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NPR Taps Will Lee to Be Their New Chief Operating Officer

Lee most recently worked at Meredith, serving as the SVP and Head of Digital for its Entertainment Group.

Eduardo Razo

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NPR is rolling the dice with their latest executive hiring. The company is Will Lee, who has no prior radio experience, to be their new Chief Operating Officer, per Inside Radio

“Will is a creative and successful digital media leader who has spent his career transforming legacy media brands by expanding and growing audience engagement and revenue,” NPR CEO John Lansing said. 

“He understands that to serve NPR’s critical public service mission; we must meet audiences where they are — on the radio and on other on-demand platforms and devices. Will is also keenly aware of the unique competitive advantages of NPR, most notably the scale and strength of our 252 member stations.”

Lee most recently worked at Meredith, serving as the SVP and Head of Digital for its Entertainment Group. Following a nationwide search, the hiring fills a long-vacant role at the public radio network. NPR has not had a COO since 2018. 

“NPR is a media force and a news institution like no other in the world. Its journalistic mission is more essential and critical to the American public than ever before,” Lee said. 

“I’m truly honored to join this incredible team and work closely with NPR’s remarkable network of Member stations to ignite and drive continued growth, transformation, and brand momentum to reach new and more diverse audiences everywhere they encounter NPR.”

News Radio

Jeff Smulyan Preps Book Release

“I also hope that some of the lessons I’ve learned (many of them painful) will be helpful to you in navigating your careers and your family life.”

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Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan has written a book, with a November 8th release date.

Never Ride A Rollercoaster Upside Down: The Ups, Downs, and Reinvention of An Entrepreneur will revealed some of the most enjoy experiences of the business owner’s life.

“I think you will enjoy many of the stories and hopefully you’ll even laugh out loud at a number of them,” Smulyan said. “I also hope that some of the lessons I’ve learned (many of them painful) will be helpful to you in navigating your careers and your family life.”

According to publisher Matt Holt, Never Ride a Rollercoaster Upside Down details Smulyan’s journey: from taking over his cousin’s failing country music radio station and founding his own company, to purchasing and then selling ownership of the Seattle Mariners and guiding his company through the Golden Age of Radio. Alongside his humorous, eventful, and dramatic stories, Smulyan presents valuable pointers and tips—for anyone else brave enough to try their own hand at starting a business.

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Greg Kelly, Joe Madison Feud Over Washington D.C. Museums

Kelly recently discussed schools sending their eight grade students to Washington D.C. and the museums they visit.

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SiriusXM host Joe Madison and WABC77 host Greg Kelly have feuded recently over an unlikely subject: Washington D.C. museums.

Kelly recently discussed schools sending their eight grade students to Washington D.C. and the museums they visit. He then said there isn’t much worth seeing inside the African-American Museum, and your time would be better spent at the Air and Space Museum, which Madison took issue with.

“You know Greg Kelly? What an asshole,” Madison said in the clip. “Give me a damn break. I’ve been there. It’s divisive. ‘Go to the Air and Space Museum’. I’ve been there. It’s cool. You can touch a moon rock. But this is divisive. Excuse me, SiriusXM and Pandora, by the way, have an exhibit there. They have an exhibit there.”

“Does that make you want to go to the African-American Museum?”, Kelly asked. “To see some radio station’s sponsorship? That they bought off the mob? That they did some philanthropic virtue signaling? I don’t really care about that.”

He then played a clip of Madison saying you can see Chuck Berry’s Cadillac at the museum, which Kelly mocked. He then played another clip of Madison making a plea for a discussion between the pair.

“Let me tell you something, Greg Kelly,” Madison said. “If you had any brains whatsoever, damn you, call me, damn it! Call me! But you don’t have the courage to call me.”

“So I called him, and all he did was yell, and scream, and curse,” Kelly said. “He yelled. He screamed. And he cursed. What a missed opportunity for him.”

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Audacy Reportedly Prepping Cadence13 Sale

Cadence13 has recently launched several new podcasts, including shows by Stephen A. Smith and former NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s Dirty Mo Media.

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A report from Sara Fischer of Axios claims Audacy has hired bankers to explore a sale of Cadence13, one of its two podcast studios.

The company faces potential delisting by the New York Stock Exchange if its price remains at under $1 per share. The NYSE gave Audacy notice that it had six months to increase its price or face the delisting. Shares closed Friday at an all-time low of 39 cents.

Audacy purchased a stake in Cadence13, then called DGital Media, in 2017. It then purchased the remaining shares of the company in 2019, placing its valuation at approaching $50 million.

Fischer reporters Audacy would seek to sell Cadence13 at nearly double that $50 million valuation.

Cadence13 has recently launched several new podcasts, including shows by Stephen A. Smith and former NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s Dirty Mo Media.

In addition to Cadence13, Audacy also owns two other podcast studios, 2400Sports and Pineapple Street Studios.

An Audacy spokesperson told Axios “we don’t comment on rumors of this nature”.

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