After 52 years of serving the music industry, Kal Rudman, founder and publisher of the famed Friday Morning Quarterback (FMQB) radio industry tipsheet, has retired the title and sold off its assets to his neighboring Cherry Hill, NJ-based Deane Media Solutions.
Starting off as a mimeographed, stapled broadsheet for Top 40-format AM radio station programmers, FMQB morphed into two full-color, weekly publications, one for top pop singles, and the other dedicated to Album Oriented Rock, or AOR.
Top record labels and radio stations sought his wisdom. In a statement, Kenny Gamble of Philadelphia International Records said of Rudman that “his gift was being able to instinctively identify good music. He was one of the people I used to come to all the time and ask what he thinks about a record. He really does have ‘golden ears.’”
>While his twin publications out of Cherry Hill created, then maintained, their standing as credible guideposts for radio programmers on AM and FM, Rudman — lovingly referred to in the biz as “the Round Mound of Sound” and “the Man with the Golden Ears” — was an on-air television presence on Merv Griffin’s syndicated talk show and as a regular contributor to NBC’s “The Today Show.”
In label veteran Danny Goldberg’s 2009 book, “Bumping Into Geniuses: My Life Inside the Rock and Roll Business,” the author talked of Bruce Springsteen’s frustration at having zero Top 40 chart success despite his critically acclaimed albums of the late ’70s.
“Kal explained to me that Top 40 radio is mainly listened to by girls and that my female demographic was low,” Springsteen told Goldberg. “I thought about the songs on ‘Darkness on the Edge of Town,’ and realized the lyrics really were mostly for and about guys.” Not long after, taking Rudman’s words to heart, Springsteen recorded “Hungry Heart” for 1980‘s “The River.” That single topped the charts and set the Boss up for seven Top 10 hits from his next commercially oriented album, 1984’s “Born in the USA.”
Along with maintaining philanthropic efforts through the Kal and Lucille Rudman Foundation, Rudman stated that though he is “retiring from the music industry,” he is not leaving the radio business. Rudman and endocrinologist Dr. Joseph J. Fallon host “Inside Medicine,” a weekly program that airs on Philadelphia radio stations operated by Beasley Media Group.
“For a long time, I have focused much of my philanthropic efforts in the medical world, and now I am merging that with radio,” he said. “For over 50 years, I have been the specialist in predicting countless hits for numerous artists, and I’ve received unique recognition by the music industry as not only a tastemaker but a star maker. However, times have changed drastically, along with the industry, and it was time for me to move on to my original passion, medicine.”
One time FMQB Productions Executive Producer Fred Deane announced the formation of Deane Media Solutions, a company dedicated to serving the music, radio and multi-media industries, earlier this month, and will continue what Rudman started. Deanemediasolutons.com can be accessed through fmqb.com for a period of time.