Larry Ryan hosted the number one Top 40 Radio show in the nation during the 60’s at KEEL Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana. He pretty much invented one of the first “real” morning radio shows with sidekick personalities that were all larger than life as was he. In the early 70’s he decided to take his success to a different radio opportunity and bought a station of his own. His departure from KEEL was devastating — not only to the local radio market but to his radio station. How do you replace an on air superstar?
That task fell to Billy Wilson — one of (if not the) smartest businessman I have ever known and who I later worked for. Billy decided to bring in a replacement for Larry who I to this day do not remember nor what radio station in what city he came to KEEL from. He lasted on air for about a month and was fired. He was replaced by a guy named Jeff Edman who virtually picked up where Larry Ryan left off and dominated morning radio ratings in Shreveport for a decade. Most in the radio world thought Billy Wilson had made a horrible decision with Larry’s replacement and got lucky bringing Edman to KEEL. It was not until a decade after this I learned what happened had been carefully orchestrated and implemented by Billy Wilson.
Wilson hired me to do mornings at KVKI — the 100,000 watt Adult Contemporary station in Shreveport in direct competition to Jeff Edman. (Wilson had left KEEL to join the FM station) During that time he told me the story of how the KEEL/Larry Ryan/Jeff Edman morning show saga had played out. “Anytime in any business or high profile entity of any kind the high profile person or program leaves or goes away,” he said, “the next person or program that replaces the high profile one almost always fails.” Wilson was speaking of Larry Ryan leaving and being replaced. He continued, “I had searched for someone to pick up right where Larry left off. In that search I found Jeff Edman and really wanted him to do the morning show at KEEL. But I knew that the market would not accept anyone who replaced Larry. If Edman replaced Larry, Edman would fail. So I waited to bring Jeff in.” Wilson told me he hired the guy he brought in because he was the cheapest hire available, knowing all the time the guy would fail. And he did. After a month or two, Billy hired Jeff Edman who was a miracle replacement — NOT for Larry Ryan — the other guy had been compared to Larry Ryan. Jeff Edman was compared to the “other guy,” and Jeff was WAY better than that guy.
The genius of that logic stuck with me. And I think I saw it repeated last week in Washington D.C. How? I think President Trump, when he got hands-on involved in the repeal/replace Obamacare process expected for (and maybe even planned for) the replacement plan to fail. The “big program” that was to be replaced? Obamacare. The business guru Donald Trump apparently knew that whatever program that was implemented to replace Obamacare — which was the program that had devoured 20% of the U.S. economy — would fail dramatically. I think not only did the President think this, I thought he already had in his mind what he wants as a replacement program for Obamacare, and because it was not the first program devised to be the replacement, will when implemented be successful because it will be compared to the Obamacare replacement and not to just Obamacare.
How will this play out? If my guess is true, don’t be surprised if some time in the next few months we hear there’s a new health plan under construction. My guess is this time, President Trump will be taking lead on the program instead of House Speaker Paul Ryan. And I’m pretty sure there will be Democrat involvement. Why Democrats? At some point in the next four years it is inevitable that the vitriolic atmosphere that has poisoned D.C. under Obama leadership must be rejected and replaced once again with the process of diversity of thought and ideals in policy making that is inclusive. Even though the GOP controls both Houses of Congress and the White House and has the ability to dominate the legislative process, those in this Administration understand this is not a “one and done” time in American history. We need to become “one Nation” again, and get to work working together again to “Make America Great Again” and keep that process going forward.
Please do not think there will be any selling out under President Trump. Don’t be deceived. Yes, you may not know what he has in his hand at any time, but when you see what it is in his hand do not panic. Know that in most circumstances he has something in his OTHER hand for America — the hand behind his back that you cannot see at first.
What makes me think this whole analogy and process is accurate? I read THE ART OF THE DEAL! Make no mistake: this President is a deal maker. And now he’s making deals not for Donald J. Trump. He’s making deals for the United States of American and Americans.