BMC PUBLICATIONS is proud to present…
THE BROADCASTING YEARS, 1958-1989
Memoir of a Television Pioneer
by William L. McGee with Sandra V. McGee
Foreword by Richard C. Block, former president, Kaiser Broadcasting
BMC Publications, November 2018
215 pp, 81 photographs & illustrations
Paperback 6″ x 9″, $19.95, Kindle eBook $9.95
To the Media: Visit the Media Room for review copies, interview requests, and media releases.
For Immediate Release
Television Pioneer Recounts His Storied 32-Year Career
November 2018 — In William L. McGee’s sixth memoir, the award-winning television broadcast pioneer tells the story of his 32-year career in broadcast/advertising sales in The Broadcasting Years, 1958-1989: Memoir of a Television Pioneer (BMC Publications, 2018).
In his signature straightforward and journalistic style, McGee delivers a chronological accounting of his storied career in radio and television advertising sales. The author’s linear narrative and factual accounting take the reader on the author’s route to success in a business known for its competitive edge.
The memoir is well-organized and chronicles McGee’s career in four parts: From the early days of 1950s television selling nationally syndicated programs for Allied Artists and ITC (My Little Margie, Our Miss Brooks, Cannonball, The Four Just Men)… to national radio and television station rep… to television station management… and to the launching of his own successful Broadcast Marketing Company. McGee takes the reader into his competitive “Mad Men-like” world with its creativity, deadlines, too much travel, and many martini lunches.
In 1971, inspired by two of industrial magnate Henry J. Kaiser’s favorite sayings – “Find a need and fill it” and “Problems are only opportunities in work clothes” – McGee launched Broadcast Marketing Company (BMC) in his San Francisco Golden Gateway Center apartment, with a desk and an answering machine. Thirteen years later, BMC was a nationwide broadcast/advertising sales company with a large roster of national and local radio and television stations clients. The San Francisco Examiner singled out BMC as a “Winner in small business … beating the odds and succeeding despite a tough economy.” (“He sells to the salesmen – Consulting firm helps radio, TV generate ad dollars,” May 26, 1982.)
In 1982, McGee was recognized by Broadcast Pioneers as “someone who has served the great cause of broadcasting since 1958”. In 1986, McGee received the Builders of Broadcasting Award for being “a contributor to the industry and someone who has built broadcasting into the greatest medium of mass communication the world has ever known”.
“Bill’s current memoir lucidly and accurately recounts a critical era in the evolution of American electronic media. ”
– From the Foreword by Richard C. Block, former President of Kaiser Broadcasting and later Executive VP of Metromedia TV station group
“In the seventies, Bill McGee enticed me to be on the creative team for what turned out to be two highly-successful broadcast sales presentation films, Get It On! Get It On Radio Now!! and How To Make Effective Low-Cost Television Commercials. They were the first of their kind in the industry and just one of Bill’s many innovative sales ideas which have earned him the title of ‘father of modern broadcast marketing.'”
– Robert C. Pritikin, Award-winning advertising executive and author of Christ was an Ad Man
“Bill McGee revolutionized electronic media sales. His creative approach, focusing on retail sales cycles and local sales promotions using co-op dollars to switch a portion of the retailer’s newspaper ad budget to broadcasting, was a paradigm shift. Today, many of those same techniques are used in large and small markets.”
– Elaine Clark, former Co-op Director, Jefferson-Pilot Retail Services
William L. McGee’s writing career has spanned six decades. He has written 22 books – nine of them with his co-author/wife Sandra V. McGee. Bill is a member of Broadcast Legends, Naval Order of the United States (NOUS), Military Writers Society of America (MWSA), and Western Writers of America (WWA). Bill and Sandra live in California’s Napa Valley. Follow them on their Blog at www.WilliamMcGeeBooks.com or on Facebook.
Other Praise for The Broadcasting Years, 1958-1989
“The Broadcasting Years, 1958-1989 brings back great memories of coworkers and friends from a glorious past when I was in the business and when advertising and broadcasting in San Francisco were the center of my universe. . . . (And I write this considering I only got one mention in the book; the fragile ego takes yet another hit.) This is a story of a remarkable individual, who we called ‘Bill McGee from Tennessee’ even though he was from Montana. McGee’s broadcasting memoir explains that succeeding in broadcasting and advertising takes more than just being a pretty face with a great personality. Darn, I wish I had known that then.”
– Howard “Howie” Reed, former San Francisco advertising executive and author of One night, while out Drinking with the Fat Swede
“As someone who spent a decade in sales with IBM followed by three decades as a self-employed consultant in the computer industry, I particularly related to “Part IV: The BMC Story” where the author tells in detail how he grew his own company–Broadcast Marketing Company–from launching it in his apartment with a desk and an answering machine, to building it into a nationwide broadcasting sales business over a thirteen year period. The author’s creativity throughout his 32-year career is inspiring. Though the entertainment industry has changed since the author’s retirement in 1989, his memoir will provide anyone who wants to work in the industry with ideas for different ways they can use their talents on the other side of the camera.”
– Donald K. Ilfeld, “History and Evolution of Computer Technology”, Changes, Challenges & Opportunities in The New Electronic Media, by William L. McGee
“In the seventies, Bill McGee enticed me to be on the creative team for what turned out to be two highly-successful broadcast sales presentation films, Get It On! Get It On Radio Now!! and How To Make Effective Low-Cost Television Commercials. These films were the first of their kind in the industry and just one of Bill’s many innovative sales ideas which have earned him the title of ‘father of modern broadcast marketing.’”
– Robert C. Pritikin, Award-winning ad man and author of Christ Was an Ad Man
“Bill McGee revolutionized electronic media sales. His creative approach, focusing on retail sales cycles and local sales promotions using co-op dollars to switch a portion of the retailer’s newspaper ad budget to broadcasting, was a paradigm shift. Today, many of those same techniques are used in large and small markets. I will forever be indebted to Bill McGee, a gifted writer and my mentor. Great insights into broadcasting syndication and sales during the early years.”
– Elaine Clark, former Co-op Director, Jefferson-Pilot Retail Services
“What is apparent when you read this unique business biography is the author’s intellect that guided him to choose broadcasting, and gave him understanding and leadership skills that ultimately led him to start and run a successful marketing business. . . . As someone who spent a long career in advertising, I highly recommend this book for anyone considering a career in communications or business in general. It gives you a good understanding of the ups and downs of both business and life.”
– Joel Lewis, Lewis & Partners Advertising
“A must read by spouses whose spouse was or is in the broadcasting business. My limited knowledge of this business increased a thousand fold after reading this fascinating memoir. An easy read that leaves me asking for more.”
– Sally Corr, Beta reader
“An engaging history of a man’s business journey from the cowboy country of the great American west and the early days of black and white TV to the new electronic media –cable TV, direct broadcast satellite, pay TV, and home computers. I was particularly impressed with the level of historical detail and humorous presentation as the author tells the story of building his own company — Broadcast Marketing Company. His story should be required reading on the subject of entrepreneurship in business schools”
– Jane Zadareky, Beta reader