Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry 101 Christmas!!!

In December of 1976 I graduated from UT and had been at WIVK as Sports Director and News Reporter for 3 and a half years. Mike Hammond who hired me had moved to Nashville where Jim Dick had bought WKDA-AM-FM in August of that year. Mr .Dick had ask me to stay with Dick Broadcasting after my graduation. He met with me in October and told me I could either stay at WIVK or move to Nashville. I decided to stay at WIVK. In late November I got a call from Mike saying that Mr. Dick was going to speak with me again about coming to Nashville to work there. I would be Sports Director and Sell also.  (Many WIVK folks sold at that time if you wanted to make $$$) Mike told me not to tell Jim Dick he said this but I needed to make sure I got my parking paid. 
The Phone bussed a few minutes later and it was Mr. Dick telling me to come see him if I had a minute. I took the long walk down the hall. He told me he’d gotten a call from Mike and Mike needed help at KDA and what was being changed to KDF at the end of the year. 
He said he’d agreed for me to stay at WIVK but Mike and he both would like for me to go to Nashville. He assured me that he would stick by his word and I could stay at WIVK if I still wanted to do so. However, he explained that most of my income would be from sales and that at WIVK most of the good accounts were taken. If I went to KDA/KDF all the sales people would be turned over in the next year or so and I would get able to have a shot at some good accounts as we built their business. This all makes sense to me now but then I had no clue what he was talking about! HA! However I told him Mike Hammond had given me my chance at WIVK and worked with me to get better and trained me. If he and Mr. Dick wanted me to go to Alaska I’d do it.  Nashville wasn’t quite that far!
I couldn’t let Mr. Dick know Mike had already called me and prepped me about the parking. So I just said, “Mr. Dick, aren’t the stations in an office building down there??? Where do you park?” I guess he was so surprised by the question he never realized I had inside info. He quickly responded we’ll pay for your parking.  I said….how about moving expenses. You pay for that! We’ll at least I’d proven I’d ask for the order!!!
After I’d been in Nashville about a year and a half New GM Bill Hays called me in one day and asked me, “Paul, are you getting parking paid?”  Yes I replied. “Who did that deal with you?” Bill asked.  “Jim Dick” I answered.  “Oh ok, Well don’t tell anyone. You me and Mike are the only ones getting Parking paid.”  Believe me….I never said a word!!! Until now!
I worked for Dick Broadcasting for 27 years. 20 years as General Sales Manager for the Nashville Stations and Titans Radio when we started it. I worked for Citadel for 4 years after they bought us. That four years was all I could take of corporate life. Steve Dickert and I were made General Manager and General Sales Manager on the same day. 20 years later and within two weeks of each other we both resigned. The company was bankrupt within two years. Not just us…lots of great people were fired, run off, or just left.
Paul Lyle