Dateline Raleigh, October 1975: James Fletcher Goodmon has been named President and General Manager of Capitol Broadcasting Company, Inc.; it was announced by A.J. Fletcher, Chief Executive Officer. Goodmon, 32, succeeds Fred Fletcher who recently retired. (Tele-News Letter, Volume 18. Number 10)
Forty years ago this month, Jim became President of CBC. His grandfather, AJ Fletcher would continue to hold the CEO position until his death in 1979, when Jim added that title and responsibility. Jim joined WRAL-TV as Operations Manager in 1969 and became Executive Vice President and Director of Programming in 1973.
We know quite a bit about the executive side of Jim Goodmon, CEO of Capitol Broadcasting. One can hardly mention his name without using modifiers that include visionary, innovator, savvy, forward thinking, astute – to name a few. If you are new to the company, I recommend to you the CBC History website for more in-depth knowledge about Jim and his influence within the media industry. But if you would like to know some fun tidbits about Jim, read on.
Did you know that –
– Jim was born in Sarasota, Florida – home of Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. This obviously explains why he is very comfortable managing the three ring circus atmosphere of a modern communications company!
– Jim started work at WRAL when he was 12 years old. He was paid out of petty cash since he was too young for legal employment. He worked in engineering alongside WRAL engineering legend PB Jernigan and other outstanding WRAL engineers.
– Jim has a coveted First Class FCC Radio-telephone license. Back-in-the-day, in order to be an engineer at a broadcast station, one had to pass a rigorous 100 question test filled with electrical and propagation formulas, plus compliance rules and regulations.
– Jim attended Duke University, majoring in engineering but decided to join the Navy before he graduated. He was stationed at Naval Air Station Memphis where he met a dynamic nurse named Barbara. Soon they became Mr. and Mrs. Goodmon.
– Many believe that Jim and actor Alan Alda had the same barber back in 1975.
– Susan Dahlin, former PM Magazine host and Executive Producer, showed Jim how to relieve back muscle strain with yoga exercises…in his office.
– Jim and Barbara have two sons, Jimmy and Michael. But, as Obiwan Kenobe would say, “there is another!” They also have a daughter named Elizabeth. She is a retired educator who lives with her family in eastern North Carolina.
– Jim loves music from just about every genre. When it comes to vintage music, Jim is a “sommelier of songs.” It has been said that he can listen to a couple of bars of music and then “name that tune” as well as the performer. His favorite songs are from the 50’s and 60’s. This does not come as too much of a surprise since he signs his memos with the lyrics from Sonny and Cher’s big hit, “the beat goes on.” Included in his gigantic record collection is Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon.”
– If you are invited to Jim’s home, you have the option of going to the lower level of the house by sliding down a fireman’s pole or the staircase. No doubt the fireman’s pole made the Goodmon house a favorite for every kid in the neighborhood. Evidently it satisfies the kid-like nature in adults as well.
– Jim drives a Tesla. Elon Musk must like that! But we’ll worry a bit if we see a Space X rocket pad being built on Western Boulevard. Oh wait, what are those workers really doing on top of the Admin building? Hmmmm?
– Jim likes new gadgets. He wears an Apple watch and has a small drone to tinker with at home.
– Jim loves North Carolina from the mountains to the shore. He is an occasional golfer and sailor. He is an international traveler as well.
– Jim grew up Southern Baptist but converted to Catholicism. He has taken dashboard saint statues to a whole new level, as you can see in the picture to the right.
– Jim has a passion for the underdog. When he sees wrong; he tries to make things right.
– Jim has a pet peeve. He abhors people who are negative and he will not tolerate gossip.
1975 signaled a time of transition worldwide.
- The year started out with the release of Altair 8800, which marked the beginning of the small computer revolution.
- In April, Bobby Fischer refused to play a chess match against Anatoly Karpov, which made Karpov the World Chess Champion. Now, 2015, a movie has been released about Bobby Fischer.
- Also in April 1975, the war in Vietnam ended with the fall of Saigon.
- July 1975 Jimmy Hoffa, former president of the Teamsters Union is reported missing, and is still missing.
- October 1 marked the “Thrilla in Manila” when Muhammad Ali defeated Smokin’ Joe Frazier in a boxing match held in the Philippines.
In October 1975, Jim Goodmon set into motion his vision for CBC to be one of the best companies in America. Forty years later, most would say he has succeeded. “The beat goes on.”
Thanks to Corp’s Pam Allen for this capcom story. Pam Parris Allen is a former WRAL newscast producer/director who now works as a researcher and producer on the CBC History Project.