Larry "The Legend" Johnson died this week. He was 78. I was Larry's program director in the late 80's at WISN Radio. Larry was the most enthusiastic self-promoter I've ever known, and I mean this as a high compliment. He wanted everyone to listen to him. He had a bit of a reputation for being difficult or stubborn, but I always appreciated how much he loved being on the radio. As his boss, I found him polite and respectful, even quiet. Thanks for the memories, "Ledge".
Speaking of inspirations, this has been a tough summer here at Radio City, as we said goodbye to our company's top programming manager, Tom Land. Tom died of cancer in May. He was just 52, and he is survived by his wonderful wife and daughter. I don't have the space here to tell you how much Tom meant to me and to our staff, but he was one of those people that you just feel fortunate to have known. Like Larry, Tom loved radio and the people who worked in radio. More importantly, he was a decent, kind person. Tom was my 'right-hand' for the past 10 years and I miss him every day.
I really enjoyed hosting a lunch meeting with our TV and radio summer interns yesterday. I've always had a 'soft spot' for interns (I started my career at Journal as an intern back in 1977), and it was great hearing about their goals and answering their questions about the broadcasting business. They all told me they had a great summer with our team and learned a lot, which is either a) true or b) the correct thing to say (hopefully both).
My "inbox" these days is full of feedback on why we devote so much time to Packers coverage, and I'm still getting hundreds of organized "form letters" objecting to NBC's new fall program, "The Playboy Club". I have some thoughts on both topics to share in my next blog.