As co-founder of groundbreaking networks including MTV: Music Television, VH1, The Box Television Network, and College Television Networks, Les Garland is also the DJ voice on a worldwide Number one song. Garland’s accomplishments were recently acknowledged at the September 27th, 2014 38th Annual Mid-America Emmy® Awards where he received the prestigious Governor’s Award for his lifetime achievements. This rare EMMY award was presented to Garland by longtime friend and Eagle, Mr. Glenn Frey.
Prior to his years as a cable television pioneer, Garland cut his chops as Program Director of historic major market radio stations including K-100 Los Angeles, CKLW Detroit, WRKO Boston, and KFRC San Francisco, all during contemporary music’s prime. Discovered by radio legends Bill Drake and Paul Drew, Garland’s storied radio career led to a spot on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “Music Industry Heavy 100.”
At KFRC, San Francisco he achieved his greatest accomplishments in radio, taking the station to new heights as the top rated station in northern California. Legendary KFRC was named Radio Station of the Year no less than four times while Garland was being voted Program Director of the Year by his peers. Channeling Orson Welles, Garland created a KFRC promotional spot that has since become a part of radio history. It also netted Garland a Clio. The award winning promo, titled “Close Encounters”, stunned listeners by announcing that the station would go silent in order to communicate with extraterrestrials.
On the heels of his distinguished stint in radio, Garland was hand-picked by iconic label founder Ahmet Ertegun and label chief, Doug Morris to leap from radio to records, managing West Coast operations for the most venerable brand in music, Atlantic Records. Atlantic was home to many of the most popular artists in history, including Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, Genesis, Abba, Aretha Franklin, Foreigner, The Spinners, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and AC/DC.
One of Garland’s most recognizable achievements was his wholesale influence on 80’s culture as co-founder of MTV: Music Television and VH1. MTV, the world’s first 24-hour music channel, is home of the anthemic I Want My MTV marketing hook, which Garland played a key role in developing. 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 innovative programming. He was on the lead team that globalized the MTV brand with distribution into Europe, Asia and Australia. During his time at MTV his humorous and witty nature shined through when he was asked to be the DJ voice embedded in the classic hit We Built This City On Rock & Roll by Jefferson 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 Garland and 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. After 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.
In the fall of 2014, Garland participated in the international launch of a new television programming service, called The QYou.
Today, Les Garland continues to lead mass media entertainment at the helm of his company AfterPlay Entertainment, a boutique, multi-disciplinary consulting practice that, in part, matches world famous talent with world-class brands.