Thursday, May 31, 2007


Capitol Bokeh



Wonderful shot!

Thank you very much.

"To take a photograph is to participate in another person's mortality, vulnerability, mutability. Precisely by slicing out this moment and freezing it, all photographs testify to time's relentless melt." Susan Sontag

The earlier post about the ABCs of PDs - late 1970s has involved me in a number of interesting conversations these past days. The quest this round - name that rock radio programmer - wherein we search for the PD(s) of the ABC FM San Francisco O&O KSFX, circa late 1970s.

Jim Smith was the first to weigh in and while we have not yet connected live we have e and voice mailed. Sean Conrad says Jim was the most likely to have programmed KSFX in the late 1970s. The ever assiduous Mr. Smith adds "Bill Todd was replaced by Roger Skolnick in 1977. Gloria Johnson moved from WRIF to program KSFX at about the same time replacing Sean Conrad." The always resourceful rock ace Lee Arnold checked in after chatting up Ben Fong-Torres ("I dunno. The station was pretty much run out of ABC in New York...John Catchings became PD when it went Top 40") and John Catchings ("...believe it was Eric Christensen who recently retired after a long career as Sports Producer for KGO-TV"). Dan Kelley, one of rocks' young turks, was in touch to say Jeff Finch was "...more than just a newsman; he was very versatile - and also served as a jock on the station. And a very good one at that...he moved on...NBC's SOURCE....WDAI...was a great radio station." Dan would certainly know, during the station's best years in rock he was a local.

My sincere thanks to Jim, Lee, Dan and the many others who reached out with suggestions and comments. My sense is we should "go local" for the definitive answer. Perhaps the very best of men Ron Fell or the Duke, Dave Sholin can enlighten us further.

So what have we learned? Some lessons here.

The first tribe of wireless has done (and continues to do) a really poor job of preserving our history. As George Burns once said to me "the industry has failed to create any body of literature." In the main, he may well be right, however, I commend George for his excellent contributions of scholarship over the years.

The first tribe of wireless continues to do a really poor job of recognizing and celebrating the best and brightest, the real heroes. How is it possible that Bill Drake and Rick Sklar have not been inducted into the major Halls of Fame? Deaths in the family also need attention. As one programming rock star said to me yesterday "There is something seriously example...when Thom O'Hair left us the trades failed to pay any tribute, did not show the proper honors Thom had earned and certainly deserved." Absolutely correct. No excuse good enough; one of the pioneers of rock radio, an icon, passes without a single feature story in any trade. It's a safe wager, as a group of professionals we will probably never be accused of doing an exemplary job in showing respect for our elders.


Read more about my friend Thom O'Hair thanks to Ben Fong-Torres here. Learn about the radio station that dared to call itself the Jive 95 here. Read a memo from a legend to his air staff here. Want to learn more about the legends of wireless? If you are not a regular reader of Bob Shannon @ Joel Denver's AllAccess may I recommend you become one. Read Bob's column - All Them Big Dogs - free reg here. Now on offer, part two of his Fred Winston profile. One you do not want to miss.

Congrats & cheers: Marv Dyson, a rock star and the best dressed gentleman in wireless, on being named Broadcaster of the Year by the Illinois Broadcasters. Well deserved! More here.

Someone sent me this link yesterday. It's a post by Jaye Albright. Laura Ellen Hopper, I Wish I Had Told You Something. Thanks Jaye. Know how you feel, I wanted to say some things to Laura Ellen too. My mistake was thinking it would keep, it could wait.

It's a damn design flaw, no one gets out of here alive. Moreover, there's a very serious and ongoing shortage of good Hollywood endings in this deal.

In response to the question "How are you", Dwight Case would always say "I got up this morning, a lot of guys didn't, how bad can it be. I'm great, how are you?" On the occasion of accepting his honor as a Broadcast Pioneer in 2006, Dwight said "I've never had a bad day in this business." Want to know the truth? He never did. The gentleman is an inspiration. I love Dwight Case and appreciate all he has done for me, my family and my career.

Take a moment today to make a list.

Your wish I had told you list.

Pick up the phone and make the call.

Send an email.

Walk down the hall or across the office.

Make it the last thing you do before leaving work today. Make it the first thing you do when you get home tonight.

Do it.

One day, a day sooner than you can now image, you will not be able to tell someone how you feel.

Don't put it off.

No, it can't wait another day.

Today is all you have.