Monday, December 31, 2007


KLIF AM and KNUS FM had separate sales departments. KLIF demanded huge money for 60 second commercials in the late 1960s. It was crazy to watch KLIF salespeople do a telephone sales call and seem to be making the next call to their stock broker. They were the sales kings of Dallas Radio. KILF sold itself. It was the most powerful thing in Dallas.

KNUS FM had one sales person, Ken Johnson. He replaced another person who came to the station and wasn't up to the job. Ken and I immediately became friends at once when he was hired on at KNUS. He really developed the revenue stream for the station by getting new clients who would never before advertise on alternative rock radio. Coca Cola is one. It opened the door to real establishment advertisers.

But, the sales people were all establishment "suits" in the late 1960's, and there was a market for business owners who wouldn't do business with them. One such person was the owner of the underground cinema in Dallas, The New American Cinema. It held Saturday night shows at the movie theatre on Maple Avenue in Dallas.

The owner of this operation was a retired NBC network camera man who let his hair grow long. His account was handled by KNUS DJ Weaver Morrow. Weaver left KNUS to go to work at KAUM FM in Houston. Ken Johnson suggested to me and KNUS management that I take over the account and I got it. So now, In addition to being a full time KNUS DJ and a part time KILF news man, I entered the world of radio ad sales. I had my first account.

After handling the account for some time, and personally producing successful off- beat commercials for the client, and keeping him happy, Ken Johnson approached Ken Dowe, the manager of KNUS, and suggested that I get involved in part time sales solicitation of other non traditional prospects. Ken agreed and said that he had been involved in ad sales too in the same manner when he started in radio.

I attended all of the the joint sales meetings of KLIF and KNUS under the general manager Al Lurie. I remember the meeting where it was announced that the government would no longer allow advertsing of cigatettes on broadcast media. That morning's meeting was like a wake.

I went from part time sales to full time sales at KNUS when the McLendons sold KLIF AM and kept KNUS FM.

Gordon McLendon was very particular what you could have on your desk top in he office. You could havce a phone, appointemt book or deskpad calendar, and something else. Any combination of two things plus the phone. He adhered to this policy, and if violated, you would find excess items in the dumpster in the morning.

That is exactly what happened when I came in one evening after the office closed with a one thousand dollar check made out to KNUS for advertising. Since no one was there to take the check for deposit, I slid it under my big desktop calendar where it couldn't be seen. The next day, when I came in, my desk top was completely empty. No phone, no calendar, no nice desktop fountain pen set, no nothing, including the check.

After asking an administrative assistant, I found out I wasn't fired, I found out though that I was busted for having more than three items on my desktop. That included the thousand dollar check, which was apparently considered contraband, even though out of sight. I knew everything would be in the trash downstairs if I could beat the Waste management truck. So, dumpster diving I went, and retrieved all of the contraband, including the check Gordon Mclendon had placed there paper clipped to the calendar.

I went from part time radio ad sales to full time sales when KLIF AM was sold, and the McLendons kept KNUS FM.

1 comment:

~Çχ Atlantic♡ said...

lol... I remember seeing Reefer Madness at The New American Cinema.

I had completely forgotten the name of that theatre until I read this.

Dallas used to have a bit of majick to it... a very long time ago.