Schneider: A Warm Memory of Jim Quello

“Like many people, I was sad to know of the passing of former FCC Commissioner Jim Quello,” says John Schneider.

“He was a friend to many broadcasters, considered one of ‘our own’ on the commission. I had the pleasure of hearing him speak at several state broadcasters’ meetings in the Northwest in the late ’70s. He was always warm and personable, and understood the unique problems of broadcasting better than anyone else at the commission.”

Schneider, who is now iBiquity Digital’s director of business development for Latin America, recently acquired a promotional booklet published by WJR Detroit in 1949. “I was pleasantly surprised to find the picture of a young Jim Quello in the staff profiles. I thought you might enjoy seeing what he looked like at the beginning of his radio career.”

Schneider says a company called National Radio Personalities in Peoria apparently did good business in the late 1940s publishing profile booklets for radio stations to send to ad agencies. “I have acquired a number of these booklets from different sources over the past few years, describing a number of radio stations, large and small. They give a good perspective into the nature of the radio industry in the postwar years, when block programming and live studio broadcasts still predominated and FM and TV were just beginning to make an appearance.”

He recalls hearing Quello speak to conventions of the Oregon Broadcasters Association in the late 1970s and early 1980s. “I recall that he was always a warm and cordial presence, someone who clearly felt at home among the station owners and managers. While he always held the party line on FCC policies, which was not always what broadcasters wanted to hear, he understood their impact on broadcasters as a result of his years at WJR, and it was that empathy with the broadcast community that set him apart from other FCC commissioners and staff. I also remember that he was a regular participant in the traditional broadcaster golf tournaments held at these conventions.

“I wish I could tell you more — my contact with him was limited to a few brief words and handshakes — but I’m sure there are broadcasters who can give some detailed and inspiring stories about this great man.”

Share This Post