Read excerpts from the forthcoming book, "Passing Thru"
KABC - The Shrine of Talk Radio"
"WLS Bound"

Gang Raped"
"Friends. When It's All Said and Done"

"Happy Birthday, Bob Hope"

"Don't Forget Me
(Eddie Cochran)"
"In Like Flynn"
"A Slice of Pie"
"Burt Lancaster"
"WLS-Art Roberts"
"The Presidents"

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�John Rook�s talent caused me to get him hired out of the market. A classy guy

with an abundance of ability, he�s a jewel�.  Ken Palmer - KIMN, Denver  (1965)


Broadcasters have named John Rook Program Director of the Year,

he�s considered the architect of WLS�s slick image. � Variety (1969)


�It pleases me the rest of the country thinks as highly of you as I do� � Bill Drake


�If we could find a dozen more John Rook�s, we would hire them�

Hal Neal Jr., President ABC radio.


�What a true professional John Rook is� � Walter A. Schwartz, VP WABC


�Yes, that�s John Rook you are hearing on WABC.  Besides being a great

director, he�s also a pretty darn good air talent.�  Bill Gavin (1967)


�And then there�s John Rook at WCFL.  After a five year stint at ABC�s KQV-Pittsburgh, Mr. Rook was brought to WLS in early 1967 as Program Director.  By mid 1968 WLS�s audience had risen to 4.2 million listeners each week and was #1 across the board. Mr. Rook was approached by Lew Witz of WCFL with an offer to cousel WCFL, and hopefully to bring the station in contention with WLS. Six weeks later Super � CFL knocked WLS out of the top position in the ratings war�. � Broadcasting (1972)


John Rook  pulled off a miracle in Chicago with WCFL and he did it in just 22 days.

Meaning, he was only in Chicago personally for 22 days.  This is actually better than

WCFL has ever done in it�s many years of trying to beat WLS. � Claude Hall, Billboard (1972)

 �Very few programmers have your natural ability of knowing what the audience wants before they do.�  Jack Thayer, WNBC � New York


�Please accept this token of ABC�s appreciation for a job well done.� Leonard Goldenson, President ABC, Inc.


Superjock Larry LuJack described John Rook as �the greatest program director of our time or any other time.�  ABC executive Bob Henabery is quoted as saying that �Rook understood the importance of doing everything right. He was a masterful Top 40 programmer.�

            Rook's Radiography

It's a pleasant surprise to find so much interest in the history of both the music and radio industry,
especially when others feature you in their websites. Thanks!   
John's Denver days... (click)
Pittsburgh and Chicago... (click)

Rook's Daily Clicks
Radio Daily News

Radio Ink
LA Radio
Radio & Records

John's Archives of Commentaries ...

No Knockout Yet -  (read)

Stop Media Monopoly:  (read)

Mel's Media Message (read)

Darkness lights deregulation issue (read)

Race to the Bottom --  (read)

LOUD and CLEAR -- 

Payola illegal, except for FCC chairman Michael Powell (read)

Rush is full of _ _ _ _ " (read)

FCC Clear Channelized (read)

Damn!  They were right! (read)

Ted Turner jumps ship, warns against FCC deregulation (read) 

John Gorman Archives

FCC's Powell dances to a new tune on media monopolies � or does he really?
JOHN GORMAN -- "To be a member of President George W. Bush's administration, you have to be -- among other things -- an exceptional dancer. Take Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham for example. He's been doing the Electric Slide since the massive blackout a couple of weeks back. This week it's Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Powell's turn on the dance floor ... " (read)

"Clear Channel�s disdain for ratings is a prescription for disaster" (click)

FCC's Powell dances to a new tune on media monopolies � or does he really? by JOHN GORMAN -- "To be a member of President George W. Bush's administration, you have to be -- among other things -- an exceptional dancer. Take Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham for example. He's been doing the Electric Slide since the massive blackout a couple of weeks back. This week it's Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Powell's turn on the dance floor ... " (read

The FCC, that agency intended to promote widespread local ownership of broadcasting facilities and equal-time opportunities on the nation's airwaves, has caved in completely to a handful of wealthy monopolists.

What gives?  And when is the public going to say "Enough!"?

by Jim Wright, former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives


Localism's Last Stand
by William Safire

This growing grass-roots grumbling against giantism is getting through to legislators ordinarily cowed by network-owned station managers or wowed by big-media campaign contributions. Some in-house pollster should awaken President Bush to a bipartisan sleeper issue that could blindside him next year (read)

SCANDALS & Scoundrels

Again, FCC chairman Michael Powell refuses to answer questions about a new scandal uncovered by the Center for Public Integrity.

The FCC's Strange Non-Profit 
Powell runs venture capital firm that claims it's private.

Read how he controls funds from those he is expected to regulate.  Outrageous!
(click to read)

All of the latest news concerning Media Monopolization (read)

Contact Links
e-mail FCC Commissioners

e-mail U.S. House Members
e-mail U.S. Senate Members
Complaints - On line to the FCC


Guest Commentary


This is no surprise and I expect it will happen in some manner.  Lowry Mays understands the greater fool theory.   Foreign interests are lusting for a piece of US media and Lowry and Mel will be ready to unload their under performing properties.

Lowry also wants to invest in foreign stations.  He attempted an ownership run at the both the Capital Radio Group and Chrysalis in the UK over the past two years.  Both efforts, so far, failed.

We know radio is not going to perform the previously predicted earnings.  If anything, business will get worse.  Automotive will follow Ford's decision on not advertising new products on the radio - to concentrate on direct mail, TV and Internet.  Lowry, Mel and the boys will plea to Congress that the only way for US media to survive is to include foreign investment - and they'll make the usual arguments about a world economy.

It's moves like this that will turn the US into what the UK was in the 50s to early 60s when the sun finally set on the British Empire.  We're on our way to repeat the same mistakes of the Brits. 

John Gorman



Please Mr. Hogan � Where�s the Beef  ?



Clear Channel, the nation�s largest group of radio stations, have more than enough stages to develop new innovative programming.  But, try as I may to find even one new programming format the Texas based company has given the nation, I couldn�t.  Gobbling up Premiere Radio during the feeding frenzy sparked by radio�s deregulation was a smart move by the Mays monopoly.  Without the talents created by Premiere�s founders, Clear Channel would have little programming of any kind today. 


In a recent survey naming the top fifty radio programmers of 2003, only a dozen Clear Channel programmers were named.  Imagine, 1,200 of the nations biggest facilities, but only a dozen directors worth noting.  Those who are most responsible for attracting audience are saddled with directing several stages in a single market, round the clock.  More than one programmer had expressed despair to me personally of the impossible task.  


So, I was surprised and pleased a few months ago when Clear Channel radio president John Hogan initiated telephone calls to me inquiring about my view of the radio industry.  I immediately registered my concerns about any company who places far an away most emphases on sales and obviously in Clear Channel�s case�very little on product, or programming.  With fifty years of radio experience to my credit, my concerns were dismissed as not important.  I made it clear to him I wasn�t looking for a job myself but could supply the names of several extremely talented, long time successful program consultants. 


I should have known better. Having met many company presidents in my lifetime, only a few were listeners and they were the most successful of the dozens I have known.  


Those who had long careers as company heads, picked the best programmers possible to rely on and understood without programming, their would be no sales. Unfortunately for others who only wanted to hear an echo of their own genius, their time on the throne was limited.  John Hogan was a gentleman, but he indicated he already knew more than I could possibly know about radio.


Adding to my concerns for Clear Channel, in a recent interview Mr. Hogan challenged the question about a lack of listener choices in radio today.  I was stunned when he claimed the radio listener of today has more than double the format choices, than were available before radio�s deregulation.  I listen to radio a great deal and for the life of me I could not imagine what new radio programming I was missing.


According to Mr. Hogan, radio added almost 50 new formats in five or six years. In all the previous years of radio�s history, programmers had only created 35 �or so� formats, he stated. But since then, programmers have worked overtime to develop more than double the choices for listeners to �more than 80�.


The information was credited to have come from the NAB, but having searched the resources of the National Association of Broadcasters, they advise no such report came from them.  Calls to Clear Channel to provide the documentation for Hogan�s remarks have gone unanswered.


We would love to share the news of all these wonderful new formats. I would personally like to hear them myself.  But no one seems to have any information on where we can find this report backing up John Hogan�s remarks.


So we are prompted to ask, please Mr. Hogan - Where�s the beef ?


John Rook


The Center for Public Integrity once again has done a masterful job
in explaining how radio deregulation is totally out of control.


"The result is a radio industry where Clear Channel and other radio broadcast companies own far more radio stations in individual markets across the United States than was intended by Congress, despite years of warnings by the FCC's own staff."

�Big Radio Rules in Small Markets� is a must read.
I urge you to do so and suggest you also make others aware of
this excellent report.

Tell the FCC to deny renewal of Clear Channel broadcast licenses

Clear Channel Communications, the radio conglomerate that has bought up more than 1,200 stations across the country in the last several years, currently has 63 stations up for license renewal at the Federal Communications Commission. DC-based public interest group Essential Information has filed a complaint with the FCC that alleges that Clear Channel has broken the law on 36 separate occasions (violations include animal cruelty, criminal mischief and defacing public property) and therefore has demonstrated that it lacks the requisite character to be licensed to broadcast over the public airwaves.

A denial would be in accordance with the FCC�s own rules that licensees who exhibit a pattern of illegal conduct should be denied the privilege of broadcasting on the public�s airwaves. Even FCC Chairman Michael Powell has said that Clear Channel �may have concentrated too much� and that �there may be issues associated with that company� which the FCC should consider scrutinizing.

One again we urge you to contact the FCC commissioners TODAY and ask that they uphold the FCC�s own rules and deny Clear Channel a license renewal.

To e-mail the commissioners:
Chairman Michael K. Powell: [email protected]
Commissioner Kathleen Q. Abernathy: [email protected]
Commissioner Michael J. Copps: [email protected]
Commissioner Kevin J. Martin: [email protected]
Commissioner Jonathan S. Adelstein: [email protected]


All Content on this Web site � 2003 John H. Rook
All Rights Reserved
The opinions, commentary and satirical material posted on are those of John Rook, unless otherwise identified