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CBS Radio Exec Recalls Daring Poker Gambit

The “In His Own Words” piece in Radio Ink magazine by George Bouloukos (pictured), a senior VP market manager with CBS Radio here in New York, positively drips with cigar-smelling nostalgia.

It’s all about his early career days in Chicago. He used to make sales house calls from 7 a.m. to midnight. And just as he was gaining a foothold in the radio sales business, there was this memorable poker table experience:

I found myself in a Liars Poker game at the Corona Café, a restaurant and bar frequented by agency buyers and radio and TV AEs and managers. There were about six of us in the game and after about five or six calls, I called 11 sevens and I was challenged by Larry Divney, whom I didn’t know but quickly learned that he was the sales manager of ABC-owned WLS.

Earlier in the evening, I found out that he had an open sales position that he was interviewing for and that he was looking for an experienced agency seller. When I won the hand, I told him to keep his money in return for an interview.

Although Divney told Bouloukos to keep the money, it got the young gun’s foot in the door and sparked a round of interviews that eventually landed him the job. By 1979, George B. had risen to the ranks of WLS GM. Put that in a song, Lady Gaga!

[Photo courtesy CBS Radio]

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