In one of his last emails to me, Ed Shane said he had attended an advertising meeting with the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo to bring them up to date that his web platform had nearly two million monthly hits and their YouTube views were nearly a million.
Ed was proud that the ad people told him that his Texas Music Project was well ahead of what many of the radio stations in Houston were doing.
That’s what Ed Shane always seemed to be when he programmed WPLO, Atlanta back in the day.
Our paths crossed a number of times.
We both had the pleasure of working for John Tenaglia at General Cinema – me in Philly and Ed in Houston.
And we both received careful mentoring from the legendary George Burns who had a cosmic sort of way of letting people he worked with do what they were paid to do. What a concept!
Later Ed established a consultancy and he helped me with advertising when I started a fledgling trade publication.
In an industry where we have seen the end of good guys with brains in the their head, it reminds us how badly we are going to miss Ed Shane.
In his 60’s, he took on the challenge of launching an all-news format on a Radio One FM station in Houston. The company gave it a go for a few years and then started pulling back. Of course, you never do that in all-news, which takes many years to get going but pays tremendous benefits once you do.
I told Ed that when I listened to his news station it sounded bright and strong – I believe that is the word I used, strong.
I believe Ed could have done anything even launch a country all-news station which I wouldn’t be surprised if he wasn’t already doing that in the great beyond.
Ed passed away Saturday after a short but determined battle with colon cancer.
I was shocked.
I knew he had it, but just ten days earlier Ed was out of bed and walking around – the tests looked good. Still, that is how fragile life is, you never know.
My friend Don Cannon had been in a coma in a Philly hospital when he suddenly came to and held court as only Don could do around his hospital bed and yet although everyone thought he was out of the woods, it was not to be.
Among Ed’s other skill sets is marrying well.
His beautiful and intelligent wife, Pam, was not just a wife but a life partner in everything from raising a family to business.
My heart breaks for her.
I often get to speak at funerals – and believe me, I don’t seek out these gigs. But one of the most comforting things I can offer is that many people have had the benefit of crossing paths with this fine man and they are better off for it.
But as I often suggest to those who will miss him most – find the quality you like about him the most and make it live on through you every day of the week, every week of the year for the rest of your life in his living memory.
So now that Ed is probably programming a station in Heaven right next to Bill Drake and others who have left our radio community, I have the feeling he will do something about commercials loads up there.
Down here, it’s hell.
But the reward for a life well lived is eternal happiness (and fewer commercials) that I wish for Ed Shane as well as peace and acceptance for his grieving family and friends.
He was a good one.
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