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Dan Mason


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Dedicated in memory of Jim Collins



 


Dan Mason today

Dan Mason began his career in radio doing overnights at WVLK in Lexington. From there he went ot KIRL in St. Louis. Then on to KBEQ in Kansas City followed by WKLO in Louisville. In 1974 he moved to nights at Z-93 / WZGC-FM in Atlanta. He was later named Asst. PD and became Program Director in 1975.

Dan joined WPGC in May of 1977 when the Great Strike That Struck Out occured. He continued as Program Director after being named the National Program Director for First Media until he left for the General Manager position at KTSA / KTFM in San Antonio in 1979.

He later returned to First Media where he was named Executive Vice President. When First Media became Cook Inlet Radio Partners, he was named that organization's President in 1988. In 1993, he joined Westinghouse as President of Group W Radio.

He was named President of CBS Radio (renamed Infinity Radio) in November of 1995 where he was responsible for the operation of the group's 184 stations in the largest markets across the United States. As President of Infinity Radio, he successfully integrated the original CBS, Group W and American Radio Systems stations, among the most venerable radio broadcasting groups in the country, by merging operations, blending business styles and increasing profitability.

Dan has previously served on several boards including the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and CBS Marketwatch.com. A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Dan Mason graduated from Eastern Kentucky University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Broadcasting. He was named that university's "Outstanding Alumnus of the Year" in 1995.

In 2002, he was named Radio Executive of the Year by Radio & Records Magazine.

Dan then formed a partnership with longtime radio programmer, Walt Sabo, Sabo-Mason International Inititatives.

In March 2007, he was once again named President and CEO of CBS Radio, overseeing 144 properties nationwide.

Dan retired from CBS in April, 2015 and plans on doing select college basketball games in the future. Read more about his retirement at NOW, RAMP and FMQB.

Read an archived interview with Dan in Friday Morning Quarterback on 08/24/07.

 

 

Dan writes:

On the Strike and its aftermath in 1977

In the beginning it was total chaos...I got into town about midnight just as the strike began...I did morning drive the first morning and Bill Prettyman was reading the news believe it or not.....He sounded pretty good by the way...Little by little we hired new people...Dave Foxx came from our Provo station...we hired Brandt Miller to do afternoons...Waylon Richards had worked with me a few years before in Kansas City and finally Liz Kiley came from Grand Rapids,. I believe she was a former school teacher.

Within 4 months, the staff began to gel and within a year, WPGC had tied WMAL for the number one position in the market....It was quite an accomplishment...I left to take a VP/GM job at KTSA / KTFM in San Antonio and Scott Shannon came in and even made it a better station.

On Becoming National PD for First Media

My duties had increased when I was the National PD for First Media...We had acquired KOPA in Phoenix, WZLX in Boston, WUSN in Chicago, KFMK in Houston and KUBE in Seattle....That meant much more travel and I wasn't physically there to do an airshift at WPGC anymore...I still did Thanksgiving and Christmas shifts so the full timers would have some holiday time off...And I did afternoon sports on Brandt Miller's show when I could...We sold that report at 5:30PM.

On Memorable Station Promotions

Toys for Tots - Major, major success....We had some big groups and gathered so many toys for kids around the area...we filled the Cap Center every year we did the show...

Unknown Star - Overwhelming number of entries...hey..does Fox give us any credit for this idea?....We did the record company contract as the Grand Prize...We had a couple of really good people...One I remember very well..Andris Plavnicks (sp?)...He was a Steven Bishop sound alike...

Uncle Richard - When Star Wars came out..we went out and got a 55 gallon drum and painted it blue...Smitty and Newt put lights all,over it and we had a triple decker cart machine with Star Wars type respones ...We actually had someone get into the drum to run the equipment...We took it on remotes...Last I heard, the drum is still at the transmitter building ...no doubt gathering a lot of dust.

On the Format Change

Many stations at that time were successfully coverting to AC from CHR..WNCI in Columbus is the best modern day example of this...They have great adult numbers...It was a gamble but with Q107 pounding us on the younger end, we thought we could migrate to the 25-34 women demo.

 

 

Photos

Click on images to see enlargements.

WPGC Photo - Dan Mason and his hair!

Dan and his hair in 1977

WPGC Photo - Dan Mason on the phone

Still on the phone in 1977

 

 

Print Materials

Playlists

WPGC - Music Survey - 07/23/77 07/23/77

 

Articles

"Collins Resigns At WPGC, Mason Named New PD"

WPGC - Collins Resigns At WPGC, Mason Named New PD

© Radio & Records
May 1977

"Meet Dan Mason"

WPGC - Meet Dan Mason

© Radio & Records
September 1977

 

Miscellaneous

Market Assessment

WPGC - Dan Mason market assessment

01/11/79

 

 

Sound Files

Airchecks

Play Audio Button May 1977 (Unknown Daypart) :08
Play Audio Button 12/23/78 4:39

 

News

Play Audio Button 12/23/78 1:56

 

Jingles

Play Audio Button 1978

Jock Jingle - Positron
© 1978, JAM Creative Productions, Dallas

:04
Play Audio Button 1978

Jock Shout - Positron
© 1978, JAM Creative Productions, Dallas

:01

(Special thanks to Jonathon Wolfert for the above).

 

Miscellaneous Audio

Play Audio Button 04/11/08 Don Geronimo on: Dan Mason 1:00

 

Exclusive Interview

Dan was kind enough to sit down and reminsce about his days as Program Director of WPGC from 1977- 1979. Hear him discuss:

People: Jim Collins, Bill Prettyman, Bill Travis, Don Bishop, Jim Elliott, Don O'Day, Scott Woodside, Dave Foxx, Brandt Miller, Scott Carpenter, Waylon Richards, Steve Michaels, Liz Kiley, Scott Shannon, Al Casey, Smitty, Jerry Clifton, Steve Rivers & JR Nelson.

Promotions: Ramblin' Raft Race, Toys for Tots Concerts, the 'Uncle Richard' Promotion and the Unknown Star Contest.

Plus: His Early Days in Radio, The Great Strike That Struck Out, Coming off the Air to Become National Program Director, Leaving Programming to Become a General Manager, WKLO, WMAL, Q107, WASH, WKYS, OK-100, Z93, KFMK, WUSN, Changing the Format to Adult Contemporary, bringing back the WPGC calls & Going Urban.

Play Audio Button 09/25/13 On: His early days in radio :29
Play Audio Button 09/25/13 On: His days at KBEQ with Waylon Richards :41
Play Audio Button 09/25/13 On: Going to WKLO and Z-93 :21
Play Audio Button 09/25/13 On: The Great Strike & Jim Collins 1:02
Play Audio Button 09/25/13 On: The Great Strike & American Top 40 :58
Play Audio Button 09/25/13 On: WZGC / Atlanta not named after WPGC :31
Play Audio Button 09/25/13 On: Bill Prettyman & Bill Travis 1:06
Play Audio Button 09/25/13 On: Jim Elliott coming back & missing carts 1:19
Play Audio Button 09/25/13 On: Working with Jim Elliott :47
Play Audio Button 09/25/13 On: Post-Strike Air Staff 1:18
Play Audio Button 09/25/13 On: Brandt Miller & Scott Carpenter 1:26
Play Audio Button 09/25/13 On: Coming off the air & hiring Steve Michaels :30
Play Audio Button 09/25/13 On: Scott Woodside joining WPGC :58
Play Audio Button 09/25/13 On: Sales Department & beating WMAL 1:02
Play Audio Button 09/25/13 On: Elliott & Woodside not having a contract 1:30
Play Audio Button 09/25/13 On: Ramblin' Raft Race 1:23
Play Audio Button 09/25/13 On: Toys for Tots Concerts 1:05
Play Audio Button 09/25/13 On: Unknown Star Contest :54
Play Audio Button 09/25/13 On: 'Uncle Richard' Promotion 1:28
Play Audio Button 09/25/13 On: Leaving Programming & becoming a GM 1:06
Play Audio Button 09/25/13 On: KFMK / Houston & WUSN / Chicago :50
Play Audio Button 09/25/13 On: Elliott & Woodside at KFMK :50
Play Audio Button 09/25/13 On: Changing format to Adult Contemporary 1:04
Play Audio Button 09/25/13 On: Going Urban, Jerry Clifton & Al Casey 1:16
Play Audio Button 09/25/13 On: Getting a brick from the Parkway Building! 1:10

 




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