|Known for||MTV and Radio|
Les Garland is an American Entertainment Executive who currently leads mass media entertainment as the Founder and CEO of his company, AfterPlay Entertainment, a boutique, multi-disciplinary consulting practice that, in part, matches world famous talent with world-class brands. Garland was the co-founder of networks including MTV: Music Television, VH1, The Box Television Network, and College Television Networks.
In his early days in Radio, Garland was discovered by radio giants Bill Drake and Paul Drew. From there he became the Program Director of four major market radio stations including K-100 Los Angeles, CKLW Detroit, WRKO Boston, and KFRC San Francisco, all during contemporary music’s prime.
In San Francisco, KFRC took the place as the top rated radio station in Northern California and was named Radio Station of the Year. Channeling Orson Welles, Garland created a KFRC promotional spot that has since become a part of radio history and also receiving a Clio for it. The promo, titled “Close Encounters”, stunned listeners by announcing that the station would go silent in order to communicate with extraterrestrials. There, Garland was named Program director of the year.
From KFRC, Garland was hand-picked by label founder Ahmet Ertegun and label chief, Doug Morris to managing West Coast operations for Atlantic Records. At that time, Atlantic was home to Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, Genesis, Abba, Aretha Franklin, Foreigner, The Spinners, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and AC/DC.
After Atlantic Records, Garland moved back to the east coast becoming the co-founder of MTV: Music Television and VH1. MTV then became the world’s first 24-hour music channel. While at MTV, Garland played a key role in the anthemic I Want My MTV marketing hook. Along with co-founder, Robert Pittman, serving as MTV Networks Senior Executive Vice President, Garland was executive producer of the first six MTV Video Music Awards and oversaw all elements of MTV’s programming. He was on the lead team that globalized the MTV brand with distribution into Europe, Asia and Australia. During his time at MTV he was asked to be the DJ voice embedded in the classic hit We Built This City On Rock & Roll by Starship. This impromptu stunt immortalized his voice as the things DJ dreams are made of, while Garland calls it his first number one song.
After MTV / Quantum Media / The Box / Sputnik7.com
After MTV Garland and Bob Pittman co-founded Quantum Media, launching popular television shows “The Morton Downey Jr. Show”, “Streets” (TV’s first reality cop show), and the legendary Marvin Hagler / Sugar Ray Leonard title fight. Following Quantum Media, he returned to music and television orchestrating the national roll-out of The Box Television Network, the world’s first interactive music channel. Garland played an essential role in the channel’s domestic and global rollout, handling programming, promotion, sales and marketing. After The Box, Garland found digital music platform sputnik7.com with Chris Blackwell.[better source needed]
Today, music and screens (television, etc.) remain Garland’s passion. One new project includes his work on the Virgin-launched EDM cross-platform, culture series Travelectric, hosted by Shiva, the creator and face of the show that will feature the world’s top DJs. In the broadcast realm, he continues his work with Charles Koppelman while teaming up with famed entrepreneur Michael Cohl developing two new properties. In the fall of 2014, Garland launched a new television programming service, called The QYou,. As co-founder of The QYou, Garland has teamed up with former Senior Vice President, Executive Producer of FOX News Corporation, Scott Ehrlich and longtime friend, award-winning music video producer, and former President of Lionsgate Digital, Curt Marvis.
Garland also still finds time for a passion that nearly equals his love of music: golf. Carrying a 7.0 handicap and scoring four amateur career hole-in-ones Garland has served as former champion at LaGorce Country Club on Miami Beach.
Awards and honors
In his early radio days, Garland was titled Program Director of the Year while at KFRC. He also received a Clio for his creation of the Promo "Close Encounters." Garlands radio career also granted him a place on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “Music Industry Heavy 100.” In the 90's while Garland served as Sputnik7.com President, the channel won multiple awards, including a Webby for digital innovation. His accomplishments were acknowledged at the September 27, 2014 38th Annual Mid-America Emmy Awards where he received the Governor’s Award for Lifetime Achievements. This EMMY was presented to Garland by longtime friend and Eagle, Glenn Frey. Stated so eloquently in Frey's presentation speech, Frey proclaimed "He is a true pioneer, and a living legend in our business. Like the song says, to know him is to love him."