Geo’s Media Blog. (My List!) New 6/17/19

A few days ago, I was talking to my longtime mentor, Jim Hilliard, about one of my Blogs. I’m kinda used to him being pissed about some of my Blogs because as he says, “Johns, you’re giving away all the secrets.” When I tried saying that it really doesn’t matter if that’s true or not because most of today’s radio people have no idea what the hell I’m talking about anyway, he just shrugged and continued to try and light his Cohiba. (Jim, pictured above with his Cohiba and me)
However, this particular time, he was calling to tell me that some of the guys were upset with what I had written in a recent Blog. First, though he wanted to say that weren’t half as upset as he was, the day he claimed that I screwed him. (I left Fairbanks to start my own company)
What has this got to do with his call you ask, absolutely nothing is the answer. But this topic comes up in every conversation that we’ve ever had over the last twenty-five years but the amazing part is that each and each time he whines about it, it’s like it’s the first time he’s ever brought it up.
However, getting back to the reason for his call, when I asked him who it was that was upset with my Blog, he said, “That’s not important, what’s important is what you said.” Well, I responded, “Who they are is important to me Jim.” He then said, “Well, this conversation must end because I know where it all goes and I don’t have the time nor the patience, I have people to sue.”
What he was referring to was long ago in Indy when we worked together and he summoned me to his office for one of our many philosophy sessions. He, as he said, made the fatal error if beginning the meeting with, “Johns, I’m sure that you’re probably aware that everybody in the company doesn’t like you right?” When I replied, “No, Jim, I wasn’t aware of that, and pray tell who is it that doesn’t like me?” That’s not the point, he tried to say, but unfortunately, he claimed, the conversation went downhill from there. He said that he spent the next hour trying to get it back on track but I wouldn’t let it go. He finally gave up and had to end the meeting just like he was about to do with this phone call.

Before he hung up though, I managed to say, “Jim, I was so hoping that this call was about your finally being ready to give up all those old names and any new ones that you may have so I can add them to my list.”

When nothing is guaranteed, everything is possible. 
Only one person can make you happy, you!
When the government fines a big company for doing evil, what happens to all the money?
Why do the people who drive a company into bankruptcy continue to run it after it comes out? 
Why do rich people love Arabs? 
If it was against the law to make a profit from war, how long do you think a war would last?
Why do the people from New York and LA think they’re so hip? Not only are they nothing alike, but I can’t find anybody in the Midwest who believe either is.

Years ago, when my daughter Candis was a singer-songwriter who performed at the Roxy and the Whiskey in Hollywood, she asked, “Dad, how did you manage to release four records even though you lived in Winnipeg which is the middle of nowhere? I live in LA, and work for a record company and yet can’t get any of the A&R guys to come and see me, let alone get a record deal?” I told her that it was because I was too stupid to know I couldn’t.

How did the NHL and the NBA manage to make the playoffs last so long without being investigated?

Speaking of the NBA, Canada now has the best basketball team in the world.

Speaking of Canada, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers are in first place in the western division of the CFL. Go Bombers!

Whatever happened to home ice advantage?
I wonder how many politicians would switch parties if it gave them a better shot at being elected?

The only small states who are going to vote for the banishment of the electoral college are the ones who receive more from the Feds than they send.

I think white people liked Obama more than the black folks did. Maybe they were hoping that by electing him that they were washing away the sin of slavery.

Somewhere at this very moment, some teacher may be teaching a student who will go on to cure cancer. Hopefully, that teacher is up for the important task they have at hand.

A teacher needs to learn how to teach; a student needs to learn how to learn.

You can’t teach anybody how to sing, but you can sure teach them what they should sing about

It’s a hell of a lot easier moving in then it is moving out.

I am so tired of the word no.

Today, I don’t think Watergate would even make the news cycle.


Hollis Duncan: Although KVIL allowed Consulting Engineer Charles Crossno to attend and heavily influence KVIL Staff Meetings, I did not want to attend. I was providing a service and didn’t really have anything to lend. And Larry Reid & I were very busy fending off interference by the aforementioned Crossno.
But preventing leaks is a better reason. Managers, Accountants, Programmers, Jocks, and Salespeople are competitors, but Engineers view other Engineers as colleagues regardless of where they work. A fellow Engineer has loaned equipment or has come to help put a station back on the air, and I have done the same. XEROK Chief Engineer Bruce Miller Earle came over to KINT-98 after midnight with the loan of a critical piece of equipment and read every Memo on every wall. I’m sure that Jim Taber would have had a fit. I wasn’t paying attention, and I didn’t care. But that’s the sort of pointless leak that would go directly to an opposing PD which was not a problem at KVIL because Ron did not tend to post memos on walls.
Engineering should not be included in Strategy Sessions for security reasons, and I would include Accounting, who can smother any idea in its cradle. Ann Bradley being a notable exception.
Geo: Hollis, I have the scars to prove that most engineers are part of a fraternity and not at all a part of the radio station.
At a couple of my stations, we’d discover a new piece of equipment that once installed, would make us so loud that the other stations sounded like they were coming in from out of town. However, this would only last a couple of weeks before we’d all be equal again. When I would ask the engineer why he turned us down, he’d say, “I didn’t turn us down, the other stations just got louder.” When I would ask him how they did that, he would say, “I told them about the new equipment we got, so they got it too.” What! (We’re #1 Here!)

Former DJ Steve: George – Local DJs all want to talk about national stuff because they think it sounds bigger and more important. They want to work in larger markets and fantasize about being in Hollywood and NYC. As a result, they focus on where they want to be, not where they are.
Check back in five years; most of them will still be in the same town. (What The Hell Was Whitney Thinking!)

Ken Dowe: I’m really enjoying your site, George. You haven’t missed a beat. Still the best guy in the business in marketing your product.

Best always,

P.S. Like you, I have a gorgeous daughter. I used to tell her mother I was going to keep her locked up inside the house, and then drive her to the “nunnery” when she turned 30. Another one of my ideas that went nowhere. (Elton Was Singing About My Tiny Dancer)

Bruce Munson: I remain a fan of the blog!
Geo: Then I must write on Bruce. (The Secret)

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 On Twitter @GeoOfTheRadio. Sharing and commenting is appreciated.


8 thoughts on “Geo’s Media Blog. (My List!) New 6/17/19

  1. I believe you, George. I find it hard to understand a lot of Engineers myself. The first thing that I did to improve the sound of a station was to go into the Production Room and look at the carts waiting to be re-recorded. If a lot of them were shot, it was time to order a bunch of pads from Fidelipak and find a weekender to start rewinding them. BTW, many weird audio problems occur because elements in the chain are not matched to each other and cannot work properly. And with AM, the Antenna System matters.

  2. George: The caricature drawn by Lotse Balough of Jim Hilliard (I guess between 1978 and 1979) to me is somewhat unfair, at least to my eyes and ears. Jim, from the time I first met him in 1970 to the last time I spoke or wrote to him, was and is one of the most modest titans of industry I have ever met, especially in the media business. Jim always discussed his success in terms of a combination of hard work, luck and hiring the right people. He never bragged about his “toys” or the power he could wield, real or imagined. Yes, Jim has an ego, but I do not think he has anything to prove to anybody, except to those whom make him angry (most of those instances being people who went back on their word to him or back against him violating a contract without calling him first). Yes, Jim has always been confident in a realistic, reasoned way in his explanations to little old me, but I never once saw or heard him running off at the mouth, telling everyone within earshot how successful he was and is, instead bragging on his people and how proud he was / is of those whom served with him, like you, Dick Yancey, Dick Smart, Jerry Bobo and Ron Chapman. – Jed Duvall

  3. Candis was a singer-songwriter working for a record company and yet couldn’t get any of the A&R guys to come see her, let alone get a record deal?”
    If that ever comes up again here’s a tip… tell her to mention to one of A &R guys she was thinking about listing them as “co-writer” on one of her songs.

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