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Garry Meier Interview (transcript)

Garry Meier Interview (transcript)

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Published by Margaret
Transcript of the Radiogirl Podcast interview posted on March 17, 2010 at http://podcast.radiogirl.us/2010/03/garry-meier-radio-legend.html
Transcript of the Radiogirl Podcast interview posted on March 17, 2010 at http://podcast.radiogirl.us/2010/03/garry-meier-radio-legend.html

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Published by: Margaret on Jul 18, 2012
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Interview with Garry Meier, Chicago Radio Legend (Transcript of the Radiogirl Podcast interview with Margaret Larkin posted on March 17, 2010 at http://podcast.radiogirl.us/2010/03/garry-meier-radio-legend.html) Margaret: You’ve had a very long career. How long have you been in radio? Garry Meier: 37 years, I believe, yeah, around 37 years. I started when I was six. Margaret: So where did you start, in elementary school? Garry Meier: Pretty much. I started talking when I was in first grade and just kept talking until I actually could make a living off of it. I started, it was kind of an odd route. I started from, well I went to high school, and then I went to pharmacy school and I dropped out of pharmacy school, and then I worked construction, and I thought, “Well, this is not something that I could do my whole life” because I really didn’t have any skills to be a carpenter or a plumber. Not that I wouldn’t do it, it’s just that I just didn’t gravitate towards it, and if I could have I would’ve been. It just didn’t really compute with me as far as that goes. And I decided, “Well, okay, I’ve listened to guys on the radio,” and I wondered how you get one of those jobs. So I started to look in the yellow pages like I was told to do back then and found a so-called broadcasting school, started going there and met somebody who got me a job, and the rest is 37 years ago as they say. Margaret: Why did you want to become a pharmacist? Garry Meier: Well I was in high school working at a drug store and the Vietnam War was raging, and I thought, “Well, I’ve gotta keep going to school to keep a deferment” because I didn’t quite figure out how I was going to go to Vietnam. I couldn’t quite get my brain around that. And there was a guy who had just gotten out of pharmacy school there, he was working as a pharmacist, young guy, and he had money and a nice car, and all that. And I thought, “Wow, that’s the American way right there, how do I get that?” And I talked to him and thought, “Well, I’ll be a pharmacist then” because I’d been working at the drug store for a number of years. So I started going to pharmacy school and didn’t like it, it wasn’t really right for me. And after two years I dropped out and then went into construction. So it was kind of a, I’m grabbing on anything I can at the moment, to find out what I want to do. And then after two years in pharmacy school, having no money anymore, my cousin was working in construction and got me a job as a laborer in construction. Margaret: But at that time was there a draft, would you have been drafted? Garry Meier: Yeah, I was in a draft until I started pharmacy school, and then they went to the lottery, and that’s kind of another moment that decided my life. I got a very high draft lottery

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number. I knew I would never have to go. So, I’ll never forget this day. They were picking the first draft lottery, and they picked the first 150 numbers on television in the first one. And then they said, “We’ll do the rest on radio.” And I had heard if your number was beyond 150 out of 365, chances of you going on any particular year or at all were very slim. So I went and started studying my pharmacy for that evening, and I wasn’t listening to the radio. I felt good about not being in the 150 group. My brother came up to my bedroom and said you’re number 328. And I knew at that point that that was something I’d never have to deal with. So it changed everything. And actually at that moment I shut the pharmacy book and went to bed because I knew at that moment that I was not going to be a pharmacy student anymore or a pharmacist. And it was just a matter of time when the exit came, and they pretty much exited me at the school because my grades were not up to par. Although I kept going, I dropped out of the pharmacy school at the U of I, and I went back to the junior college. I started to pick up some courses to see if I could regain the momentum. But I realized that that wasn’t what I wanted to do, I was just grabbing on to things. And I thought, “Well okay,” and then the job came along in construction. I thought, “Okay, I can make some money,” and I liked doing that. But after a couple years I thought, “Is there a future in this for me?” and there wasn’t. And I had to decide because at that point I was 21, 22, what was I going to do as a career? And I always had listened to the radio with that ear of, “Wow those guys get paid for doing that.” But there was a flashpoint moment there. A guy that was on the radio here would read letters from listeners, and I sent him a letter and he read it on the air. And when I heard my material on the air, that was another flashpoint moment of that’s what I gotta do. Margaret: Who was it? Garry Meier: It was a guy by the name of Larry Lujack. You probably don’t remember him. Margaret: I do. I’m old enough to remember when he was on the air. I used to listen to him. Garry Meier: Really? You seem too young to remember. He’s been off the air for 20-some years. But the fact is, and I’ve told this story a million times, he always talked about being reincarnated as a butterfly. And one day I walked out of my house and there was a big monarch butterfly dead on the grass. So I thought, “I’m gonna send that to Larry and tell him that I killed one of his relatives.” So I literally scotch-taped the butterfly to a piece of paper, typed up a letter and said, “Hey, I think I killed your Uncle Bob,” sent it to him, and then a couple days later he read it on the air. And it was that moment that I thought, “Wow, that’s my material,” and I thought about getting into radio. But I didn’t know anybody in radio, so I had to look in the yellow pages and find a broadcasting school for whatever that was worth. Margaret: Where are you from, are you from the city?

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Garry Meier: Yes, I’ve lived in Chicago my entire life. I grew up on the far south side. Went to Tinley Park High School. Yeah, I’ve always lived here. I was lucky to stay here. Margaret: Did you grow up in the city, within the city limits? Garry Meier: I grew up in the West Pullman area and then we moved to the southwest suburbs just before I went to high school. And that’s where I spent a good amount of time. And I’ve lived in the city again for many years. So yeah, I’m suburban and city folk. Margaret: Did you ever meet Larry Lujack? Garry Meier: Well, funny story. Then, as the years go on, I ended up working at the same station as him. It was a very bizarre surreal moment of, you have this idol and then you end up working in the same building on the same radio station. And then we were in a situation, my partner and I, where we actually were in competition with him. And then we had dealings with him, and it was very strange in a lot of ways. It just never left me that you wish for something and then it gets so close into the orb that you can’t even believe it sometimes. Margaret: So what was he like? Garry Meier: He was an odd guy. He’s very anti-social and I always had this image of him, and then you meet somebody. Sometimes it’s not good to meet your so-called idols because it could taint it a bit. He was just an odd person. And I don’t know what made him that way, but he spent a lot of time at the radio station. All day after his morning show he’d stay there all day, sleep on a couch in his office, get up about 6, 7 o’clock, and then drive home. And working a morning show, you have to be a little bit disciplined I think. But he had this weird schedule about hanging out there. I don’t know. It just seemed depressing to me. Margaret: At that point was he really successful? Garry Meier: Yeah, he had a huge amount of success in Chicago from the late 60s through the, I’d say, late 70s. And, yeah, I don’t know what happened, where he wasn’t happy. At first I thought that was an act. He always said on the air, “I just want to be a forest ranger. This really is not what I want to do, be on the air.” And I thought that was a bit. But I think when all is said and done, he wasn’t happy, and that was him. Margaret: When the station had events, did you guys talk at all, did he talk with other people or he still kept to himself? Garry Meier: I don’t know if he talked to other people. I think he had some friendships within. Wasn’t us, necessarily. I’d see him in the hallway and we’d have some exchange once in a while. It wasn’t real flowing, I’ll be honest with you. I didn’t have anything against him. I always tried

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to tell him as I had that opportunity that, “Hey, you’re the reason I got on radio.” And it was one of those things where I think he thought, “Oh great, this is what I’ve spawned?” Margaret: At that time you were really successful, though. Garry Meier: Yes. Again, this business of radio, I don’t know what it is about this business but it collects a lot of misfits. I’ll be honest with you. And I don’t think I’m telling any secrets here. Anybody who’s listened can kind of hear the misfits. Some of them are very open about how misfit they are. And I guess it’s because you can hide behind the microphone and you don’t have to see people, but you have a power base. That adds to the whole thing. And these are some people that in high school were pushed around or felt inferior, but then they got into radio and they got a power base, and now they’re gonna get back at a lot of people in this way. Margaret: But do you even think it’s true today? Because radio has changed so much. Because when you came up it was really a big deal. Garry Meier: Yeah, I think it has changed a bit. We’re still seeing these people in this business. I don’t know how many, maybe not as many because you’re right, the business has changed. It’s a lot more competitive with other mediums that we didn’t have 10, 15, 20 years ago. But you’re gonna still get the odd balls. Not that that’s entirely bad. It’s just that that’s the business, it seems to me. Margaret: What do you think of the other media? Because when you started out, there was basically radio and TV, and now we have internet and everything. So what do you think of the internet? Garry Meier: Well, it’s an amazing tool, and I don’t mean that in a derogatory way. It’s good and evil. It’s here. And it’s so instant and there’s so much out there. But AM and FM are still chugging along. They wrote radio off when television came in. And I know it’s not the same. I know the competition is fiercer. But that’s the name of the game. It’s just still here and until it’s not, it’s still gonna be part of the game. It’s lost some listeners to those other avenues, I’ll give you that. But it’s still free, it’s still in your car. And until that stuff gets in the car, the car listenership is the biggest part of this, I think we still have a somewhat upper hand. Maybe I’m delusional. Margaret: Well if you think you’re delusional, do you think that you’re one of the misfit people you’re describing? Because you seem pretty normal. Garry Meier: This is me evaluating me, so you’re gonna have to take it with that grain of salt. From some of the people I’ve seen, I’m totally normal compared to some of the people I’ve witnessed. Now some people might have other opinions, of course. That’s their opinion. But

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overall I think I’ve remained fairly normal through this whole process. Because I looked at it a long time ago and thought, “I can’t be that.” If I start to sway in that area, I really hope somebody tells me, cuz I really don’t like it. And I don’t want to be the person that people don’t want to be around and have this attitude and this ego where it’s just repulsive. And I’ve made an effort to, although this has always been me. I was always excited to come from the background I came from and get this. So I’ve always kind of appreciated it. I never took it for granted. And when I was off those years before coming to WGN, it gave me another perspective of hey, no matter what your portfolio, you might have to really scratch again and look for work and have to rebuild, and that’s fine. And I did that. But I’ve never taken it for granted. Margaret: What did you do during those years? Was that five years? Garry Meier: Well, out of the five, I worked seven months. I was on the air at WCKG for seven months, and they pulled the plug on that. So out of the five years, I was only on the air seven months, which was the longest span of time since I started in radio that I was off. Every day I kept looking to get back. I didn’t know it was gonna be that long. I kept thinking, “Well today’s the day when I’m going to get something.” So by the time you realize that isn’t the day, those years and months and everything have gone by. But you don’t think it’s gonna be a total of five years or four-and-a-half, or three-and-a-half. It’s the fact that you’re still trying to get back. But that’s what I did, I kept working on getting back. So I didn’t think about the time passing. You’re always going, “Okay, it’s gonna be today. It’s gonna be tomorrow and I’ll hear a word about getting back.” Margaret: Were you trying to just get back in Chicago or go other places? Garry Meier: Well, I could’ve probably moved, but I thought all my equity’s here. If I go somewhere else I really have to start all over again because I don’t have any equity. And I probably would’ve moved. There was a moment there where it was very close. But just when that moment came, this came along. And I thought, well, I don’t want to just walk away from all the equity. I’ve built it up for a number of years, I hope it’s still there, and I’d like to still partake in that. And before I had to make that decision, this came along at WGN, and that was it. Margaret: I’m skipping a lot of years, but let’s just go to WGN. How did you get on WGN? I listened to your show a long time ago. Garry Meier: Which one? Margaret: Well, the one on The Loop. That’s when I really started to listen to you. Loop FM. During the Disco Demolition years.

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Garry Meier: That was many years ago. How old are you? Margaret: I’m 41. Garry Meier: So you were 11. Margaret: Yeah, and, that’s why I think it’s a big deal that I’m sitting here with you because I think you’re one of the legends of radio. But really, that’s what Elton Jim and I were talking about too. We just can’t believe you’re here, in a good way. So how did you get to WGN? Because I remember you used to make fun of it. Is that because of your age, you were young back then, or why? Garry Meier: I think because, and this is still true to a certain degree, WGN radio is this iconic station. It’s a huge station. I’m not just saying that because I’m sitting here on WGN now. It was and still is, in the scheme of radio, it’s a huge station. And we made fun of it because it was the goliath and we were David. And that’s what David did. You start throwing stones at Goliath hoping. I think you can either topple Goliath or Goliath will pay attention to you. That was our strategy. And I think there was a bit of envy, that no matter what we did we could never have the number of ratings points that WGN had. Now our audience was younger, so we thought, “Well, they’ve got the older people.” But yeah, it was one of those things where it was a competitor and I would take shots at any competitor just for the fun of it. And that was the game. And I know it’s funny that I’m sitting here and I get those emails, “Aren’t you kind of weirded out when you walk in here?” And I think I still am after a year. It is kind of funny. I’m almost thinking, I’m going to wake up and go, “Wow, I had this dream where I was on WGN.” But here’s the bit. I looked at the landscape of talk radio in Chicago. There are only so many radio stations that are doing all talk. So it’s narrowed down right away to those few. I had just left one, and there was this one. And you look at where you’d want to work. Well, ok, WGN. And they were in the process, I think, of making some changes when I started to approach them a couple years ago. And I knew there was the possibility the morning guy, Spike O’Dell, would retire. So I thought the only way in this business, it seems, to get in is if somebody leaves or dies or whatever. And I started to work that process because I looked at the landscape and thought, “Well if I want to stay in Chicago I have to look at what stations, who’s leaving, possibly in the near future.” Spike might retire at the end of ‘08, and he did. And then I started to work it. The program director here I had never met. He had just started a few months before Spike left. And I left some messages. It was like Getting a Job 101. It was right back to how I did it in the day. And the process is the same. You work the phones no matter who you are. And I left several voicemails, didn’t hear back from him right away. And then one day he actually picked up the phone. And I said, “Listen, here’s the deal. I’m not gonna waste your time. Let’s go to lunch. I’ll give you my philosophy on what I’d do if I had a show at WGN. And if you don’t like me after the lunch, fine. No harm, no foul.” So we did that. He said, “Hey,” during lunch. At

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the end of the lunch, he said, “How about doing a week of an audition on WGN?” And it hit me like, “Wow, I’ve got to audition in the city that I’ve had all my success in.” But he made a point that I didn’t think of. He said, “It’s not to see if we like you all together. We want to see if you like us. It’s a two-way street.” And I didn’t think of it like that. Margaret: Has anybody ever said that to you, it’s if you like us? Garry Meier: No. And I thought that was a good point because it’s always, we want to see if we like you, period. And, that was something that I didn’t think of which I found interesting, because he was right. What if I got here and it was like, “Oh man, this just does not fit.” But it was interesting when I did, and it turned out to be just a three-day audition because the Cubs were on that week. And he said, “You can pick a week.” It was a year ago in March in ’09 that he said you could pick a week, and I wanted to get on as soon as possible. So I said, “Well whatever the first week I can get on.” And he said, “Well that week you just picked has two preemptions because of the Cubs.” I said, “Fine, I just want to get going.” So I got on and the adrenaline was just flowing and I thought, “Wow.” After the first show, it felt pretty comfortable. Now that was me talking in my head. But after the second show and third show I thought, “Wow, this really…” And all the jobs that I’ve gotten over the years that were successful, there was a fit. It was very organic. I knew from the first day that something was gonna work there or not work. And this was one of those cases where, first day. I knew it with my first partner, my second partner, and this. And I had that same feeling after the first show here. And then after the week I did it, the three days, they auditioned countless other people, five, six, seven, eight other people in that month of March. And then they said, “Well, we decided you’re the guy, so let’s get the deal,” which we did. And then I started officially, I believe the 2nd of April in ’09. Margaret: So you got work at WGN without an agent? It was just you approaching the station? Garry Meier: Yeah. When it comes down to it, don’t get me into the agent talk here, cuz I had a bad experience with that. I mean you can, but I don’t even want to bother people with that. It’s nothing that anybody cares about but me, and maybe a few other people. But here’s the deal: you have to sell yourself, when it really gets down to it. Now if you’re Tom Hanks or Tom Cruise or those guys that are superstars that need that kind of energy and mojo to get them things, and I don’t even know why they would. They’re Tom Cruise, Tom Hanks. I would imagine you could walk into somebody’s office and go, “You want to hire me?” But that’s the whole process with that. I don’t know that level because I’ve never been on that level, so that’s a whole other thing. But when it really gets down to it, it’s making a phone call and selling yourself to somebody. And that’s what I did. And I think when it really gets all the way down to the bottom of what you have to do, the person that’s going to hire you has to talk to you. Not an agent, not a manager. They’ve gotta deal with you. The agent and manager are gone once you start the

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job. They never come around anymore for the most part. So it’s you. And you have to be the whole thing. And I thought, “Why do I need somebody to sell me?” I sell me, good or bad, and that’s the only person that can really do it. And my wife handled all the agent type stuff, and she’s very good at that, and that’s it. That’s all I need. Margaret: How did you feel about doing a show when you’re the main person? Is this the first time, other than WCKG? Was that the first time that you really had your own show? Garry Meier: No, this is actually the third time. After I left my first partner, Steve Dahl, I got my own show on The Loop, a mid-day show by myself. That was the first time. And that was an amazing circumstance because I had just left a 15-year partnership, and now I’m in the same station as my former partner. I can actually see him through the glass in the studio I’m in, doing my show as he’s leaving his show. After that was done, after the first year, and I was very happy with the progress with that, but they were so bent on getting me back with Steve that they made it very difficult for me, for whatever reason. After the first year, I was on from 10 to 2 or 10 to 3, whatever it was. They said to me, “How ‘bout you go 7 to midnight?” Cuz I wasn’t breaking. They wanted to break me and they couldn’t. I said, “I see what you’re doing here. I think it’s best if I leave.” So I left. And that was the first one. And then ‘CKG was the second one. The second time at ‘CKG I really felt the mo. And here it’s all now coming together, I think, with all the years of my experience, putting it together and doing what I do. I feel it, I can feel the energy. Whether it becomes as successful as my previous work, I don’t know. But I’ll be honest with you. I care, but I don’t care in the way I did 10, 15 years ago. Personally, I feel the most rewarded right now. I feel like I’m reborn. I feel like I’m doing the best work I’ve ever done. I just feel good. And I don’t think I felt good, to be honest with you. I don’t know why people say that. I think I’m being honest with you when I say anything I say. Why people say that, I don’t know. But it just feels like something’s coming out of me that wasn’t there. Margaret: Why do you think that is? Garry Meier: I try to figure that out every day. What was the feeling I had? Not to say I didn’t enjoy those runs and they weren’t successful. It’s just that this is different, and I feel this is the moment. This is what I’m doing now, and I feel alive. And maybe I wasn’t at a hundred percent for whatever reason, and there were a lot of circumstances that were always working against that. And not to bore people with that, but there are people out there that like to make things complicated when they don’t have to be. They’re buzzkills, and I’m not that way. I like to come in and go, “Let’s have a good time.” Margaret: What do you mean? Garry Meier: They take something. Like this is a very good job. But I’ve been around people where they find ways to make it unpleasant. They have some, I don’t know what it is. They have baggage and they bring it in, and they’re always throwing stuff out there, like, “Well, it’s good

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now, but in a week, I think the sun is not gonna light, and we’re gonna be screwed, and you know this microphone is toxic, and it could blow up in your face.” I’m just giving you a general example of, they bring their baggage in because I don’t know what it is. I don’t know if it’s competitiveness with me, or what it was. I always thought, “I should’ve been retired by now” if the first one stayed where I thought it should have. I think what I had with two different people is, to me, remarkable. I never thought after the first one I’d ever get another partner and then have the same success. And that was even better, I thought, than the first go-around as far as a lot of things. And I thought, “Well this is it, this is the ride, this is gonna be it.” And then that blows up, and I’m thinking, I wasn’t sitting there going, “Boy, I can’t wait for the day I can have my own show because that’s really my goal.” I’m sitting there thinking, “This is gonna be it. This is working so well, I think it’ll take me to the promised land.” And then there are people working behind the scenes that are lighting the thing on fire, because you ask them. I don’t think they’ll have an answer for you that would make any sense. I never had this master plan, “Someday I gotta have my own show.” I have my own show because I reacted to being treated like dog crap. And I had to do something. Otherwise, once you let somebody treat you like dog crap, they will continue to do that. Margaret: When you’re saying you were treated badly, who are you saying, who treated you badly? Garry Meier: Well the fact is, my first partner obviously didn’t get where I was coming from when I said “I can’t take this anymore.” And he’s talked about his issues on the air. Not to rehash all these. The second go-around, I’m sitting there one day, the manager calls me into his office and says, “We don’t like the way the negotiations are going on your contract.” And I said, “Well I’ve got six weeks to go, and we’ll just keep negotiating and maybe we can get this thing done.” His response: “Don’t come back on Monday until you give me another number.” And I’m thinking, “I just gave you a number, and I keep giving you another number that’s lower. I’m negotiating against myself. What kind of idiot would do that?” This is the kind of nonsense. And I’ve got a number one show that I’m sitting on, and he’s treating me like I just walked off the street like some idiot. And I thought, “Why am I working with people like this? They’re gonna take a number one show on AM radio and burn it down?” He did. This is what I’m talking about. Complete idiots. He lost his job several days after I was officially gone. So what was accomplished? And this is the kind of stuff that I can’t be around. I can’t be around idiots. And a friend of mine said to me a number of years ago, “You know what? After you turn 50, you don’t want to be around assholes.” And I think that’s a good philosophy because I think at some point as you get older, you have to kind of get into the fact that time’s a wasting. I can’t be around these people because they’re just dragging me down, and their energy seeps into your head, and I think really ruins you. Even just being around it, even if your attitude is up and everything’s good. If you’re around them long enough, they’ll suck your energy out. And I can’t be around that, and I won’t be around it anymore.

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Margaret: Was there negativity in each partnership? Garry Meier: But here’s the thing. People go, “Well, weren’t you friends?” We were friends, but for some reason when it got down to the business end of it, and I tried to tell them, I sat there with them. I just didn’t walk out and go, “Well screw you, you’re not getting me.” I sat down and I said, as I’m looking at you right now, “What are you doing? Because you know how good this is, you know how hard it is to get this?” And they looked at me like, and I could see the look like I was crazy. “Oh you’re just this or that” or whatever their attitude was. And I’m thinking, “Okay, I’m not following this because I’ve spent, in the first one 15 years with that, eight years in the second one, and the way they’re treating it is like it’s not worth anything.” Because I couldn’t figure it out. I thought, “They don’t get it.” I don’t want to sit here and try to explain it to them. These aren’t 12 year-old boys. I gotta go because if you don’t know what it is now, you’re never gonna know. And I just left. I just didn’t leave, I had to react to something where they weren’t being a partner, number one. If you’re a partner, you gotta be a partner. You can’t be kinda pregnant. And they were kinda pregnant sometimes. When it was going well, they treated me well. And then when it got down to, it got a little ugly, well, if you’re not on board the way I want to be on board, I thought, “Well it’s a partnership, and we have to go in together as a partnership.” And if we’re treating each other like we’re dividing and conquering each other, they’re gonna do the same thing. And that’s what they did. Management played on that and they ruined the whole thing. But the partner wasn’t a partner in the end. Period. Margaret: Are you saying in both cases? Garry Meier: Yeah. The first one, I sat down with Steve. I had a very passionate talk with him about what was bothering me. Didn’t seem to phase him. I thought, “Okay, then time to go.” With Roe, I made all my feelings clear of what was happening, and he didn’t seem to want to support me in the end. I thought, “Then we’re not a partner, so why are we even together? Why waste any more time with this?” Because if I’m a partner, I’m a partner. I can’t be, you can’t be a partner. Like I said, when times are good and then when it gets a little rough, well, “Eh, can you just cave in?” I’m going, “No, I’ve got a power card right now, and I’m gonna use it.” Otherwise, when do you use it? And when you watch what happened with Leno and Conan and what happens there, and when I watched that went, “I could see why that happened” because nobody went, “Wait a minute, what are you doing?” When they went to Jay Leno and said, “We’re going to in five years take you off this show that you’re doing very well on,” that’s when he goes, “You know what? I’m leaving as soon as my next contract’s done,” or “No, you can’t do that, otherwise I’m leaving.” But he didn’t. He stayed and then they go, “Oh, we’ll put you on at 9:00.” And it was all that. And the thing is, when you’re going to have somebody tamper with something that’s working, you’ve gotta step up because otherwise you’re gonna go in the whole process and go up in flames with them.

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Margaret: Each time that you left, was it worth leaving? Because you said you weren’t happy about the situation. How did you feel when you left each situation? Garry Meier: Well obviously there were difficult things because I had, like I said, the first one was 15 years almost. The second one was eight years and they were very successful. Not many people, I think, and I know I got this flack from people, “What an idiot, he’s walking away from all that money.” But you know what? I could’ve stayed probably, not really. But if I had stayed, let me put it this way. If I had stayed, I’d either have an ulcer or some health problem because I would have internalized it. And I thought, “It isn’t worth it.” And I’ve heard other people, and it’s hard to explain this and have a lot of people go along with you because they’re thinking, “Well you just walked away from all that money.” And people just see the money and that’s what we do. And I love money, don’t get me wrong. I’m a capitalist, I get it. But when it really goes down to are you happy doing this, or are you miserable, I’ve seen a lot of people make a lot of money and they’re miserable. And I don’t want to be that person. It was challenging, I’m not saying it wasn’t, when I left. I’m not trying to make it, “Well, it was just an easy thing.” It was very difficult cuz some idiots in the press decided to take a side that wasn’t really the factual side and beat me up. And I didn’t have a forum to fight back. And I noticed in the past year when I’ve had a forum, I’m not getting beaten like a drum much because I will defend myself. And I think you have to because otherwise if people treat you like dog crap, that’s the way they think you want to be treated. You have to protect your turf. And I know there are people out there, “He’s full of...” I don’t care, I really don’t care. You have to live your life, and if you’re not happy about it, you’ve gotta make changes. Somebody said something to me at a radio station I worked at many years ago and I had been there, at that point, about twoand-a-half years. And it was a station where I was in transition. I was making no money. And I was always walking around the hallways and grousing about the place and complaining. And then this guy who was the program director came up to me and he said, “If you’re not happy here, why don’t you leave?” And it hit me. I thought, “He’s right. What am I complaining about? I should just try to find the next situation that makes me happy.” So I have never complained about a situation since then because I’m not gonna do that, because then I become those people I’m criticizing. I’m Holden Caufield at that point. And if you’re not happy, you make changes if you can. If you can’t, the only option is to leave because you don’t want to make other people miserable. And that’s what you do. Margaret: Back to how you got to WLS-AM: how long were you working in radio and how did you get there? Garry Meier: I started at a place called WFYR, and it was an automated oldies station. And I just worked all nights and I changed the tape reels to play the music. And then I pre-recorded the news and the weather and plugged that in the machine. That was my first year. And then I went to this suburban station, Des Plaines, WYEN, and that was live radio. I did everything. And by

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everything I meant I vacuumed the floor, and did everything. And I was happy with that. And then I thought after three years, cuz I thought I’d be there a year and come back downtown. It wasn’t until three years later that I got the job doing all nights at The Loop. And then Steve Dahl and I met when he came in to do mornings, and we literally met on the air. Margaret: Oh yeah, sorry, I meant The Loop. I’m thinking WLS because I’m thinking of Larry Lujack. Garry Meier: Yeah, that was like the third stop in the process here. And that’s how we made it to that point. Margaret: How did you meet Steve Dahl? Garry Meier: Well, I was doing all nights at The Loop from 2 AM to 6 AM and after a year-anda-half there, the company that owned The Loop was sold to another company, and then they brought Steve in to do mornings. I had heard Steve when he was on another station in Chicago. In that year he started here, he was doing mornings and I was driving home after my all-night show, and I would listen to him. And then it turns out a year later, he’s hired to do mornings at The Loop. So at 6 AM when I’m getting ready to leave, I threw something out that Steve could talk about or I thought he might want to talk about or not talk about at all. I just threw it out there. And after a couple days, he said to me, “Stay and we’ll talk together.” And after about three or four days of that, the program director heard that chemistry and said, “We gotta put you two guys together.” And I’m so naïve at that point when they told me that, I said, “So I’m gonna do the all-night show then I’ll be on with Steve all morning?” And they go, “No, no, you’re done with the all-night show.” And the funny thing is, the stuff that’s come to me has always just come to me when I’m not looking for it because I think, if you believe in this and that Zen philosophy, the harder you go after something the further away it goes. But if you relax it comes to you. And I wasn’t looking, to be honest with you. And this is maybe funny because I was doing that show in Des Plaines for three years. And when I got to The Loop, which was a huge station at the time, just the all night even, I thought, “I’m here. I’m making $250 a week, what more can I ask for? I’m on The Loop, and this is where I’ll stay for a while.” And just when I had that thought, it was all gone, and the all-night show was done, and I was on the morning show with Steve. So it was one of those things where I wasn’t even looking and it happened. Margaret: What was it like to be on that show and then have it become so popular? And why do you think it became so popular? Garry Meier: Well, because Steve came in and he had that whole anti-disco issue, and we played on that right away, and that led up. So we started in March of ’79, and in July of ’79 was Disco Demolition at White Sox Park. So in a matter of a few months, it was building from March

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all the way to July. It wasn’t just July was the big deal. It was building. We would do these appearances where we’d go and break disco records whenever we did. And the crowds would already show up. Before we got to White Sox Park it was already starting to have this fever pitch. So I’m thinking, “A few months ago I’m on the all-night show, and now I’m in something that’s the stratosphere of what I never dreamed of.” You can imagine how I was feeling. I was in some other universe in my head. It was unbelievable. Margaret: I think when you were with Steve Dahl and then you were with Roe Conn, the shows were so good. How did you know what to say to make the timing so good and to add good content? Garry Meier: I think you either have chemistry with somebody or you don’t. You can’t manufacture it. It either is there, and it just gels. And I noticed this with Steve the first day. I knew it was there. And I’ll be honest with you, with Roe the first day. They put us on a weekend show, and we had the chemistry the first day. And I thought, “Wow, I never thought that I’d have chemistry with somebody this quickly or at all. And I realized that this could be another go-around, and it was. And it took about a year with Roe because he was coming from this conservative radio format, and I didn’t wanna get into that cuz I thought that’s not what I do well. So we made it more of a personality-driven show. And it started to work, and I’m thinking, “Here we go. Lightning in a bottle twice for me? Can’t beat it.” And it’s going along, da-da-da, and then when that got blown up, I thought, “Come on.” I mean really. I’d taken all the lessons from the first one and put it in this, and I’m trying to tell him what’s going on here, and eh. Margaret: When you became very successful, how did people respond to you? Garry Meier: People are very nice. Here’s the thing, and it is a real learning curve for me, and I like this learning curve. When I was off before I came here, I’d walk down the street. “Hey Garry, how ya doin’, hope you’re on the radio again soon.” And there was no getting into the dirt or any of the nonsense. And I thought, “This is the great thing about doing this in the city I grew up in. People are very nice, they either like it or they don’t.” The ones that don’t like it don’t say anything, I guess, cuz I don’t hear from them. But people are very nice and I like that. I like to talk to the listener outside of the radio station cuz that gives me a feel for what they like, and what they hear and they keep. So I’ve always just kind of enjoyed having the success only because this is the city I grew up in and it’s a different feel than if you came from out of town, I think. This is where all of my life has been. So to have my success here makes it even more special, I think. Margaret: What did Larry Lujack think about your success?

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Garry Meier: I think you’d have to ask him. The feeling I got, I think he felt like he was competing against us. I thought, “My God, you’ve got your success.” That’s why I don’t get into this. I lost all that competitive weirdness long ago. I have what I have. If it’s not going to be Joe Schmo, so be it. I’m doing what I’m doing, and he just seemed like he was unhappy. But he could’ve been just unhappy in general, and we were just part of that. Margaret: What’s the difference between working at WCKG, WLS, The Loop, and WGN? Garry Meier: I’ll be honest with you. Now that I’ve been to all of those, it’s a microphone, it’s a studio, it’s a transmitter. And I think people put all this stuff around it. It’s WGN. To me, I’m sitting in a studio talking to people, and there are many moments when I don’t even think I’m on WGN or WLS or WCKG. I think I’m on the radio, and I just treat it as I’m talking to people on the radio. Whether they’re tuned to this frequency or another one, it’s coming out of those same speakers. And I don’t get into the stratosphere and atmosphere of, “This is WGN.” WGN has had a huge history, and it’s gone through a lot of change for it, cuz it never goes through change here, it seems. In the last year it’s gone through a lot of change, and I think people don’t like change necessarily. It’s inevitable, as they say. And for this station to go through the change it has and remain relatively stable is a pretty remarkable thing. Here’s the deal: when I say to people I’m on WGN radio, if they don’t know, I don’t have to explain. Then some radio stations you have to go, “It’s this on the dial.” When you say WGN, it carries weight. And that’s what I like about it. I don’t have to explain. It’s WGN. And the fact is because it has the TV station that goes across the country, when you go to other cities and people ask you, “WGN, well I’ve seen that.” Well, they think it’s the TV thing, but I go, “Oh, It’s the radio station.” But it has a lot of cache, and I like that. Margaret: Do you like being on TV? Garry Meier: TV was never a huge goal, but I’ll tell you what: because of what I’ve gone through, I think I have to keep my eyes open and ears open to everything because you don’t know when one of these things can go away. And I don’t want to be in that position again where all of a sudden I’ve got no job. And if I can get some other stuff, and if that’s television, or whatever, I’m going to explore that. And it’s not a vanity thing, it’s a just-trying-to-protectyourself thing. In this world, the way this economy is, these radio stations, tomorrow they can go, “Well, the radio now comes over the toaster and we don’t need you,” or whatever that is. I want to be prepared for something. I don’t want to be beholden to just one thing if I don’t have to. Margaret: That’s what I’m wondering, is when you first got into the business, there was radio, and so if you were talent, you were talent on the radio. And now it’s the 21st century and you’re talent in different media. And so how do you feel about that change, as a talent?

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Garry Meier: I think you almost have to, because the way things are changing, you look around and go, “Jeez, when I first started, we actually cued up 12-inch records, which I now sound like a million years old. None of the stuff, none of the hardware that I started with is even in the studio. And it’s gonna keep changing. So if you’re sitting there thinking, it’s 1986, you’re gonna be eighty-sixed real fast in the future. I have to keep my eyes and ears open to anything and everything, and that’s what I’m doing. And I’m not saying that I will do great things in television. Television’s a different medium, and I think radio guys that go into television sometimes make the mistake that you just have to talk. But there’s a picture now. And that’s part of it. So, as I try to understand that medium more, I did a little bit. I worked for Channel 9 15 years ago, and it was really a lesson I loved learning because it is so different. It’s not instant like radio. The radio station, it’s an on-off button. I’m on the air, it’s live. TV, for the most part, 98 percent of the time, you tape it, and then you review the tape, and then you edit it. It’s a long process to get on the air for two or three minutes. And that was a real learning curve for me. Margaret: Well a long time ago I read this in Wikipedia, and I don’t know if it’s correct. Have you seen your Wikipedia entry? Garry Meier: No, I never look at that stuff. Margaret: It’s very short, but it said that you were called Matthew Meier. Garry Meier: Yeah, when I first started at The Loop in ’77, the program director said to me, “I’ve always liked the name Matthew. If you could be Matthew Meier.” And I go, “But my name is Garry Meier.” “I like Matthew.” And I thought, “Well, I want the job and I don’t want to argue with this guy.” So I was Matthew Meier until the first day when Steve and I sat down and he goes, “I was talking to Garry.” “Oh my name is Matthew.” Then we just exposed that whole sham. But that’s the thing with radio. A lot of guys change their names so it’s radio friendly. That was done by a program director, I had nothing to do with that. I didn’t like it, but I wanted the job. Margaret: What advice do you have for people who want to go into radio or want to be talent? Garry Meier: Well, it’s tough. It’s always been tough. It’s tough because three companies seem to own all the radio stations so they stranglehold the thing where if you’re trying to maneuver within, they might have it all road blocked to where you can’t get anywhere. And a lot of people aren’t willing to work for the crap money that a lot of us worked for early on. I’m just seeing that in that demographic coming up. They don’t want to put up with the crap. I’m sorry, but if it was easy, everybody would be doing it. That’s my philosophy. And, you just gotta be willing. I always say, “If you can, get into an internship and hang around the radio station.” There was a kid who came up and swept floors at The Loop. He’s now running Bonneville Radio. And he was the grunt kid, got our coffee and stuff, and worked his way up. He hung around, he watched,

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he did things, and he moved up. And now he’s one of those rags-to-riches stories. And it can happen, but you have to be really aggressive, and you have to be willing to put up with crap. And a lot of people won’t do that, and that hasn’t changed. Margaret: But when you got those other jobs, you know those partnerships, you said that they...I’m not really clear about WLS, how you got in with Roe, actually. Garry Meier: Well, that’s an interesting story. I was at Channel 9 on their morning TV show that had just started. They decided they want to go another direction, they said. I know why I got popped from there, because I did a piece about how the building where the TV station is on Bradley Place had a lot of garbage around the building. I did a piece on spring cleaning. It’s tongue and cheek. It ran, and they whacked me about a month after cuz they were not happy. Margaret: Cuz you were criticizing their building? Garry Meier: Yeah, cuz I made fun of some of the stuff around the building. It was pretty benign in the scope of things. But anyway, so after that, I was off for about a month and I thought, “One day I’m gonna walk by the building where WLS is at State and Lake.” And in my head I said this, I guess if you believe in that concept The Secret. “I’m going to run into the program director.” That’s what I thought in my head. Cuz I had an office that I was walking to. And as I’m walking by the building, sure enough, the program director was walking out of the building at that moment. I swear, I’m not making this up. I had met him once before, so I knew who he was. And he comes up to me and said, “Hey, what’s going on?” I said, “Well, I’m looking.” He goes, “Would you like to get back into radio?” And I said, “Yeah, I’d love to.” He said, “Call me after the holidays.” I think it was November when I ran into him. He said, “Call me, I have an idea,” which was to put me with Roe. And after the holidays he put us on, as I mentioned, that weekend show for three weekends. And then he said, “I want to try you on on the afternoon show when the afternoon hosts go on vacation.” Then we got the show. That’s how that happened. I’d never met Roe before that, never even knew him. Margaret: So the program director just knew your history and he said, “I want to put you on with Roe?” Garry Meier: Yeah. He said, “I have an idea, I think you two can work well together.” Cuz I was always on when Roe was on, so I didn’t really even know about his radio work. I never met him before a lunch I had with him a week after I had that meeting with the program director. That’s where we first met, I never met the guy. And then, about a week later, we were on the radio, and then it’s an eight-year run. That’s what I mean about things happening organically. If you’re to go out and look for a partner, or this or that, you probably wouldn’t find it. I’m usually, literally, walking down the street when stuff happens, and I like that because it seems to me it’s meant to be.

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Margaret: But it sounds like to get into WGN, though, you were really trying hard. Garry Meier: Well, cuz the business has changed. It’s not the way it was 10 or 15 years ago. And you hear about these Hollywood stars and they go, “I went on that audition, and I didn’t get it.” And we’re talking about A-list stars. So the process, you think, “Well, you guys just walk in and get a job.” You always have to prove yourself and sell yourself, it seems. Now, granted, the doors open maybe easier because of your name, but only to a certain point. I did the leg work that I had done 30 years ago to get here. And I made the calls, set up the lunch, and did all the necessary stuff and really had to sell myself again, which is fine. It doesn’t mean because you had some success 10 years ago that it’s still there, and that’s fine. Margaret: Did the management hear your other shows before? Garry Meier: Kevin was aware of my history, yeah, and he may have pulled up some stuff from wherever and heard them. But I think he was going more on when I sat down with him at that lunch and gave him an hour-and-a-half, two hours of my philosophy of what I do. I think that’s what really sold it. I don’t think he really cared to hear anything from the past because that’s all in the past. Now it’s whatever I can do on that day that I start. And I agree, that’s where it is right there. Margaret: How did you hook up with Elton Jim? Are you an Elton John fan? Garry Meier: I like Elton John. Not as much as him, he’s rabid. Elton Jim is this guy who’s on the show. I call him a contributor. I don’t really know what his role is yet, I’m still defining it. But when I did the midday show at The Loop, that first solo show, I was talking about something one day, and he called in because he’s been a freelance writer for the Illinois Entertainer and that kind of stuff. He called in with some information to add to what I was talking about, and my producer said to me in my headset, “Keep him on hold because I think this guy seems to have a knack for this kind of stuff. Maybe we can use him on other shows.” So we did, and he became kind of a pop culture contributor on the show, and he would call in and do that. So that was the only contact. And then when I left there, I didn’t really talk to him for years. I ran into him once in a while, but didn’t talk to him for years. And then when the WLS fiasco happened, he called me. So that was, let’s see: I left The Loop in ’94 and then in ’04, 10 years later, when the ‘LS thing burned down, he called me and said, “Listen, I know what you’re going through because from what I‘ve seen in this business, duh-duh-duh.” So we got together, we started talking, and then when I got the WCKG thing, I thought, “Well, I’d like to have some people in to be part of the dialog,” and I’ve talked to him over the years, and I can kind of get a sense of where he’s coming from. So I thought, “I’ll bring him to that one.” And then I thought when I came here, “Okay, he’s got some things that I like, we’ll see.” Now, and this is no big revelation, it’s not going to be a partnership. I told him from the get-go, “I don’t want another partner.

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If that’s your goal, you can start looking for something else.” I’m very honest about this. And there’s no, “Oh I told him this and he’s expecting that.” No, I’m very upfront about this. He knows what I expect, and that’s what we’re going with here. The roles on this show will be polished and changed as I go along, we’ll see. I like it so far. I mean, he’s a character, he’s an oddball, I’ll tell you that. Margaret: I’m just wondering about the media coverage of you, because anybody who meets you thinks you’re a very decent person. Garry Meier: The way you said that was like, “How can they even believe that?” Ha-ha. Margaret: No, believe me, I’ve met a lot of jerks. And also you seem like a hard worker and everything, so obviously if people get to meet you they see that you’re a very upstanding guy. But then, you know, with the media coverage, people have different perceptions. So is there anything that you want to say that counters? Garry Meier: Well I have to ask you what media perceptions you’re talking about. Margaret: Well I guess it was the breakup of each of your partnerships because they were so extremely successful, but only people who had worked at the station would understand that. So whatever people found out about was from what people wrote up. And especially with the WLS one. Garry Meier: Yeah well, I think some of these writers have agendas and they decide that they’re going to pick the person they want to defend, for whatever reason. And it’s interesting that the person they defend was the one that remained on the air because they figured, “Well, Garry’s done, why should I bother with him? He’s not on the air, he doesn’t have any currency.” And you notice, again, as I said this a little while ago, there hasn’t been any of that since I’ve been back on the air. Where are the complaints and the comments of what I’ve been doing, good or bad? I’ve noticed that they’re all hiding in the bush, as I say, cuz they’re chicken. Cuz they don’t want to do it now, because now I have a forum to address whatever crap they put out there. And I’m not asking for positive press, that’s not what I’m saying. Just print what’s fair, and dare I say balanced. But they don’t do that. They put in something that makes you look like a total fool, but the rest of the story is completely ignored. And I’m just saying, ”Put it all in there, and then let people decide. Don’t just give the side you want out there.” And that’s what they do, some of them. But I really don’t care if they ever print my name again. That stuff doesn’t even interest me. And you said, “Well I looked at your Wikipedia page, and it’s pretty short.” There you go. I’m here now, so that’s all that counts. Everything else is in the ether. Margaret: So really what you’re focusing on now is how to do your show well.

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Garry Meier: Yeah, I mean, take a shot, but they don’t. The funny thing is, they did it, and if you look, I was not on the air for the whole run of when they did all their dirty work. And I’m thinking, “That’s interesting” cuz they know I can’t fight back. The first day I started here, that mope at the Sun-Times put something in that was a total lie, total falsehood, and I said on the air, “I want you to come down here and tell me where you got this information cuz it’s a total lie.” Never heard from the mope, never heard from him. So, okay? I’m here. Margaret: Well I have a question about that because sometimes even if you’re not a very successful public talent, and let’s say you’re a blogger, or let’s say you’re somebody who’s just accidentally covered by the media or other bloggers and so forth. What advice do you have for people who are being attacked like that? Garry: Well, it’s part of the game. I hope I didn’t give this impression that I’m just looking for positive press. I’m not saying that. All I’m saying is, it’s gotta be accurate at least. I’m just asking for accuracy. Margaret: What I mean is, what advice do you have for people to just deal with it? Garry Meier: Well, if you don’t like criticism, don’t get anywhere near show business. This is the deal. Don’t come in with your thin skin. You won’t last because it’s gonna happen. And I don’t know if I’m just numb to it. It rolls off my back now. I don’t even care. Again, if it’s false, bloggers, I don’t even know what that is because it’s so out in the weirdness universe. What do you do? You start chasing that stuff, you’ll go nuts because you’re always gonna find people that are gonna crap on you. So I don’t even read any of it. I don’t read any of these posts that you see on these media blogs. I don’t read any of it. And ask anybody that’s around me, you think I’m just handing you this line. I don’t read any of it, I don’t care. Hey, they’re talking about me. The funny thing is when I was off, I’d see my name here and there and I’d go, “Still talking about me.” I haven’t been on the air for two years and they’re still talking about me. So I just took it as, “Hey, name is still alive, that’s good.” I just reversed it in my head, made lemonade out of it. Margaret: What do you do in your free time when you’re not doing radio? Garry Meier: Well, I have a daughter and spend time obviously with her stuff and activities and whatever I do. What do I do? Just, the days go. And it’s something I’ve said before: after 50 it’s like you’re having breakfast every 15 minutes. Margaret: How old are you? Garry Meier: I’m 60. Margaret: You are, really?

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Garry Meier: Yeah. Margaret: Do you work out? Garry Meier: Reluctantly, I do. Margaret: Do you eat healthy? Garry Meier: I can’t say that I’m as straight and narrow as far as working out and running along the lakefront and eating granola and all that. I’ve tried to be as cautious as I can of things. But I’m aware of the passage of time more in the last 10 years because the last 10 years have gone by so fast, that that’s why I’ve decided to get rid of all the crap and just take the good stuff and enjoy it. Because you have people where you see them in some ill health situation, and you go, that cliché, “If you have your health, you have everything.” And it’s so true. And the one that really hit me last year was John Hughes, the great director-writer of all those movies, walking down the street in Manhattan at 59, drops dead of a heart attack ,and he had billions of dollars. And I’m thinking, “Yes, you don’t know.” 59 is pretty young these days. That’s why I’m enjoying this so much because I’m thinking, I got another chance to get on the ride, and I’m going to enjoy it. Margaret: Well you should go back on TV because you look really good for 60 and you seem very youthful. You look better than people in their 40s. Garry Meier: Well thank you. I just, again, that’s why I’ve been hiding out in radio so long, maybe. But I just really have come to appreciate that time is a wastin’ and that’s why I’m in here every day. And you mentioned my work ethic. I think you gotta come in every day and put in your time. I’m very Catholic about that, too. I can’t just phone it in. I’ll tell you a little story: my father has a heart attack one day, I’m on the air, and I get the word. So I leave the show, I drive out to the hospital. He’s in intensive care hooked up to all these machines. He sees me walk in, he looks at me, he looks at the clock, and he says to me, “Why aren’t you on the air?” This is how weirdly Catholic I was brought up. He’s almost near death, and he’s worried about me not being on the air at that moment. And that’s good and bad how I think, and it’s that whole work ethic and if you want anything you’ve gotta work hard. And that’s not bad, that’s the way things should be. It’s just that, it seems like over the years, people thought they could take the short route and get everything, and you can’t do that. There are no shortcuts. You still have to work hard. Margaret: But I have seen people who’ve been very successful who really don’t do much work. Garry Meier: How many? Is that the majority? They’re lucky, I’ll give you that, but they are not the majority. You still have to go out there and do it because not many people are phoning it

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in and being successful. Especially in this atmosphere that we’re in today with the recession and the job market, it is so competitive that you are feeling the heat behind you every day. And I say to people, cuz you hear this out there, “Well, why don’t they get younger guys to be on the radio?” And I say, “Hey, drop off a tape or whatever.” If you want this job, the door is open. You can bring in a tape and if they like you, they’ll throw me out. I’m not holding anybody back. It’s just that it seems like there aren’t a lot of guys in the pipeline right now. But I say hey, I encourage people. If you can get my job, please. I would try to get somebody’s job if I could. That’s the way the game is played. And that’s why I’m working hard to try to keep it. I’m not taking this for granted. I know every day somebody can walk in and go, “Hey, I’m the replacement, see ya.” I’m not that naïve. Margaret: So you are staying on at WGN? Is your contract year to year, or what is it? Garry Meier: No, I’m here for several years. Yeah, I’ll be here for several years, and we’ll see how it goes. I’m happy right now. Margaret: How’s the feedback? Garry Meier: They seem happy with me so far. I mean, they’ll tell you if they’re not happy with you. You don’t usually hear from them when they’re happy with you, just when they’re unhappy. They’ve been very good to me, I have to be honest. And I know you hear these stories about, “Oh, these management types.” Listen, I’ve had my run-ins. Right now, this is a good configuration. I don’t want to keep saying, “I’ll be honest with you” because I think I have been. But I guess you have to say that these days cuz people think you’re crapping them. But they’ve been happy for the last year. This year’s gone by, seems like in about four weeks in my head. It was April of last year, and it’s almost April of this year, and I don’t know where it all went. It just happened. But when I get into the Cubs season and I’m not on every day, that’s a real adjustment now because I got that rhythm going after they were off in October. And I got on five days a week, and now I’m back into that kind of interrupted schedule, so I have to adjust to that again. I know people, “Well what’s so hard about that?” Cuz you do a day, and then you’re off a day, or you do an hour-and-a-half. It’s kind of interesting to be in this situation. And they are the 800-pound gorilla, I’ve said this, and I’m the 30-pound chimp, so I move over for them.

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