Geo’s Media Blog. (The birth of K103 Part I)

While recently writing about Richard M Fairbanks who owned Fairbanks Broadcasting, I couldn’t help but think about when I became an owner.
My brother Reg, Bill Yde, and I owned a company called Fairwest which had two formats that were on fire, “Music of Your Life” and “The Class format.” It was time to turn our successes into brick and mortar. Our first endeavor was to purchase a brand new FM facility in Portland Oregon, KKCW (K-103).
In no time, K103 went from being a good radio station to a great radio station, especially when the legendary Craig Walker (photo above) joined us to do mornings. (I’ll tell his story next)

When Craig retired a few years ago, some classy friends of mine, Bruce Murdock and John Erickson, (photo on top)continued the K103 tradition.
Now some thirty years later, not only are they also retired, but K103 still remains #1.

When I first got involved with K-103, I had no idea that all my radio dreams had already come true. I should have hung it up right then.
Instead, I continued to fly all over the country servicing all the “Class” stations even though I already owned the #1 radio station in one of the most beautiful places on earth.

While growing K-103 I spent a fair amount of time in Portland and pretty well thought I knew how ownership worked even though I still operated as a consultant.
However, on one of my station visits, I soon learned that how I thought things worked and how they really did, wasn’t even close.

During one of my visits, the designated driver of the week to do the airport run was our Sales Manager.
As we left the airport and headed to the station, he told me there was quite a buzz going on about the radio station.

Then as we crossed the big bridge leading into the downtown area, I noticed that the whole riverfront was under construction.
They were building a bunch of new retail shops, restaurants, and a beautiful boutique hotel.

When I asked our SM if he knew when the hotel was due to open, he replied, “It’s already open, and in fact, we even have some trade there.”
Shocked, I couldn’t help but ask, “Then why am I staying in a motel in Beaverton instead of there?” His answer equally shocked me, “Oh that’s just for our clients.”

A few days later, when I was talking to Jim Hilliard, I asked him what I was doing wrong? “In this deal,” I told him.  “I’m Mr. Fairbanks, but as I recall, Mr. F always stayed at the Ritz or the 4 Seasons.”
Jim responded with, “George, you don’t have me if I left it up to the staff, Mr. Fairbanks would be lucky if he got to stay at a Motel 6.”


If anybody’s begging for a real estate crash, it’s gotta be California.

You know you’re gonna have a bad year when the people who never planned on paying you aren’t even buying.

At his worst, in one year, Tiger can make more money than he’ll ever need.

Isn’t it crazy how many theories there are about what the Beatles should have done but none on how you become them?

Its always been about how to create a “Game Of Thrones,” its never been about how to sell it.

Worrying fixed nothin’.

The truth always shows up when you’re willing to walk away.

Salespeople are very good at selling that which they consume.

You can run from your responsibilities, but you can’t hide from the consequences.

When the big go small, it’s time to go big.

Making good decisions comes from the experience of making bad decisions first.

What if Mother Nature intended for global warming to show up so that she can get on with whatever’s next?

If morning folks had the ability to interrupt themselves, I believe a lot of them would.

Do you remember when the airways used to belong to the people?

I’ve never seen or heard a success story where the radio station was led by sales.

I love humor, but I hate jokes.

Sometimes the lady wears the dress; sometimes the dress wears the lady.

I’m not sure that Justin’s daddy was a great Prime Minister, but he sure was cool.

I bet my grandparents wished that just bitching about the conditions they do in America would change things, they wouldn’t have left Great Britain.

If mother nature intended us all to end up brown why didn’t she start us out that way?





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