
Jerry tried to keep his personal life private, so he didn’t want to talk about it on the radio which made Jeff try even harder to get Jer to disclose where he had been last night and just who he was with.

Eventually, Jerry would give in and use his Hall of Fame storytelling ability to fill us in and blow us away.
(Jeff & Jer pictured above.)

As I said at the beginning of this not-so-short story, I did and still do love listening to characters on the radio.
Luckily, I got to work with some of the best, and the part I like the best is almost all of them are in the Radio Hall of Fame.

It was my needing to put characters on the radio that led me to rethink my programming direction.
The word “different” soon became a big part of my radio career, but I’ll get into that in “Character Part II.”

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