#9 People and places….

I wish I would have worked for..and one I wouldn’t. 

Throughout my career I’ve had some great opportunities. Back in the day my phone used to ring!  Those were the days when I was making a name for myself as a pretty good program director. For those of you that still get “the calls”, enjoy it!  One day..in the not too distant future..the calls will stop. 

Dan Mason – I would have relished the opportunity.  I interviewed with Dan back in the 80’s when he managed an FM station in Houston. He picked me up in a Mercedes and it had a phone. I was never in a car with a phone. Dan took me to the station where he shared something with me that I still have today. His bone deep beliefs. If nothing else, the trip was worth it just to glomp on to a set of tenets that guided my career from that day on. Dan probably wouldn’t remember me but he had a big impact on my career and I wish I could have worked for him. 

Tom Langmeyer – I think Tom is one of America’s best managers. He is a quality guy and I would have enjoyed working for him. Tom interviewed me twice for the program director job at WGN.  WGN is the one station in America I really wanted to program.   I think I came close but, nuts, I didn’t get the gig.  Although Tom passed me over twice, I still admire him for all of his outstanding qualities. 

Cumulus – First, let it be said that I have a lot of friends who work for Cumulus.  A lot of good people work there.  But as a company….

One day I got a call from a Cumulus suit asking if I had an interest in working for Cumulus.  It was presented to me in a manner that would make you think you’ve just been awarded  the Pulitzer Prize.  “ Wow!!!!  Wowie wow wow!!!  You really want little old me to work for the mighty Cumulus???!!!! “  I told him I wasn’t a big enough asshole to work for them. That was years ago. You get less cocky as you get older. 

3 years ago Cumulus took over the station I worked for.  I remember the CEO coming into my office and telling me “I think you’ll enjoy working for us” I wanted to throw up. 

They fired me.  The most odious,  sniveling person I ever met in my life flew in to Fresno and told me “we’re going in a different direction” and then walked out leaving the business manager to do the paperwork.   Different direction?  Here’s a direction. Why don’t you go straight to hell. Ah, the things I wish I would have said. 

Canned…broomed…sacked…and escorted out of the building like a criminal.  It was 6 weeks after my cancer surgery.  First time ever for me. ..cancer and getting fired.  I knew it was coming.  I had cleaned out my office the night before.  I guess what hurt me most are the colleagues who didn’t even call to say “how are you doing?” I guess, when you get fired, you carry some sort of disease.  

My original thought about Cumulus turned out to be spot on. I’m just not a big enough asshole to work there. 

About a year ago I actually had a lapse of sanity and applied for a job with Cumulus.  I’ve heard it’s a much diffferent company now, sans the  Dickey’s.  Yes, it’s true. When the phone stops ringing, you’re likely to take a call from anyone. 

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