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Media: September 2022 • Garry Meier • Hall of Famer

| August 31, 2022

Garry Meier

Garry Meier’s podcast is now in its seventh season, and it’s fair to say it has found an audience. According to the podcast, monitoring/rating service, Listen Notes, the Garry Meier show is in the top 1.5% of podcasts worldwide.

So what does he talk about on the show?

“I’m going to quote a listener who texted me; he said, ‘you deal with all the nonsensical bullshit sans politics.’ I think that’s a pretty good description. I don’t do politics and never have. It’s not my wheelhouse. It’s a tire flattener. I love these odd stories that I can have fun with it.”

In other words, it’s very similar to his former drive-time show on WGN Radio. Meier explains there is one notable difference.

“The flow is different because you don’t have to stop every seven minutes for commercials. It’s really important when you’re doing an interview. It’s so much more fun.”

When Garry’s not interviewing a guest, he’s riffing with his co-host and former radio colleague, Leslie Keiling. Meier says she is a key ingredient to the show.

“When you’re in a room talking to yourself, it gets very problematic. After a while, you start feeling like a mental patient. You can’t access telephone calls like a talk radio station. You need someone to work off of—and I’ve always liked Leslie and what she brought to the table. We’re having a conversation instead of me just talking to myself. Having worked with Leslie before, she knows my rhythm and sense of humor.”

Obviously, Garry has also worked with other famous co-hosts before, most memorably with Steve Dahl and Roe Conn. Both of those situations ended badly, and his solo-stints at WCKG and WGN didn’t last as long as he would have hoped, but after years of not publicly commenting, he is willing to engage when asked.

“I look fondly on all of them,” he says. “They may have ended badly, but I’ve taken all the good parts, and remember those. I can’t control everything.”

His thoughts on his Steve & Garry years: “I see these wedding announcements and the officiator has a Universal Life Church certificate, and I remember that we were doing that 40+ years ago at our (Steve & Garry) Breakfast Clubs. Broadcasting from the Princess cruises is commonplace now, but we were the first to do it. We were live from the red carpet at the Academy Awards. The Rose Bowl parade. Those great trips to Hawaii. Those are some of the things that stand out to me.”

His takeaway from his time at WLS: “I did two tours of duty (first with Steve, then with Roe), and I think I read somewhere that I was the only person who was #1 at a station, left and returned years later to become #1 again.”

His time at WCKG: “Just as I was seeing some improvement in ratings at WCKG, they decided to pull the plug. I was called into a meeting and told they were changing formats. They put on a music format that I picture being played in gay pet shops.”

His last gig at WGN Radio: “Kevin Metheny was the program director at WGN when I was hired there. (He was portrayed as Pig Vomit in the Howard Stern movie Private Parts). We got along really well, believe it or not. He would bring me Arnold Palmers during the show. I had the office next to his and heard him screaming at other people, so I did see that side of his personality, but he never turned on me. I really enjoyed my time at WGN. It was the place that I had always made fun of, and people were surprised I assimilated with the culture, but I decided I would just do what I do and hope it brings in an audience. And it did.”

And now Garry is a member of the National Radio Hall of Fame.

“I’m still trying to digest it,” he admits. “When I was on the stage being inducted into the Hall of Fame, it was almost an out of body experience. I never thought it would come to this. I just liked doing it. I thought it was a fun way to make a living. It’s weird that I ended up with this access to people I never would have dreamed of meeting.”

On the other hand, the Radio Hall of Famer has some thoughts about the current state of radio.

“It seems to have lost all its direction. Don’t take my word for it. Listen today, and then listen to what it was like 20 years ago and tell me there’s a remote similarity there. I don’t want to wake up and listen to what the CDC is saying about COVID or monkeypox, or what’s happening in the war in Ukraine at six in the morning! Not that those aren’t relative topics, but fuck, every day, all the time? Those are just show topics, not entertainment.”

Garry has now done over two thousand podcasts since his last regular radio gig. He posts a new podcast five days a week.

“Monday through Thursday, we tape in the morning, and then Friday’s cocktail show is live.”

Why does he call it the cocktail show?

“Because we drink,” he answers. “It’s not a bit. We’re actually drinking and enjoying it.”

For more information about Garry and his podcast, go to www.garrymeier.com.

-Rick Kaempfer

 

 

 

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