Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Larry Daniels

It is quite ironic that his last few years before retirement were spent successfully consulting country radio stations because my 32 year consulting career would never have started if Larry wanted to do it in 1981.

A little history:  when I first heard KNIX/Phoenix in the early 1970's I knew I simply had to meet its obviously brilliant programmer.

I had never heard a country station so upbeat, well-produced, populated with compelling personalities and totally in synch with the crossover success of Arizona's Glen Campbell among many others.

It was incredibly contemporary in its appeal, clearly "Phoenix, Arizona, country."

Fortunately, a mid-70's joint promotion between KHOS/Tucson and KNIX offered ample opportunity as four of us spent several days together peddling 128 miles from the Pima County Fair to The Phoenix Zoo in what we dubbed "The Great Arizona Bike Race" as a kickoff for the state's Cancer Society annual fund drive.

Later, Larry helped me land one of the best radio jobs of my career at KUZZ/Bakersfield, where he served as my group PD.

Then, in 1981, when Drake Chenault attempted to recruit him as a consultant, he turned the job offer down, recommending me instead.

I was enjoying selling for KEEN/San Jose after having been morning personality/program director and the phone call from Southern California came completely out of the blue, but - knowing that Daniels was convinced I could do it - I jumped at it, falling in love with consulting before very long.

Larry Daniels' personal modesty in spite of incredible long term career success is an inspiration.

He always let his deeds speak for his accomplishments and demonstrated to me (and many, many others) how to mentor.

PS:  I confess that Larry and W. Steven (the two bikers on the right) won that bike race because, as usual for Larry, they were simply much better prepared for it than Dan Gates and I (the pair on the left). 

That was another lesson.  We all had fun working together for a great cause, of course, but Larry Daniels went into battle quietly fully mentally and physically equipped to win.

1 comment:

Dick Wodrich said...

I worked at KNIX as a local AE and then as National Sales Manager from 1980-1985. And your comments about Larry Daniels were absolutely right on.

Michael Owens assembled an incredible team, but the ratings and then huge revenue successes were driven by Larry Daniels.

Larry was always a real gentleman and just good to work with, even with the occasional sales/programming conflicts. I’m Facebook friends with “W” and have exchanged emails with Larry not so long ago.