Janelle's Blog

King of Television’s Secrets of Success

Positive Reinforcements

You may have watched the TV coverage today on the funeral of Roger King, CEO of CBS Enterprises and King World Productions. If you did, you saw the likes of Donald Trump, Oprah Winfrey, Rachel Ray, Dr. Phil, and a line-up of celebrities honoring him for his personal contribution to their own successes in television. It was more like a celebration of his life than a funeral.

Oprah Winfrey said, “Roger was the best sales executive this industry has ever known. He was a larger-than-life partner who helped me launch two decades of success in syndication. I will never forget what he did for me. And this industry will never forget his legendary presence.”

How I Remember Roger

The quality I remember most about Roger when I met him in the 70’s was that he had more boldness than anyone I had ever known.

My husband, Neal, and I attended the National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE) Convention in San Francisco, sponsored by TV executives seeking to purchase programs from syndicators. Neal was the manager of a television group and had flown ahead to prepare for the convention.

My flight arrived late, so I barely had time to change clothes and meet him at the hotel ballroom before the star-studded dinner event. Neal escorted me to the King World table, where we were guests of Roger King.

That was before Roger King was well known. At the time, he and his brother had inherited The Little Rascals from their father, and he was seeking to sell his show to TV syndicators. He was also in negotiations with Merv Griffin to buy Wheel of Fortune.

As we arrived at the table, I was seated next to Roger. We had not been there five minutes when Roger leaned over to me and said, “Would you like to meet some movie stars?”

“Sure,” I said, not knowing what to expect or do. From the way he acted, he knew everyone in the room. He took me by the hand and we went from table to table as he introduced me to stars like Jim Nabors, Leonard Nimoy, Marlo Thomas, Soupy Sales, Dinah Shore, Robert Goulet, Mickey Mouse and about 40 others before dinner started.

Their perception was that by Roger so boldly introducing me, I must be someone they needed to know, so they were overly friendly to me. All, except Leonard Nimoy, who gave me his Mr. Spock facial expression like he didn’t want to lift his eyelids long enough to look my way. Actually, I was frozen with intimidation at meeting all of them.

We went back to the table and finished out a lovely evening and exciting convention. It was not until sometime later that I found out Roger King worked out of his garage selling the Little Rascals. No one in a million years would have guessed that he was unknown. He had an air of confidence and tenacity that people found hard to turn down.

Now, at the end of his life, he was spoken of highly by people in his industry that believed he was one-of-a-kind. He was even inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Hall of Fame, the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame and was the first ever to receive the Television Syndication Lifetime Achievement Award from Television Week.

Roger took one TV show, The Little Rascals, and leveraged it into an empire at a ripe time when television regulations opened up a market for independently produced and syndicated programming.
He reinforced the positives in his life and hung around people that believed in his success even before it existed. He projected self-confidence because he believed so strongly in where he wanted to go and was responsible for changing the radio and television industry with shows like Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, Everybody Loves Raymond, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Martha Stewart Living, Hollywood Squares, CBS Marketwatch, Rachael Ray Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Dr. Phil, and Inside Edition.

Never Stop Dreaming

Is breast cancer going to stop your dreams? You are still the same person inside, only now adversity has deepened your capacity to grow as a person. We will soon approach the New Year. This is a month of preparing yourself for the life you want to live. Be sure to read this month’s blogs, Through the Eyes of a Child and I Can’t Forgive You.”

Reinforce the positives in your life and stay true to your dreams.

Thought for Today:

“My friends didn’t believe that I could become a successful speaker. So I did something about it. I went out and found me some new friends!”   Joe Larson, professional speaker

Live Life,


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