A RADIO LEGEND: THE PASSING OF THE FLAME

A Radio Entrepreneur & Legend Who Believed in Me: His Philosopher’s Stone and the Passing of the Keys by Joel Ayala Ayapana RN, BSN, BA
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One of the most astounding and brilliant of men whom I had the honor, luxury, and in the privelage of working with… was significantly so one of the greatest innovators of Podcast Radio from Chicago, Illinois. His name is the late and great Mr. Brad Saul, who once was the Executive Producer and Mastermind of Web Talk Radio, CEO and Founder of Matrix Media Productions. Unfortunately, I recently heard of his death today… but Brad had passed away in December, last year of 2015. This was the very same month when I had launched my own online radio Podcast Network in RealRevolutionRadio.com – just 4 months ago. No wonder why the very energies of Brad Saul often magically lingered within and throughout that very month since the birth of this new network. It was as if he and his Angels had blessed and nourished the very pathway of this podcast community into its fullest fruition. This was essentially his final gift to me.
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Now, I worked, specifically and closely under the guise of this powerful and inspiring man last year between March and June 2016. He literally took me in within his wings… and he taught me a few things about Podcast Radio and in how to broadcast with a TRUE “Landmark” Radio Personality Mindset. Not many within his network possessed the luxury of being coached by Brad (in such a candid and personalized way) but once more out of his own busy schedule, he took the time to hone and mold me (within the rather shortened period of time that we had together professionally as Teacher and Student before he had passed) into a potentially significant voice for all the world to hear and witness. Brad passionately worked within his field of expertise as an authority in Terrestrial Radio for over 35 years… and he saw that same passion and verve from within me… when he heard a few of my own Podcast Radio broadcasts on BBS Radio. This was a time in the latter years of 2014… when I was significantly still green – a rather new and uncultured broadcaster
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This, the following quote, is what he wrote to me before we started working together as he coached me dearly during the production of my next newly created Podcast Talk Show called “Awakening Paradigms” with my co-host Irvin “Skipp” Young… on WebTalkRadio.net:
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“Joel, we have not met, but I’ve recently become familiar with your work. I’m the President of a 30+ year old radio syndication firm in Chicago, and through your work… I’ve come to realize that your expertise and perspective combine to bring a unique voice in the world of self-help and spirituality. I am very impressed. Opening the newspaper or your browser each day is daunting.  From major climatic change to unrest in the Middle East to school shootings –  our world is far from stable.  People are searching online and in their lives for a sense of spirituality and calm. Your voice stands out among those… with a message of hope.”
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-Brad Saul- Executive Producer of Web Talk Radio, CEO and Founder of Matrix Media Productions
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During the many times that we had conversed, I cannot tell you Brad, how much you had captured me in awe from your professionalism, poise, your inspiration, and in your expertise. The very person that I am (myself) -as a Podcaster and as the Founder and Executive Director of my own online radio network in RealRevolutionRadio.com- is exactly the result from the very inspiration that you had imbued upon to me in essence. Essentially, in how I have approached my clients and in how I have professionally produced all of my shows is an elaborate extension of what you had taught me in that brief but precious moment in time. And what was so important within these shortened interactions was “The Energy” that you provided to me as a gift. You passed onto me, literally, the Alchemy of Voice – your own personalized flavor derived from your created Philosopher’s Stone of Creativity – made manifest now into the heightened realms in contribution to the anticipated Revolution of Podcast Radio. And you planted within my heart “The Joy” that you ultimately possessed in the very work that you once passionately expressed in words throughout all of these years in Public Terrestrial Radio. Because of this, dear Brad, I am grateful for your gift. I will forever within this life continue that legacy for which you have inspired onto me. The following is an article that was written by Bob Goldsborough -freelance reporter of the Chicago Tribune. Brad you will forever be missed. God Bless You Dear Friend:
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“Brad Saul, Radio entrepreneur, Dies at 55” by Bob Goldsborough (Chicago Tribune)

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Brad Saul channeled a love for media and a significant amount of entrepreneurial moxie into a career starting up media-related firms, including Public Interest Affiliates.

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Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1990, Saul also created several startups aimed at helping those with disabilities, such as Chicago Disability Transit and the Radio Center for People with Disabilities.

“Brad was an entrepreneur at heart,” said Lorna Gladstone, a Chicago media consultant and former WGN-AM program director. “He continuously came up with new ideas, some good, some not, and some incredible. He was one of the earliest radio syndicators, the first person who had the idea to sell audio to airlines and the first person to develop a pro basketball radio network with the NBA.”

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Saul, 55, died of pneumonia, a complication from MS, on Dec. 4 at his home in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood, said his wife of 23 years, Debbie.

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Born in Chicago, Saul grew up in Lincolnwood and Highland Park. At age 13, he attended a Saturday afternoon street fair in Evanston with his parents, where he saw noted broadcaster Chuck Schaden holding a live broadcast of his retro show, “Those Were the Days.”

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Saul got to know Schaden, who allowed the teenager to host Schaden’s “Radio for Kids” show. Saul then hit on the idea to begin making cassette copies of old radio programs and took out an ad in a physician’s magazine. Orders quickly came in, and Saul began making cassette copies from his bedroom.

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After graduating from Highland Park High School, Saul attended the University of Missouri for a year. He then transferred to Northwestern University, where he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in radio, TV and film.

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While in college, Saul interned at WBBM-AM and became general manager of two small north suburban radio stations, WEEF-AM and WONX-AM. He also was the graduate adviser to Northwestern’s WNUR-FM radio station.

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Saul earned a law degree from Loyola University but remained focused on the media. During law school, he formed Public Interest Affiliates, which provided inexpensive public-service programming for stations around the country in exchange for allowing him to sell commercials.

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“As a radio station general manager, Brad had recognized the challenges faced by local stations to provide quality public service programming,” said Cumulus Media Chief Marketing Officer Pierre Bouvard, a friend since college. “Per FCC regulations, every local station had to identify problems and issues in their market and then create programming to discuss the issues. This was a pain for local stations. Brad’s solution was to create public service programming that many stations could use as their own.”

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Other entrepreneurial ideas followed. Saul began working with major airlines to sell in-flight audio commercials and then in-flight TV programming as well, and he also created a home-shopping radio program and placed a radio station studio inside Great America amusement park.

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A major coup came when Saul realized that the NBA had no radio network deal. In 1989, Saul won the league’s approval to create the NBA’s first-ever radio network.

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“Brad was a great salesperson,” his wife said. “He loved to talk to people and I do think for him it was really the passion of bringing an idea to fruition, of envisioning something that oftentimes was ahead of the curve and then making it happen.”

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Gladstone recalled Saul’s constant use of the phone in his work. He used a mobile phone in the mid-1980s, which was “easily 3-inches thick, a foot long and must have weighed close to 2 pounds,” she said.

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“It was all Brad,” Gladstone said. “Ahead of everything, reading about every new idea and always on the phone — even when his body and hands didn’t work anymore, even when it became hard for him to speak.”

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Saul was diagnosed with MS in 1991, shortly after experiencing problems with his balance. Saul quickly fused together his entrepreneurial instincts with his love for radio and his desire to help those with disabilities by creating the Radio Center for People with Disabilities, a nonprofit group aimed at training and placing people with disabilities in off-air radio jobs.

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Eventually needing to use a wheelchair, Saul worked with Yellow Cab Chicago to form another group, Chicago Disability Transit, after he found himself waiting three hours for a ride during a snowstorm.

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Saul also was involved with the Museum of Broadcast Communications and oversaw the execution of several National Radio Hall of Fame broadcasts.

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“Brad was a dynamite guy,” Schaden said. “He was very dynamic, and anything he wanted to do, I think he could do. And the physical handicap he had hardly slowed him down at all. He really did love radio, and he touched a lot of people through the years.”

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“Even though he wasn’t able to walk, he was a great dad and he taught them how to express their feelings and how to advocate for themselves and to be good people,” she said.

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Jeff Smulyan, Emmis Communications’ founder, chairman and CEO, recalled Saul’s “incredible courage in the face of adversity.”

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Joel Ayala Ayapana is a Veteran of the United States Air Force, a Registered Nurse Human Rights Activist, an avid writer, and the author of his memoir called THE BOOK OF POSITIVE LIGHT: REMEMBRANCE OF THE HEART. He is the Founder of AFG Evolutions Crypto-Consulting and the Host of his newly resurrected online podcast radio broadcast – Quantum Mindfulness Radio and the Great Awakening. Additionally, he is also a contributing writer and the Marketing Executive for Life Lessons Magazine and the Executive Producer and Founder of RealRevolutionRadio.com

 

FOR THE FULL ARTICLE PLEASE CLICK ONTO THE FOLLOWING LINK: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-brad-saul-obituary-20160101-story.html

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