The Broadcasting Years, 1958-1989: Memoir of a Television Pioneer
Award-winning author Bill McGee recounts his 32-years in the broadcasting industry. The former Montana cowboy-turned star salesman chronicles his rise in the field to become a leader in broadcast sales and co-operative advertising. Written in his signature straightforward style, McGee takes the reader into his “Mad Men” world of creativity, deadlines, too much travel, and many martini lunches. More
Award-winning author and television pioneer, Bill McGee, recounts his 32-years in the broadcasting industry from 1958 to 1989. The former Montana cowboy-turned star salesman chronicles his work on the other side of the camera and his rise in the industry to become an innovator and a leader in broadcast sales and co-operative advertising.
In 1958, McGee got his start in the business selling off-network syndicated television programs, such as “My Little Margie” and “Our Miss Brooks”, for the video arm of Allied Artists. This was followed by four hectic years with Independent Television Corporation (ITC), the exciting joint venture between America’s Jack Wrather and Britain’s media mogul Lew Grade. McGee traveled extensively for ITC selling first-run television series, such as “Cannonball” and “The Four Just Men”. McGee went on to learn other aspects of broadcast sales at the esteemed television station rep firm, Peters, Griffin Woodward (PGW). In 1968, McGee was on the team that put Henry J. Kaiser’s independent UHF station, KBHK-TV, Channel 44, on the air in San Francisco.
In 1971, seeing a need for sales tools to help local sales teams be more effective, McGee launched BMC Communications (BMC) in San Francisco. “In my presentations to station sales teams, I said you don’t go in as a peddler and tell the prospect what you’re selling. You go in and ask the prospect what are their problems and needs, and then help them find a solution,” says McGee.
In 1982, McGee was recognized as a “Broadcast Pioneer…who has served the great cause of broadcasting since 1958”.
Written in his signature straightforward and journalistic style, McGee takes the reader into his “Mad Men” world on the other side of the television camera—a world of creativity, deadlines, excitement, too much travel, and many martini lunches.
William L. McGee’s writing career has spanned six decades. He has written 22 books – nine of them with his co-author/wife Sandra.
“Bill McGee is no armchair historian…He’s lived what he writes about whether it’s joining the Navy in ’42 at age seventeen simply to get into the fight, or cowboying in the West in the postwar ’40s, or working in broadcasting in the early days of 1950s and ’60s television.”
—Barnaby Conrad, founder of the Santa Barbara Writers Conference and author of “Matador”
“Though too young to have experienced an era firsthand, Sandra McGee immerses herself in the subject and captures in her writing the essence of the time.”
—Charles Champlin, former film critic and arts editor of The Los Angeles Times
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