Gordon McLendon

Gordon McLendon
Gordon Barton McLendon
Born June 8, 1921(1921-06-08)
Paris, Texas, USA
Died September 14, 1986(1986-09-14) (aged 65)
Residence Dallas, Texas, USA
Nationality American
Alma mater Harvard Law School
Yale University
Occupation Businessman
Investor
Intelligence Officer
Net worth US$ 250 Million (1986)
Political party Democrat
Libertarian
Republican
Spouse Gay Noe (Divorced)
Susan Stafford (Divorced)

Gordon Barton McLendon was a radio pioneer and pirate radio broadcaster. He has been coined the Maverick of Radio. McLendon is widely credited for perfecting, with great commercial success, the Top 40 radio format during the 1950s and 1960s which was first invented by Todd Storz and for developing the offshore pirate radio broadcasting to both Scandinavia and the British Isles. In addition, he was active in circles of conservative business-political power in the 1960s until the time of his death. McLendon co-founded the Association for Intelligence Officers. He was a member of the Suite 8F Group.

Contents

Background

McLendon was born in a hospital in Paris, Texas, but his parents then took him to their home in Oklahoma where he spent his early childhood before moving yet again across the state line to Atlanta, Texas where he attended high school and began to develop his interest in broadcasting commentary over the school's public address system where he covered sports events. He graduated from Kemper Military Academy. He won a nationwide political-essay contest judged by journalists Arthur Brisbane, Henry Luce, and Walter Lippmann. After getting accepted to Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, he decided to attend Yale because it was the only school that didn't offer him a scholarship. At Yale, he was editor of the Yale Literary Magazine and a member of Skull and Bones. McLendon fought in World War II where he was commissioned as an intelligence officer under the Office of Naval Intelligence. He was later reassigned, giving him the opportunity to extend his style of commentary to political events over a United States Armed Forces Radio Service station. He then briefly attended Harvard Law School but left prematurely to buy an interest in a station in Palestine, Texas, KNET.

McLendon was married in 1943 to Gay Noe, daughter of James A. Noe, former governor of Louisiana; in 1973 he married Susan Stafford, a syndicated columnist, radio talk-show host, and actress.

McLendon was known for his elaborate practical jokes, orchestrated on such notable as sitting President Richard Nixon and J. Edgar Hoover whom he both called friends. He was a member of the board of stewards of Highland Park Methodist Church in Dallas and the board of directors of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Texas chairman of the March of Dimes, and an honorary chairman of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Poppy Drive. In 1964–65 he served as a communications advisor to the United States Peace Corps. In 1971 he conducted a month-long all-expense-paid broadcasting course for nine minority-group members, including African Americans, Puerto Ricans, and Mexican Americans. He died of cancer at his ranch home near Lake Dallas, Texas, on September 14, 1986.

By 1985 Forbes magazine estimated McLendon's net worth at $200 million. He was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 1994.

Broadcasting

Liberty Broadcasting System

McLendon, who nicknamed himself "The Old Scotsman", is also noted in radio history as the founder of the Liberty Radio Network (noted for its daily national broadcasts of Major League Baseball) in the 1940s. Liberty was the second largest radio network in the U.S. at the time with over 458 affiliated stations. Most of Liberty's MLB broadcasts were re-creations of games, utilizing McLendon himself and future sportscasting stars such as Lindsey Nelson and Jerry Doggett on play-by-play.

Interestingly, it was a live, not re-created game that provided McLendon and Liberty with their greatest career moment. The Scotchman himself was behind the Liberty mic at the Polo Grounds in New York for the October 3, 1951 finale of the three-game National League play-off series between the New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers). Bobby Thomson of the Giants swung at Dodger Ralph Branca's 0-1 pitch in the last of the ninth with two runners aboard, and McLendon barked:

Bobby swings, there's a long one out there out to left! Going, going, GONE and the Giants win the pennant!

Gordon then went silent and let the crowd's roar speak for itself. With radio still the more popular nationwide medium then, and with Russ Hodges' famous radio call limited to WMCA and its Giants' network, McLendon's call is how most Americans heard the NL clincher.

Offshore Pirate radio

For a time he owned a converted fishing boat in the North Sea which beamed into Sweden and other European countries. In 1960 McLendon and his close friend Clint Murchison owned Radio Nord which broadcast from an offshore facility that was called a pirate radio station by the Swedish government because it was located on board a radio ship and outside of their legal jurisdiction. When that venture came to an end the vessel was brought back to Galveston, Texas where the ship remained for a year until it was leased to a British operation.

The new 1964 station was called Radio Atlanta (after McLendon's home town introduction to broadcasting). Unfortunately due to blunders in keeping the project secret, these plans were shared with Jocelyn Stevens, editor of Queen (magazine) in London, England who was a financial supporter of another station, Radio Caroline. Later in 1964 McLendon shared his experience at offshore broadcasting with Don Pierson of Eastland, Texas who created a mirror of McLendon's KLIF radio station in Dallas, Texas. That new incarnation was to have been called Radio KLIF London, but when it came on air it was identified as Radio London.

US radio stations

McLendon and his father founded radio station KLIF (The Mighty 1190) in Oak Cliff, Dallas, Texas in 1947, and introduced the Top 40 format there in the early 1950s to great success.[1] KLIF enjoyed a long run at the top of the Dallas radio ratings in the 1950s and 1960s, but its standing in the market fell in the early 1970s thanks to growing competition from FM radio. One of the FM stations most instrumental in the downfall of KLIF was its former sister station KNUS (now KLUV), of which McLendon retained ownership after selling KLIF and revamped as a rock-oriented Top 40.

The McLendon family built a communications empire that included radio stations across the United States. In addition to KLIF, McLendon owned KNUS–FM in Dallas, KOST in Los Angeles, WYNR (later WNUS) & WNUS-FM in Chicago, WWWW–FM in Detroit, KEEL in Shreveport, WAKY in Louisville, KABL in Oakland, KABL–FM in San Francisco, KILT in Houston, KTSA in San Antonio, and KELP in El Paso. McLendon introduced the all-news format to Southern California through XETRA in Tijuana, now primarily a sports station. McLendon was one of the originators of the "beautiful music" format on his KABL in Oakland, California in 1959; and as the founder of the first all-news radio station (WNUS in Chicago) in the 1960s.

He is credited by most broadcast historians with having established the first mobile news units in American radio, the first traffic reports, the first jingles, the first all-news radio station, and the first "easy-listening" programming. He also was among the first broadcasters in the United States to editorialize. McLendon especially attracted attention for his stern denunciations of French president Charles De Gaulle, whom he described as "an ungrateful four-flusher" who could "go straight to hell."

The McLendon family sold KLIF in 1971 to Fairchild Industries of Germantown, Maryland, for $10.5 million, then a record price for a radio station. By 1979 the family had sold all of its broadcasting properties, including fourteen radio and two television stations, worth approximately $100 million. By 1985 Forbes magazine estimated McLendon's net worth at $200 million.

Television

McLendon was also the last owner of ABC affiliate KCND-TV in Pembina, North Dakota. In 1975, he sold that station to Winnipeg executive Izzy Asper, who moved the station to Winnipeg and used it to start up CKND-TV, which would become the genesis of the present-day Canwest media empire and the modern-day Global Television Network.

Movies and theatres

In 1959, McLendon co-produced two sci-fi monster movies filmed in Texas, The Killer Shrews and The Giant Gila Monster. Both are now considered cult classic b-films and were even featured on the show Mystery Science Theatre 3000 in the 1990s. He produced over 150 motion-picture campaigns for United Artists from 1963-1966. At one point, he became the largest shareholder in Columbia Pictures. He was the executive producer of Escape to Victory, directed by John Huston and starring Michael Caine, Sylvester Stallone, and Max von Sydow.

Oil

McLendon's father in law was former Louisiana Governor and oil magnate James A. Noe who, along with his partner, Governor Huey Long, formed the controversial Win or Lose Oil Company. The firm was established to obtain leases on state-owned lands so that the directors might collect bonuses and sublease the mineral rights to the major oil companies. Although ruled legal, these activities were done in secret and the stockholders were unknown to the public. Noe and Long made a profit on the bonuses and the resale of those state leases, using the funds primarily for political purposes.

Author

McLendon became an authority on precious metals and wrote a book entitled Get Really Rich in the Coming Super Metals Boom, published in 1981. He also authored a number of other books, including How to Succeed in Broadcasting (1961), Correct Spelling in Three Hours (1962), Understanding American Government (1964), and 100 Years of America in Sound (1965).

Politics

McLendon, a conservative Democrat, lost a closely contested primary election against incumbent US Senator Ralph Yarborough in 1964. He entered the primary for the 1968 Texas gubernatorial election, but withdrew from both the election and the Democratic Party, citing President Lyndon Johnson's Vietnam War policies. During the campaign he was accompanied by such Hollywood luminaries as John Wayne, Chill Wills, and Robert Cummings.

JFK Assassination

Jack Ruby was both a listener and admirer of McLendon and known to the staff of the station, including Gordon McLendon. Conspiracy theorists Warren Hinckle and William Turner (in their book Deadly Secrets) and Peter Dale Scott have alleged that McLendon played a key role in the John F. Kennedy assassination. Gordon McLendon was the first person Jack Ruby asked to speak with after his arrest. They also cite McLendon's close relationships to legendary Central Intelligence Agency operative David Atlee Phillips, politically connected oil magnate Clint Murchison, Sr., and political advisor to LBJ, Bobby Baker, as circumstantial evidence. McLendon is also alleged to have funded Gerry Patrick Hemming and Interpen, the Intercontinental Penetration Force, which aimed to privately overthrow Cuba in the 1960s. Gordon McLendon and David Atlee Phillips co-founded the Association for Intelligence Officers. He was a member of the Suite 8F Group along with his friends, H. L. Hunt, Clint Murchison, Sr. and Bobby Baker.

[1] [2][3]

References

See also

External links


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

См. также в других словарях:

  • Contemporary hit radio — (also known as CHR, Contemporary Hits, Hit List, Current Hits, Hit Music, Top 40, or Pop Radio) is a radio format that is common in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia that focuses on playing current and recurrent popular… …   Wikipedia

  • Liberty Broadcasting System — The Liberty Broadcasting System was a U.S. radio network of the late 1940s and early 1950s founded by Gordon McLendon, which mainly broadcast live recreations of Major League Baseball games, by following the action via Western Union ticker… …   Wikipedia

  • Shot Heard 'Round the World (baseball) — The Shot Heard Round the World In baseball, the Shot Heard round the World is the term given to the walk off home run hit by New York Giants outfielder Bobby Thomson off Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Ralph Branca at the Polo Grounds to win the… …   Wikipedia

  • Radio Nord — was a Swedish offshore commercial station that operated briefly from 8 March 1961 to 30 June 1962 from a ship anchored in international waters of the Baltic Sea off Stockholm, Sweden. While the station was dubbed as a pirate radio station, its… …   Wikipedia

  • WUFO — Infobox Radio Station name = WUFO airdate = January 24, 1948 (1080 AM sign on); November 2, 1962 (with current calls) frequency = 1080 (kHz) city = Amherst, New York area = Buffalo, New York format = Urban Gospel erp = 1000 watts (daytime)… …   Wikipedia

  • Timeline of the John F. Kennedy assassination — John F. Kennedy This article considers the detailed timeline of events before, during, and after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States. Contents 1 Prelude …   Wikipedia

  • The Killer Shrews — Infobox Film name = The Killer Shrews caption = A color enhanced promotional film poster for The Killer Shrews. director = Ray Kellogg producer = Ken Curtis Gordon McLendon writer = Jay Simms starring = James Best Ingrid Goude Ken Curtis Gordon… …   Wikipedia

  • Major League Baseball on the radio — has been a tradition for almost 80 years, and still exists today. Baseball was one of the first sports to be broadcast in the United States. Every team in Major League Baseball has a flagship station, and baseball is also broadcast on national… …   Wikipedia

  • KLUV — Infobox Radio station name = KLUV city = Dallas, Texas area = Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex branding = 98.7 K Luv slogan = North Texas Greatest Hits airdate = 1961 as KROW frequency = 98.7 (MHz) HD Radio 98.7 HD 2 for 50s 60s Oldies format =… …   Wikipedia

  • WGRB — Infobox Radio station name = WGRB city = Chicago, Illinois area = Chicagoland branding = Inspiration 1390 slogan = airdate = 1923 frequency = 1390 AM (kHz) HD Radio format = Gospel power = 5,000 Watts erp = class = B callsign meaning = former… …   Wikipedia


Поделиться ссылкой на выделенное

Прямая ссылка:
Нажмите правой клавишей мыши и выберите «Копировать ссылку»