Daily Commuter - DFW-ORD-DFW

 

Old Oct 10, 08, 5:41 pm
  #1  
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Daily Commuter - DFW-ORD-DFW

There are several threads commenting on radio DJ Tom Joyner, who for 8 years did a morning show in Dallas, and an afternoon show in Chicago. On another website, I found some additional details:

A typical day during the two-market era for Joyner saw him up at 3 a.m., eating breakfast by 4 a.m., on the air in Dallas at 5:30, off the air at 9, on a plane to Chicago by 10, on the air in Chicago from 2-6 p.m., on a plane back to Dallas by 10 p.m., eating dinner with his wife by 11:30 and in bed by midnight. He even found time to play racquetball at the Downtown Sports Club in Chicago between shows.

Based on these times, I assume he literally took off his headphones in Dallas and immediately walked to a waiting limo. Mid-day flights and status probably meant no long waits to check in - plus this was all pre-9/11 and pre-TSA.

What I found most interesting is what Joyner paid for all this travel:

Joyner cut a deal with American Airlines to fly the 8,000 miles a week for a $30,000 annual fee, and was bestowed with the nickname, "The Fly Jock."

Let's do the math: 5 round trips per week, 50 weeks per year, equals 250 roundtrips DFW-ORD-DFW. Divide the 30K by 250 gives us an average of $120 per round trip. Given the fact that he would have had status, most or all of these trips would have been first class (MD-80 first class, anyway).

Not bad, not bad at all...
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Old Oct 10, 08, 6:50 pm
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One would wonder why they didn't just pay for a dedicated high quality phone line into a studio in Dallas and have him work remotely
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Old Oct 10, 08, 11:11 pm
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A 10 am flight from DFW lands when, around noon. Then he had to get to the studio, and his show was at 2pm. There's not much buffer there for mechanical or weather delays. I wonder how often he ended up late.
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Old Oct 10, 08, 11:34 pm
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Originally Posted by pittpanther View Post
A typical day during the two-market era for Joyner saw him up at 3 a.m., eating breakfast by 4 a.m., on the air in Dallas at 5:30, off the air at 9, on a plane to Chicago by 10, on the air in Chicago from 2-6 p.m., on a plane back to Dallas by 10 p.m., eating dinner with his wife by 11:30 and in bed by midnight.

[...]

Given the fact that he would have had status, most or all of these trips would have been first class (MD-80 first class, anyway).

Not bad, not bad at all...
I was traveling almost weekly between DFW-ORD during some of his "Fly Jock" days. I was on flights with him many times. Often enough that I would sometimes get a knowing nod from him. My memory was the ORD flight soometimes was scheduled after 10 and all airport transfers were by limo. The equipment varied but some of the flights were DC-10s. He was well known by airport staff and crew. He was always in F. He did not socialize. He seldom ate and usually tried to sleep. Some days he could be downright cranky and divaesque.

Originally Posted by swag View Post
I wonder how often he ended up late.
During the time that I overlapped with him, he was late to ORD very few times. His good fortune amazing and became part of his legend.
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Old Oct 10, 08, 11:38 pm
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Thanks for the first hand report. Fun stuff!

Originally Posted by dayone View Post
I was traveling almost weekly between DFW-ORD during some of his "Fly Jock" days. I was on flights with him many times. Often enough that I would sometimes get a knowing nod from him. My memory was the ORD flight soometimes was scheduled after 10 and all airport transfers were by limo. The equipment varied but some of the flights were DC-10s. He was well known by airport staff and crew. He was always in F. He did not socialize. He seldom ate and usually tried to sleep. Some days he could be downright cranky and divaesque.


During the time that I overlapped with him, he was late to ORD very few times. His good fortune amazing and became part of his legend.
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Old Oct 10, 08, 11:58 pm
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Originally Posted by EchoIndia View Post
One would wonder why they didn't just pay for a dedicated high quality phone line into a studio in Dallas and have him work remotely
We (the flight att's) liked looking at him..in lieu of a raise we got him...
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Old Oct 11, 08, 2:52 am
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Given the length of his personal sample perio, it would be interesting to see the ledger I'm sure he kept recording the average daily temperature of the nut mixed served on the flight.
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Old Oct 11, 08, 12:07 pm
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I remember hearing that Danny Bonaduce did something similar from Chicago to Detroit for a little while.
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Old Oct 11, 08, 12:19 pm
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Originally Posted by dayone View Post
He was always in F. He did not socialize. He seldom ate and usually tried to sleep. Some days he could be downright cranky and divaesque.

Is it any wonder given the amount of sleep he did not get and the rather high octane job that he did.

I find stories like this fascinating. I have never heard, or heard of the gentleman but that sort of travelling much have been hell and unbelievably tedious. I expect that only someone who was paid a lot of money would do that.
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Old Oct 11, 08, 1:12 pm
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Originally Posted by PUCCI GALORE View Post
I expect that only someone who was paid a lot of money would do that.
It is purely my unscientific opinion, but I believe that it had much more to do with ego and fame than money.
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Old Oct 11, 08, 1:53 pm
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Originally Posted by dayone View Post
It is purely my unscientific opinion, but I believe that it had much more to do with ego and fame than money.
As someone who spent quite a few years doing middays in medium markets, I can concur with the above statement. When you get to the level of a market such as Dallas and Chicago, and have the ratings. Money is not an issue, although I'm certain he wouldn't go through the hassle if the money wasn't competitive. But you have to keep your material fresh at that level. Which makes me wonder if it can be done in today's climate given satellite and internet listening. Your job performance is measured by your ratings and often contracts are written to coincide with Arbitron ratings periods (sometimes as little as 13 weeks.) If you don't produce listeners in short order you move down to the minors (medium markets). I did work evenings and then middays in a top ten market for a year but it was a new station, new format and really didn't take off. It was off the air five years after I left. Although a good friend I worked with there is now doing mornings in Cleveland. I was content to stay in medium markets just to avoid that rat race and have a normal life. Eventually I found I could fund a better lifestyle off the air and jumped at the chance.
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Old Oct 11, 08, 1:57 pm
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there was some info that he had an aairpass, but i don't remember the cost at that time....
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Old Oct 11, 08, 4:48 pm
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Yes, I remember this. I agree ego. All in all sounds pretty stupid to me. This sort of thing us what telecommunications are for. He could have done both shows from his house or an office in either area.
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Old Oct 12, 08, 8:30 am
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I remember listening to his show in Chicago when I lived there. He was/is a great radio personality and I missed him when he left WGCI

If I remember correctly he took both positions without the other radio station. This would have made it difficult to telecommute.
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