Saturday, December 21, 2013

Walter Adolf Mallace December 1st, 1935 - December 15th - 2013

My Father passed away on December 15th, 2013, he was 78 years old.  On Wednesday, December 18th at one o'clock in the afternoon we had a beautiful memorial service honoring my father.

The service was held on the shore of Lake Michigan at the Gilson Park Lakeview Center in Wilmette, Illinois.  The Service was officiated by our friend, Rabbi Phil Lieberman and was attended by friends and family from near and far.

Below is his obituary, the program from the service along with thoughts from my daughter Jordie and eulogies my brother Jeffrey and I delivered paying tribute to our father. 


 Walter A. Mallace "Wally", age 78. Life-long friend, partner and beloved husband for 57 years of Judy, nee Malkan. Loving father of Michael (Fran) and Jeffrey (Claudia) Mallace. Cherished grandfather of Jordie and Sydney. Dear brother of Fred (Barbara) Mallace. Fond brother-in-law of Bob and Sally Malkan. Memorial service Wednesday 1 PM at the Gilson Park Lakeview Center, 800 Gilson Park Drive, Wilmette. In lieu of flowers contributions in Walter's name to the charity of your choice would be appreciated. Info Mitzvah Memorial Funerals, 630-MITZVAH (648-9824), or

Memorial Service Program:

Thoughts From Jordie Mallace:

Jordie eloquently spoke extemporaneously about her grandfather, here are the highlights;

While there were many stories to share, she selected the following favorites. She spoke about how she would do Math times tables long distance over the telephone with my father when she was younger, and her fond memories of the "Boys" trip (Jordie, my father and I) to Wisconsin where we went to visit my old Camp Horseshoe, Eagle River and Land O' Lakes where he went on family fishing trips as a kid and where we went as well.   She went on to say how my father would not let her get a souvenir Greenbay Packers "cheese head hat" because Mallace's are Chicago Bears fans and that hasn't changed.. Go Bears!   She also recalled the Children's museum in Chicago where she was the cashier and he was shopping for groceries and the visit to the Art institute of Chicago and her Harry potter obsession back then.

Finally, she ended by saying how proud her grandfather was of her and how he would tell her she could do whatever she wanted to do in life.  

She concluded with this quote;   

"A grandfather is someone with silver in his hair and gold in his heart"

Fran and I could not be prouder of how poised and in control Jordie was remembering her grandfather.

Eulogy from Michael Mallace:

Walter Mallace

December 1st, 1935 -  December 15th, 2013


December 18th, 2013

My father, Walter Mallace, was a great man.  He was dearly loved by my mother and his soul mate Judy of more than 57 years, my brother, and I, our wives, his granddaughters, along with his, brother, brother and sister in laws, cousins, nieces, nephews and countless friends.  He was a second generation American, of German, Russian decent, born in the middle of the Great Depression on December 1st, 1935.  His parents, Paul and Selma Mallace were a colorful couple from the south side of Chicago.

At a young age he started working, first by selling eggs that his Aunt Mary and Uncle Jack would send him from their farm in Iowa. He had a very diverse and eclectic career as he worked his way through high school and college. He Sold orange pop at Soldiers Field. He did have a few career setbacks in his youth. He was an Ice cream man for one day until the warehouse that garaged the truck burned down, he was an elevator operator in a high rise office building for one day and had to quit because he got dizzy going up and down all day, he worked for a furrier for a few days but had to quit that job because he broke out in a rash when he was near the fur, he even delivered mail for a while.  He hit his stride after leaving Roosevelt University when he started selling greeting cards for American Greetings Card Company.   This laid the foundation for a long and successful, thirty plus year career as a the proprietor of Paper Plus, a card, gift and party supply retail store in the blue collar town of Waukegan, Illinois.

Honesty, integrity, hard work, the highest moral standards, determination, fairness characterized my father.   He was a thoughtful man who stood for what was right and the good things in life.  He believed in the Golden Rule of doing on to others that you would want to be done on to you.  These were not just mere words, but were the basic tenants that he lived his life by.  He led by example and a had a work ethic second to none! These were the values, the guide-posts that were instilled in our moral fiber from our early days mopping the floors and emptying the garbage at the store in Waukegan.  Quite simply, he was the hardest working man I have ever known. 

He always taught us right from wrong. That there was no such thing as a free lunch and that if you wanted something you had to work hard and smart and save for it.  I remember when I was thirteen or fourteen he told me that I was not getting an allowance any more and that if I wanted money I would have to get a job. I angrily retorted,  "At my age where am I going to get a job" His response was,  "I guess you will have to come and work for me at the store on Saturday's."   I was not happy, but worked for my dad from that point on until I moved to Arizona to go to College.

My father was also very good at framing issues and putting them into perspective as well.  I fondly remember the time I asked for a raise from my meager three dollars an hour salary.  Without missing a beat.  This was his response.   "How many bosses do you know of that will wake their employees up in the morning, drive them to and from work each day and buy them lunch"  Needless to say, I didn't get the cash.  Although, What I didn't realize at the time and not until years later was that he really did give me the raise.  There is an old saying, "You can give a person a fish and they can live for a day.  Or you can teach a person to fish and they can live a life-time." I will cherish those Saturday's, the forty-minute drive we spent together each way to Waukegan and back.  I will always be grateful for the wisdom my father shared with me as teenager.  My Saturday's in Waukegan represent the most fruitful fishing expedition I've ever been on. 

Loyalty and friendship were paramount to my father.    My father was always great with numbers.  He could do calculations in his head faster than most people could do using a calculator.  It is no surprise that he parlayed that skill set and liked to play cards with his buddies when he was a kid.  To the very end, he still played Poker and Gin Rummy with some of the same gang from high school, Sunday school, college along with new friends he's made throughout his life.

Here are some Wally fun facts.  In High School, He was thrown out of home-room one day and sent to the Principals office because he was reading the racing form in the back of the auditorium.  It gets better, to add insult to injury, my grandmother was called to school because of the issue and she got into a car accident on the way and smashed her brand new Red Cadillac on the median in front of Hyde Park High School.  Of course it was my fathers fault that she hit the median, because my grandmother was so upset and could not concentrate.  He loved to fish and especially loved going to Wisconsin on annual summer vacations with my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.  In high school, He would borrow his Uncle Phil's car when he wanted to go out on a date. He was an exceptionally devoted son to his mother and father.

As a child my father was stricken with many ear infections, causing him to lose his hearing as a young adult, those were the days before antibiotics.  Ironically, while he had difficulty hearing, he was a great listener.  At twenty-nine, with two young boys, he suffered his first heart attack and was in the hospital recovering for months. By age fifty-five he had his first bypass surgery and ten years later he had his second bypass surgery, after that he had a kidney removed and along the way he was diagnosed with diabetes and lymphoma.   Aunt Merle affectionately called him Felix the Cat because he had nine lives.  He actually had a lot more than that.  My father was brave, always positive, courageous and a fighter.  He always looked at life as the glass being half full not being half empty.  He and my mother faced his health issues head on and never swept them under the rug.  Interestingly enough his father was a prizefighter, a boxer.  He was tough and instilled those instincts into my father.  The twelve rounds my father fought were not in the ring but in life regarding his health.  If you would look at him or you were with him, he was always in good spirit and put his best game face on.   He never let his health condition get in the way.  People would ask me, "How's your dad doing?" I would respond,  "He's great, but when you look under the hood, there are some issues."

He always preached to my brother and I to never quit.  I can tell you unequivocally, He practiced what he preached down to his last breath.  He fought a great fight.  As sad as this is, I don't look at his passing at 78 years old as a defeat, I look at it as a victory, a huge victory!  He defied the odds. He was with us a lot longer than even he thought he would be.  He won! and we also won, because we were all blessed by his presence and influence.

Finally, I want to tell you about a true love story, the story of my mother Judy and father.  Here is some more interesting Mallace trivia.  My mother's maiden name was Malkan, my parents went to Sunday school together, they were confirmed together and went to High School together, their pictures were next to each other in the Hyde Park High School yearbook, because Malkan was next to Mallace.  As my daughter would say,  "How Cool Is That!"  They were destined to be together! 

The story goes, that after high school my Aunt Carol, my father's cousin and my mother's friend, fixed them up on a date.  After the date my father asked my mother out again and again.  By the fifth date my mother was a little frustrated that my father had not kissed her and she told Aunt Carol that she was going to kiss him if he didn't kiss her.  The rest is history. 

Their marriage was solid.  I'm sure that there were ups and downs along the way, but it endured for fifty-seven years.  It was built on trust, honesty, mutual respect; it was a partnership at home and in the business.  But most importantly it was build on unwaveringly love for each other.

Mom, if dad were standing here now (and I believe that he is), I know he would tell you how much he was in love with you and how much he appreciated the way you looked out for him and you cared for him.  You were his champion; his advocate and you selflessly gave of yourself to make him comfortable when you knew he was hurting. You were his, lover, his rock, you were there in the good times and the challenging times, you laughed together and you cried together, you were best friends!  

Mom, I hope you can take comfort in knowing that he fought to the end for you, and that he was at peace.

Mom,.. dad thanks you and so do we!

Finally, my brother Jeff has so eloquently stated, Walter Adolf Mallace will be missed, but he will not be forgotten.

Thank you

 Eulogy from Jeffrey Mallace:


December 18, 2013

Good Afternoon:

You’ve heard from My Brother (Michael) and My Niece(Jordie) and now it’s my Turn. I’m Jeff Mallace. Jeffrey as my Dad would call me. The youngest of the Mallace Boys

Thank you for being here today. It means a lot to my Mom, Me, and our Family.  Michael did a wonderful job describing our Dad and his Life. I wanted to take a few minutes to share a few stories about our Dad, A Man I called MAX.

Some of you may now be confused, because the program says Walter and Wally in Quotes. One thing my Brother did not mention was that our Dad was very Big on respect and discipline. We ate Dinner together as a Family at 6:15p.m. Every night. That’s when our Dad would pull in the driveway from work and Dinner would be on the table. He always asked us about school, my sports, Michael’s radio, and told us what went on at the store that day.

So now you know the background, Here’s how the story goes. The Four of us were sitting in the Kitchen having Dinner. My Dad was sitting to my right and I said Dad. No response. I said Dad. No Response. I said DAD! No Response! If you recall, most of you know that my Dad was hard of hearing. Finally, I said “Hey Wally”. Well, Somehow he heard that. Before I knew it, a loving yet firm back hand to my cheek. My Dad said, you call me Dad, you call me Father, you call me Sir, but you don’t ever call me by my first name. I don’t know where it came from but immediately I responded “OK MAX” and as the words rolled off my tongue I was bracing myself for another Love Tap to the Cheek. My Dad looked at me smiled and it was MAX ever since!

Back in the day when we wrote letters it was Dear Mom and MAX. Envelopes where addressed Mr. and Mrs. MAX Mallace. Gifts of Belt Buckles and Pocket Knives, engraved with MAX were given. And even today, Our Dad’s legacy lives on with his email address.WWW.MAXCHICAGO.COM.

MAX’s impact has touched all of you here today and many others. I describe him as selfless, caring and compassionate. Humble, Funny, Loving and Proud! He was especially Proud of Michael and me.
I think most of you know that I work for Frito Lay. I will be in my 29th year and my Dad has s been there from Day 1 to teach me, coach me, and counsel me.

Last year Our Region won Frito Lay’s most prestigious sales award. It’s called the HW Lay award, named after our Founder. Every week MAX would ask me “how is your district doing”. I told him it was a Region and we were going to win the award. We did win and He was so PROUD and EXCITED, almost as if he were also on the Team. In my mind He was on the Team and will always be on the Team!

There are Five things I’d like To share with you about my Dad.

1.) He always asked me as a Kid If I owned stock in Commonwealth Edison. I guess we were always leaving the lights on.

2.) He always told me. “Jeffrey, sit down when you eat…Relax.” To this day when I’m standing in our Kitchen, or eating something on the run, I hear this voice in my head…”Jeffrey, sit down when you eat”.

3.) Stand up Straight! This is really good advice for a 5’6 Man.

4.) Always save for a rainy day. Max always said he was coming to me when he needed a loan. That day never came.

5.) He often threatened to move into Claudia and my House. I told him MAX, if you and Mom want to move in, No problem. You can sign over your Social security check, enter only through the garage, come upstairs when I say it’s OK, and Please make sure you turn off the lights. We don’t have stock in the electric company.  Last but not least, it’s our House and if you’re going to live in our House, you’ll have to live by our rules.

Sound Familiar to any Parents out there?

My Dad touched so many people’s lives’ in so many positive ways. You may think of him as a Husband, a Father, a Father in law, a Grandfather, a Brother, a Brother in law, a Cousin, a Friend, Michael or Jeff’s Dad. A Smart Guy, One of the Good ones!

I’ll always remember him as MAX…My Dad, My Friend, My Hero!

Thank you!

Gilson Park Lakeview Center
Walter A. Mallace "Wally", age 78. Life-long friend, partner and beloved husband for 57 years of Judy, nee Malkan. Loving father of Michael (Fran) and Jeffrey (Claudia) Mallace. Cherished grandfather of Jordie and Sydney. Dear brother of Fred (Barbara) Mallace. Fond brother-in-law of Bob and Sally Malkan. Memorial service Wednesday 1 PM at the Gilson Park Lakeview Center, 800 Gilson Park Drive, Wilmette. In lieu of flowers contributions in Walter's name to the charity of your choice would be appreciated. Info Mitzvah Memorial Funerals, 630-MITZVAH (648-9824), or - See more at:

Monday, August 12, 2013

We have a new Blogger in the Family.

My daughter Sydney just started publishing her own blog "Stand Tall" it is all about fashion. 
My name is Sydney Mallace and I am a 16 year old girl from Scottsdale, Arizona. This blog is about fashion... but not the typical "I like this just because" kind of fashion blog; this blog is uniquely designed to promote flattering fashion. This blog is for people, who like me, have difficulties dressing their body type. I have always been bigger than most people my age and my figure makes it harder to dress how I like. However, I've learned what looks good on me and what doesn't, and I want my blog readers to do the same. Tall, short, skinny, curvy - doesn't matter. This blog is devoted to any and every body type. Every week I will be posting a new outfit that I have chosen; it could be on me, my family, or one of my friends. I will tell you where everything is from, and I will then explain why I chose it for the specific body type! The title of my blog is Stand Tall, because I want women to stand tall and be confident with what they have, and in what they wear. I really do hope that you enjoy reading my blog! I would love any feedback that you have. Feel free to send me pictures of outfits you have put together that flatter your own unique body type. 

Fran and I could not be more proud of her.  Please check it out at:

Friday, September 9, 2011

MEGA 104.3 Remembers 9/11

There are seminal moments in everyone’s life when you remember where you were when something major happened. The tragedy on 9/11 is one of those moments! Do you remember where you were, what you did, who you called? 9/11 was a day that changed all of our lives.

In honor of all those impacted by that tragic day, MEGA 104.3 remembers and stands united to pay tribute!

Please click on the link below or paste it in your browser to watch a wonderful tribute that our talented team put together. Please share this with your friends and family by forwarding this link and/or posting it on your Facebook and Twitter.

Click Here to Watch:

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Why Over-The-Air Broadcast Radio Won't Go Away

I am often asked by friends and clients if Satellite radio has had a negative impact on our business. I always respond that it has not. I then go on to say that as long as radio can stay relevant and local it will always have a place with listeners. Unfortunately, in Arizona we had a terrible tragedy last month with the senseless shooting in Tucson where scores of people were injured, killed and Congresswoman Gabby Giffords was shot through the head. Radio jumped in and did an incredible job keeping the community informed on the developments as they happened. In Phoenix, props go out to KTAR and in Tucson to Journal Broadcasting for their live wall to wall coverage. While this was a very sad situation, as a broadcaster I was proud of our industry and as a citizen, I was grateful for the coverage.

Today, as I write this post, there are terrible snow storms blanketing the East and Midwest. Once again, radio prevails and is keeping the many communities impacted up to date.
Radio Ink Publisher Eric Rhodas sent out a great message on the power of radio. For all the naysayers about over the air terrestrial radio, this is a compelling piece on why radio won't go away.

This is what radio is all about, Serving the community and keeping everyone informed. Once again, I could not be more proud to be a broadcaster!

Enjoy the article, its worth reading and pass it on...

A message from Radio Ink Publisher Eric Rhoads

As the storm of the century is wreaking havoc on our nation, with record snowfalls, high winds and ice storms, traffic disasters, and difficult conditions for most people, America turns to its radio. It is radio that, in these difficult moments, is a beacon of its community.

This week, as record storms gather further steam and piles of snow tower over the roofs of homes, people are finding themselves stranded, with no power, no Internet, no television, no newspaper, no cell coverage, and no line of communication to the outside world. It is radio, and only radio, driven by a set of batteries, that comes through. Few Americans own a portable battery-operated television, but virtually everyone has a battery-operated radio. Come sleet, or hail, or snow, when even the Post Office cannot get through, radio always gets through.

It is times like this when I'm most proud of our industry. I'm hearing stories of teams of radio soldiers sequestered in transmitter-location studios, working 48-hour shifts to keep their stations on the air and their listeners informed. Some are coordinating with local ham operators who are gathering information, others are putting listeners on the phone so families can communicate their needs and their messages to the family members they cannot reach.

Stations are braving the cold and ice to gather reports about their communities, and most city officials have no place to turn but radio to communicate vital information. Though these radio people would rather be home with their own families, they are contributing to the greater good and coming to the aid of their radio listening families.

Moments like this define radio, and these are the times when station loyalties are solidified as consumers find radio is their lifeline to their communities.

Though entertainment value is important, at all times the needs of the community trump every format standard. It is this time when your content must report, reflect, and empower your audience with information relevant to their needs. Those who run their automation without acknowledging the circumstances and without storm content will appear irrelevant.

As this storm of the century intensifies, more services will go down and the community will have even deeper need of their local radio stations. People automatically turn to their radios at times like these, and that is a reminder of our true value and our deeper purpose as an industry.

Those of us living in areas less affected during this storm remain grateful to those of you throughout the U.S. who are making great personal sacrifices to do what radio does best -- serve our communities.

Eric Rhoads

Friday, November 5, 2010

38 Hours In Chicago

I just arrived home from a whirlwind trip to Chicago. I was there for the day to attend the funeral of Danny Casas. Uncle Danny as I always called him was the father of my close friend Alan. Danny and his wife Merle were close, life-long friends of my mother and father and Danny was also a fraternity brother of my dad’s when they went to Roosevelt University in Chicago together.

I worked all day Wednesday. Craig Boston our Sales Manager led the team through an outstanding strategy session that day where we brainstormed great ideas for 2011. I left the meeting and headed to the airport where I flew to Chicago and arrived at midnight. A quick cab ride and I was at home with my parents. Things haven’t changed in 51 years, my mother was waiting up for me when I arrived. We talked a while and I went to bed.

After about three hours sleep, I awoke and was off to the airport again to pick up my friend Roger who was flying in on the red-eye from Los Angles. After picking up Roger at six AM, we went to the Doubletree Hotel and picked up another friend Scott (who lives in LA too) who coincidentally was already in Chicago on business.

Just like high school, with Roger and Scott and me driving my father’s car we were off to meet another friend Ken at Walker Brothers The Original Pancake House in Wilmette for breakfast. It was only seven o’clock in the morning and we were all together, just like we were thirty five years ago. And yes we had an apple pancake! And yes it was GREAT! We caught up, all expressed our sadness about Alan’s loss, yet we were having a good time and enjoying each others company the same way we did when we were kids in school.

After breakfast I dropped everyone off so we could get ready for the funeral. I went home had a quick nap, some conversation with my mother and father, a shower and I was off again to pick up Scott and Roger to go to the funeral home.

We had a dilemma? It was noon, the funeral started at one, we were a little hungry again and none of us had eaten a hotdog or beef sandwich since we arrived in Chicago. Did we have time to grab a dog and still get to the service on time? My parents were emphatic that we get there early and my mother was going to save us seats. Scott, always the wise one and the voice of reason said it was going to be a long day, we had the funeral, then the ride to the cemetery and the burial and we needed to eat something! Made sense, didn't have to twist my arm!

This will come as no surprise, we went to Portillo’s, I did something that I have never done before in my life. I ordered a hotdog plain with nothing on it, just a dog and a bun, no relish, or onions, peppers, tomato, mustard or celery salt. There was a method to my madness. I did not want to smell like a hotdog all day or drip mustard on my white shirt, tie or suit.

It took a little bit longer than we had calculated to get our order. When the food came, we devoured it! We had to have broken the land speed record for eating our feast. Roger had a dog with the works and Scott had the wettest Italian Beef sandwich I have ever seen and it smelled GOOD! We all shared an order of fries since we did not want to over do it. By the way, we were only five minutes late and arrived at the funeral home at 12:35.

When we arrived, there was a receiving line to pay your condolences to the family. We walked around the side, went right to the front to see Alan. We paid our respects and apologized for being a couple of minutes late for his dad’s funeral; we came clean with Alan and told him we stopped for some dogs. He wasn’t mad that we were late; he was disappointed that we did not bring him one.

The funeral was a traditional Jewish service. The Cantor spoke, sang and recited prayers in Hebrew. Alan’s sister Cindy spoke eloquently and delivered a wonderful, heartfelt eulogy about her father. She made us laugh and made us cry and evoke our own individual memories of her father.

Following the service, a procession was formed and we drove all the way to the south west side of Chicago to one of the oldest Jewish cemeteries in the City. It was a long drive using surface streets, taking over an hour to get there as we wound our way through the different neighborhoods of Chicago. As always, Scott was right, glad we had the hotdogs.

When we arrived at the cemetery it was cloudy, cold with a few raindrops. We all gathered around Uncle Danny’s grave, more prayers and more tears. Then, remarkably, as if on cue as the casket was being lowered into the ground, the sun forced its way through the clouds and it was bright and beautiful outside. No doubt this was some sort of sign.

As is tradition, we all preformed a “mitzvah” by helping shovel the dirt on top of the casket. As the casket was being covered with dirt the clouds came back and it started to rain harder and harder. Another sign I'm sure.

After the cemetery we all drove back north to Deerfield and went back to Cindy’s house to sit “Shiva” the custom of bereavement where visitors pay a visit to the mourners, share stories about the deceased, and are generally there to comfort the mourners and each other. There is typically a lot of good food. This was certainly the case at Cindy’s house. There were some outrageous deli platters. All of my favorites from corned beef to Chopped liver, rye bread, kosher salami, dill pickles, egg salad also, cookies, pastries, chocolate covered pretzels, candy nuts and more. Most importantly, it was a gathering of good friends and family reminiscing about Uncle Danny, old times and catching up on years gone by.

Shiva was over close to 10p and we still owed Alan that hotdog from earlier in the day. While none of us were really that hungry, Alan, Roger and I decided to go to the new Super Dawg in Wheeling and just relax. Old habits are hard to break. Just like the old days, we would end our nights out with either a slice of pizza or a hotdog. This night would be no different. Alan told us as we were coming home from our Vienna indulgence that his father would have been proud of us for being together and having a dog that evening!

I have come to the conclusion that Jews like to medicate themselves with food! Maybe it’s just me… “I don’t think so….”

Back home to my folk’s house by midnight. Guess what? My mother was waiting up for me and wanted to debrief me on the entire day. Finally, went to bed by one and slept until ten this morning. Then, my mom and dad drove me to the airport. On the way we had a quick pit-stop for lunch. No hotdog, actually had a chicken gyro (very good). After a nap on the plane, landed in Phoenix at three-thirty and Home Sweet Home!

All in all, it was a nice day yesterday. A very nice day! A special day! How could that be, we were there for a funeral? There in lies the paradox. Good things come out of sad situations. It was a nice day because friends and family from near and far were all together, reminiscing, reconnecting, catching up and celebrating, celebrating a life!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Passion Is The Key To Success

Passion is defined as a strong affection or enthusiasm for an object, concept, etc: I have always held the belief that in order to succeed and win, you need to be passionate about what you do.

As I was walking around the radio station this past Friday and then attended our events this weekend, I felt the stations oozing with passion from every nook and cranny.

Chris and his team in programming have been eating, drinking, breathing and sleeping MEGA and THE BEAT. You can feel it, see it and hear it when you are upstairs in the studios.

Matt in promotions is getting his team on point. You can see the pride and passion they have at our events. It was evident at every promotion I went to this weekend, from Jeanette’s ownership of the “Worlds Greatest Yard Sale” to Tyler, Ramses and Ruben getting the crowd excited at Lunar Bingo to Alex, Juliann and the promo team at the MEGA’s Got Talent promotion.

The passion is not limited to programming and promotions. It is also evident with Craig and the sales team as well; new ideas translate into great results for new and longstanding clients. Our sales team’s passion is yielding great results.

The passion extends beyond our office's in Scottsdale. We work with a talented group of engineers who are passionate about what they do to keep us on the air and sounding GREAT. This is not always an easy task when you have remote mountain top transmitter sites that are susceptible to blizzards in the winter and monsoons in the summer.

The excitement, The enthusiasm, The passion is there and it is contagious. I could not be more proud of our team!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Master The Basics And Be True To Your Core Belief's And Values

In May we went to see Carole King and James Taylor's Troubadour Reunion tour at Arena. As I posted previously, this was one of the best shows I've ever seen for so many

It appears that I'm not the only one that feels that way. Ray Waddel wrote about the concert for Billboard magazine. This story could serve as a white paper on how to do things right in the concert, music, record, video and promotion business.

So many times in our industry, we try to reinvent the wheel, but if you just master the basics, stay true to your core beliefs and values, you can have huge success too!

Read the article here:

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Do The Right Thing, Get High Marks

I have always believed that customer service is number one when dealing with consumers. At the radio stations we bend over backwards to do the right thing for our clients. When they have an issue, we do everything in our power to address it head on, make it right for them and then try to go above and beyond. It is the old adage of making lemonade out of lemons.

We are a small organization and don’t have the resources to employ a complex customer satisfaction program. Although, I do believe that we have a fairly decent pulse on what our customers think and we try to be proactive in ensuring that we are doing the best that we can.

I mention all of this because I am beginning to wonder how valid these costumer service surveys really are.

While in college, I cut my teeth in radio doing music and audience research, I went on to become the research director of a radio station, I worked for a radio programming consulting company and traveled the nation conducting focus groups and designed and analyzed customer service studies, I also worked for a national research company doing research for Fortune 500 companies. One of the major tenants that I learned and reinforced with clients was that you had to take great care in making sure that you do not bias the survey, because if you did, it would invalidate the research and prove it worthless.

When conducting research you don’t necessarily want it to tell you how great you are (although that would be nice), you want it to tell you how you can become better. It needs to be pure, honest and unbiased.

A couple of weeks ago the AC went out on my Honda. I took it to the local Honda dealer and had a less than pleasant experience. The day after I my car was repaired I received a telephone call from Honda (the manufacturer) requesting that I participate in a customer satisfaction survey. I agreed and answered the questions honestly.

The very next morning I received a phone call from the service writer at the Honda dealership asking me why I gave him and the dealership poor marks. I was honest with him and told him why. He tried to justify his position and told me that the issues that I had were with the dealer and the manufacturer and not him and that he was just following the rules.

He continued and inquired if during the survey Honda asked me to participate in a follow-up survey. I said they did. He then went into this long diatribe about how he gets evaluated and compensated based on the results of these surveys. He asked me to give him high marks; he told me he would rotate my tires and give me an oil change for free in exchange for my good words. I told him that would not be necessary and that I would answer the questions honestly if and when I took the survey.

Fast forward to yesterday. I called Sprint regarding some questions I had about my BlackBerry. I was on the phone with them for more than twenty minutes and as it turns out they gave me the wrong information. At the end of the call the customer service representative was sure to ask; “Is there any reason why I would not be able to give her high marks if I was contacted by Sprint for a survey”. Once again, I told her that I would answer the survey honestly.

In both cases, with Honda and Sprint I did get the surveys via email and I did what I said I would do. I answered them honestly!

Here is my question? Does everyone answer the surveys honestly when prompted, bribed and cajoled to ignore the facts and just give good marks? I don’t think so. While the customer service reps might get their bonuses for high marks, they are really doing their employers and customers a disservice. They are masking issues and biasing the studies.

Sprint and Honda actually think that they are doing a great job taking care of customers, but in reality, there are issues that need to be addressed. Are these surveys a farce and a waste of millions of dollars? Maybe, maybe not, you be the judge!

I have a simple philosophy. Just do the right thing and the surveys will come back strong!

Oh… by the way. The AC blows cold air again!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

My Favorite Gadgets of 2009

I had lunch with my friend Mike today, he knows that I’m gadget geek. He asked me what new gadgets I have? I paused for a second, thought about, it and mentioned a few. As I was driving home tonight, I was pondering the question some more and came up with my list favorite gadgets for the year.

Magic Jack - Cheesy infomercials, but I have to tell you this is great, especially if you travel out of the country. It is a VOIP device that hooks up to your computer that allows you to make phone calls for a low annual fee from anywhere you have an internet connection. You plug the Magic Jack into your computer, plug a phone into the Magic Jack and you are good to go. If you don't have a phone, you can use the computers mic and speakers or plug in a USB headset.

Blackberry Tour – Love this phone, especially with the 3.2 mega pixel camera and expanded memory for videos and music. It is a 3G phone as well, so you can use it internationally tool. I have the Shazam app on it so I can identify songs that are playing within earshot of me. Also, have an app called Nobex Radio Companion which allows me to see what song and or commercial are being played on just about every radio station in the country in real time, there is also a streaming feature to this too. My favorite app is called Tetherberry. Tetherberry allows me to use my Blackberry as a wireless broadband modem and hook it up to my laptop when I travel. The other day I took the Amtrak train from Downtown Los Angeles to San Diego and had an internet connection the entire time. I needed Tetherberry because Sprint turned off the modem feature on the phone. Tetherberry bypasses that and taps into your internet/data plan to access broadband.

Audio Technica USB Turntable - This turntable hooks up to my computer and I can play and rip all of my old vinyl to my iTunes and iPod. Lots of fun! And there is a difference between vinyl and cd’s!!!

Minio Flip HD video recorder – This is a cool gadget that fits in your hand and allows you to take HD videos and download them to your computer and beyond.

Garmin Nuvi GPS – I love this and use it even though I had a navigation system built in to the car. It is portable, easy to program and use.

Boston Acoustics Receptor Radio HD – Fun new HD radio that allows me to listen to all of the new HD channels programmed on the over the air Radio stations.

Bose 3-2-1 GS Series III Home Theater System
– This little home theater system has a DVD and storage for hours of music. I also has huge sound. My friend Al, who is an audio freak and purest helped me install this system (that's story is for a future post). He was shocked at the sound that came out of it.

Kindle Wireless Reading Device – Just got this for Fran for Hanukkah. I have not used it yet but I was playing with my friend Michael P’s Kindle in Los Angeles and it was really cool. I like the fact that you can download books, magazines and newspapers wirelessly from just about anywhere.

32 inch flat screen monitor – I turned 50 this year and was having trouble seeing what was on the screen of my seven year old notebook computer at work. I broke down and got this huge monitor that has a webcam built into it. I can see again and video chat on Skype and I chat too.

HD TV Tuner with remote – This device plugs into my computer and has an external antenna along with a cable connection and it turns my MacBook into an HD TV and DVR. Another fun toy to travel with.

There you have it, my list of favorite gadgets for the year

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Lessons Learned From Small Market Radio

I had the great honor of being invited to speak at the American Advertising Federation Black Hills Chapter monthly luncheon this week in Rapid City South Dakota. I was asked to give my impression on the future of radio and what broadcasters needed to do to be successful. If you know anything about radio people, you know that we love to talk about radio and give our opinions. So I jumped at the opportunity to speak with the group. Although, I didn’t quite think it through when Josh Barsch invited me a few months ago, I did not take into account that it would be snowy and -2 degrees when the plane landed.

Nonetheless, the group in Rapid City was terrific, a great bunch of advertising pros. While I hope that I imparted some relevant and practical information, I realized that we can learn a lot from the pros in the smaller markets.

I had the opportunity to meet Michael and Lisa from a local radio group. They have been at the stations for more than ten years each. They have created great relationships and equity in the market with their clients, non-profits and community leaders. These people get it. They are in the trenches everyday and doing things right. They are big on service and providing value and results to their customers.

Just as in most markets across the country, revenue is down due to the economy but not down nearly as much as it is in the larger markets. I realized that these people are successful, because they are dotting the I’s and crossing the t’s. They are doing the basics and doing it quite well. They don’t rely on a lot of agency / transactional business; they are knocking on doors, the doors of the service categories and local retailers. They are selling ROI not CPP or CPM. Wow, how refreshing. Oh, and by the way, they all seemed passionate about what they were doing too!

Josh and Nicole from the AAF were very gracious and thanked me for speaking. I should be the one thanking them. While I guess I was supposed to be the professor, I was also the student while visiting the Black Hills and for that I am grateful.

Thanks AAF Black Hills Chapter!

And a side note. I was interviewed by the local FOX TV affiliate KEVN. Click here to see they story that ran last night at 10PM in Rapid City.

Friday, June 26, 2009

A Bitter Sweet Day - Michael Jackson

A bitter sweet day.. very sad to hear about Michael Jackson, yet very proud of our staff at MEGA 104.3 for the way they mobilized and reported on the tragedy. Beau Duran our PD articulated things well in a memo to the staff.

"As you know Michael Jackson died today in LA. We went into immediate tribute mode as soon as the news broke. I want to take a moment to thank Angie for staying on top of the story all day and hanging out late to stay on the air with me, J.B. for calling in with updates as the news broke and Alex for coming in this afternoon to share some memories and play some of MJ’s greatest songs.

Moving forward Friday and this weekend we are not going to stop paying tribute to Mega’s most well known artist. On Friday morning Alex will be doing his thing from 5-8. I will handle the 8AM hour and from that point until 5PM we will be spicing in a handful of MJ songs each hour along with our normal rotation. Perry is going to do a special all MJ Old School workout. At 5PM we’re going to start a “King of Pop” weekend where we will do basically the same thing. Play a few MJ records each hour amongst our normal scheduling thru Sunday afternoon.

Throughout the course of the next few days, I want to make sure we are talking to our listeners on the air plenty. Getting their thoughts on MJ and remembering the world’s most successful artist together. Michael Jackson is OUR artist. We play more of his music than any other station in town.

EVERY one of our listeners grew up with Michael. He was truly a member of the Mega family and we should act likewise on the air. For the next few days we are not a radio station. We are a vehicle to let our listeners have a voice. We need to turn off the “DJ” in us and just have a conversation with people. Open up and talk about how this affects you...let the listeners in and they will do the same".

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


As many of you know, I am on the board of the Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS. Please join Fran and I May 9th for the center’s annual Night for Life Gala.

Night For Life 2009: Building on the Past, Building For the Future

Night for Life is the Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS's annual black-tie gala featuring silent and live auctions, dinner and live entertainment. The 14th annual event, chaired by Lisa Molina and Tom Betz with honorary chair Janice Borovay Montana, focuses on building capacity to expand programs and services to fight HIV/AIDS and support those who are impacted. The gala will be held on Saturday, May 9th, 2009 at The Phoenician. Entertainment will be provided by Tony award winner and actor Harvey Fierstein.

Tickets start at $350 and tables of 10 at $3,500. For more information about Night for Life, to make a donation to the auction or to purchase tickets or a table, please contact the Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS Development Team at (602) 307-5330 or e-mail Helen Tanner at To purchase tickets online, please choose from the secure PayPal options below. To purchase multiple tickets or a table of 10, simply change the quantity of tickets purchased on the paypal screen.

The Gala is lots of fun with great people. Your attendance will support a great organization. If you can’t attend the event, please consider purchasing a raffle ticket for a Luxurious Sedona Retreat. Here is a link for more information. Click here for more info:

Thanks in advance and we hope to see you on the 9th. Please feel free to call me or email me for more info.


Venue:The Phoenician Resort
Time:6:00PM Saturday, May 9th

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I have a lot of friends who email me crazy stuff each week. I decided that I would start a blog that included the best of the wakee stuff that I get . Thus, the creation of

This is a collection of pictures, articles, emails, stories, videos etc. There is no political agenda here and posts might not be politically correct. They are just things that I find interesting, funny and thought provoking!

If you would like to contribute to the blog, send your wakee stuff to me at

Tell your friends, family, neighbors and coworkers about the site....... sign up on your news readers or get the blog emailed to you every time it is updated.



Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Good News From Our Friends to the North

Radio consultant Jaye Albright, highlights in her Breakfast Blog, recent findings from Canada's Radio Marketing Bureau.

This research is pretty consistent with our own RAB's findings as well.

Great info for radio sellers everywhere!
2009 Foundation Research: Radio connects anytime, anywhere
According to the annual Foundation Research study of 1,012 Canadians, radio reaches 90% of adults 18+ every week. Lifestyle plays a big role in radio’s performance - the more active you are the more radio you listen to; working Canadians, parents and the affluent are all above average in terms of radio tuning with weekly reach of 94% or better.
“Radio plays an integral part in everyday life; it accompanies every activity, from driving and working to surfing online. No other single media can match radio for its versatility, audience characteristics and its unique ability to reach consumers anytime, anywhere.” -- Chris Bandak of Foundation Research.
Highlights of the study include:

· 81% of adults listen to radio daily, second only to TV in reach potential. The percentage listening increases to 84% or more for working adults, wealthy Canadians and women with children.

· For 83% of adults, radio use in 2008 increased or stayed the same as the previous year; that percentage is equal to the internet and higher than newspapers (79%) and TV (76%). The main reasons for increased tuning are more time spent in car, longer commutes and the ability to listen at work.

· Adults spend more time with radio than any other media during a typical work day. They listen to traditional radio an average of 125 minutes and online radio for 34 minutes. Radio’s total of 159 minutes is 23% more than TV and approximately double that of the Internet.

· Radio accompanies Canadians throughout their busy day.

- 70% of Canadians listen to radio on the drive to work, school or shopping
- Radio ranks highest of all media reaching consumers prior to a shopping occasion
- 36% listen to radio while surfing the internet

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Over The Top Service

Fran and I were fortunate enough to attend the Superbowl this past weekend in Tampa. We stayed in Orlando at the Yacht Club at Disney World. While the outcome of the game wasn't what we hoped for, the service at the resort was more than we expected.

The people at Disney have authored the book on total customer service. From the moment we pulled into the resort we were greeted and treated like a valued guest. Everyone from the doorman to the maids in the hall always had big smiles, said hello followed by the statement, "Have a Magical Day".

What was most refreshing was how the staff would go above and beyond to cater to your every need. I had left the battery charger to my camera at home. I went to the front desk to see where the nearest store was to go buy one. The front desk manager said that they have a whole basket of chargers behind the desk and she would check to see if they had one that would work for my camera. Unfortunately they did not have one that worked for my Canon camera.

What she did next, blew me away. She said that she had a Canon camera at home and that she would be more than happy to take my battery home with her, charge and return it to me the next morning, then loan me the charger for the duration of my visit. I have never met this woman before in my life and I could not believe that she was willing to do that. As it turned out her charger was for a different battery, But just the thought that she was willing to do that for me was unbelievable.

The good news was that the battery lasted all weekend and we got some great pictures from the parties we attended and the game.

My battery experience was followed up with another great experience I had looking for a pool party at the resort. I had mistakenly gone to the wrong pool ( I think that there were three pools there). I asked the maintenance man at the pool for directions to the correct location. Instead of giving me directions, he personally escorted my to the right pool. Wow!!

The front desk manager did not have to offer to charge my battery for me and the maintenance man did not have to escort me to the right location. But they did and that is why Disney is a huge success and has an incredible reputation for customer service.

Disney has even created a cottage industry on business and customer service through the Disney Institute where you "Experience the Business Behind the Magic"

In business, we should go the extra mile, it goes a long way and yields BIG benefits!