Editorial: Tribute to the Great Mitch Faulkner


Mitch: “I asked Sid if he remembered you and he said he thinks so.” 

Me: We worked together at WIGO starting our careers around the same time in radio.

Mitch: Oh OK!

Shortly after that conversation. I called Mitch back when I found out Sidney Wood (Kenny Diamond) had died. I had no idea several months later I would be telling the Radio Facts/All Radio News audience that Mitch had also died (yesterday).

It seems many of the crew that I started out with are no longer here. All super talented people like Byron Pitts, Kenny Diamond, Nate Quick, and now Mitch. Mitch had been around longer than me but I got to work with him at Kiss 104 in Atlanta. It was my second radio gig after WIGO.  

Mitch was quiet and I had no idea how talented he was when we worked together in the mid-80s at Kiss. He was a loner, nice guy but kept to himself from what I could see back then. After I left the Atlanta area in the late 80s, Mitch exploded with his imaging business that could be heard from coast to coast. I really never knew how talented he was until years after I met him. 

One day around 1995 I got a call from Mitch telling me he had seen my first issue of Radio Facts and that he and his brother had also started a trade magazine called The Edge.

If memory serves me right he sent me a copy. Mitch’s magazine was clean, positive, and much needed at the time. Radio Fax (as it was then called) was angry, confrontational, and brutally honest. At the time, I had no idea how successful Radio Facts would be or why he stopped producing his magazine. There was certainly enough room for both.

Most recently we talked at length about his love for blues music and how he wanted to do festivals in the southern region because he thought the music was underrated. I agreed and I too had recently become a fan of the blues.

I believe Mitch did a couple of events and he planned to do more. He was very ambitious and then came yesterday when we announced that he had died a little after 8 am Eastern. 

I was on my way to the chiropractor yesterday when I realized I don’t have it in me to keep writing these sad endings. But on the positive end, we are lasting a lot longer in the industry these days so we will hear about many sad endings, success stories, and new beginnings (I hope).

I’m not sure what’s happening in the industry but it seems at times there is a lot more death than life. Perhaps, I was thinking I should have (should) do some type of a conference as we never know when we may see someone for the last time or a future star for the first time, but it’s in our DNA to connect and we have not been doing enough of that. It’s where we get our strength, valuable information, and encouragement and we need it.

Mitch was always lending a hand and reaching out to help others. He wanted me to do a conference and even had an investor for me but I remembered the super stressful days of Urban Network and told him I didn’t have the bandwidth to deal with egos and a lot of confusion. We would often laugh when I told him I would end up cussing somebody out. Mitch helped so many people and asked for so little in return. He was, once again, one of the good guys and he will be sorely missed but never forgotten. 

He made a lasting impression on the industry that is undeniable and noteworthy and there will never be another Mitch Faulkner. Someone called him the “Godfather of Imaging” that’s a title that suits him well and that’s a great way to describe him. To that end, rest well Mitch, and thanks for all that you have given to others and of yourself to the industry.