Award-winning television broadcast pioneer, Bill McGee, tells the story of his 32-year career in broadcast sales and marketing. From the early days of 1950s television selling syndicated programs (My Little Margie, Our Miss Brooks, Cannonball, The Four Just Men) – to being on the creative team that put Henry J. Kaiser’s independent UHF station KBHK-TV on the air in San Francisco in 1968 – and to the launch of McGee’s own successful broadcast sales and marketing company, BMC Communications – the author takes the reader into his “Mad Men” world with its creativity, deadlines, too much travel, and many martini lunches.
Bill McGee has been recognized by the broadcasting industry as a “Builder of Broadcasting ... who built broadcasting into the greatest medium of mass communication the world has ever known.” He was also recognized as a “Broadcast Pioneer ... who has served the great cause of broadcasting since 1958.”
An innovative entrepreneur, with vision, achievement, and dedication, McGee’s entertaining and personal narrative is written in his signature straightforward and journalistic style.
“I’m not a celebrity, but I wanted to write this memoir in hopes of inspiring anyone who, like me, did not pursue a formal education with how they can still succeed in the career of their choice.”—Bill McGee
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.
"This memoir will provide anyone who wants to work in the broadcasting industry with ideas for different ways they can use their talents on the other side of the camera.”
William L. McGee spent three-plus decades in the broadcasting business, initially selling syndicated shows, then helping launch KBHK in San Francisco, managing stations, and finally launching his own ad sales outfit, Broadcast Marketing Company.
A cowboy before he worked in television, McGee is a prolific memoirist. He's written books about several chapters of his life, including "Montana Memoir: The Hardscrabble Years, 1925-1942"; "Bluejacket Odyssey, 1942-1946, Guadalcanal to Bikini"; "Operation Crossroads, Lest We Forget! An Eyewitness Account, Bikini Atomic Bomb Tests 1946"; and "The Divorce Seekers: A Photo Memoir of a Nevada Dude Wrangler, 1947-1949".
McGee, who is 93, publishes his books through BMC Publications. His wife Sandra is his co-author. . . .
"The Broadcasting Years" begins with McGee toiling at a dude ranch in Reno, and shifting to television sales after meeting director Norman Tokar. Much of "The Broadcasting Years" reads a bit dry, though McGee does offer a somewhat compelling glimpse at another era in television, when the martinis flowed during lunch, and the local newspaper was viewed as the enemy of television.
McGee took painstaking notes from his time in television. . . . but he never completely breaks from his cowboy past, leavening the boardroom anecdotes with climbs of Mount Everest and Mount McKinley, hikes through the wilds of Hawaii, and river rafting in Colorado.
A natural raconteur, McGee comes across as a likable chap, with some hard-earned business lessons to pass along. It's a little hard to imagine the book's readership extending beyond those who work in local TV sales-or those who know McGee. But his writing is engaging, and the book moves quickly.
- Michael Malone, Broadcasting & Cable
“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.”
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.”
“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.’”
“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."