Bulletin: 5:30pm 10/18/08 – RBR First
There are some major changes taking place at Westwood One (N:WON). On Friday evening, 10/17, CEO Tom Beusse was escorted from the office.
Sources state that one of WW1’s finance executives, likely CFO Rod Sherwood, will become the new CEO.
WW1 has also brought in Jones MediaAmerica SVP/COO Cathy Csukas and former Jones President Gary Shoenfeld as co-DOS’s. They parted ways with Dial-Global after the acquisition of Jones MediaAmerica. WW1 fired EVP/Sales Paul Gregrey weeks ago.
What RBR has heard from sources was someone “Woke up at Gores and figured out that radio is content, too. This, after the mantra of ‘we’re in the content business’ that Beusse was espousing.” Gores is WW1’s major investor right now, recently putting $100 million into the company.
PS Rod Sherwood is from Gores.
RBR/TVBR observation: Gary Shoenfeld and Ron Hartenbaum, before they created MediaAmerica, both worked for WW1. One irony is Gary Shoenfeld and Cathy Csukas haven’t been on the sales side for about five years. So this should be interesting. They will also likely bring in Susan Love, who was also dismissed by Dial-Global after the Jones MediaAmerica buy. Now the rest of the Rodale people – people from outside the radio biz that Beusse brought in–Steve Chessari and Andy Hersom–will likely stay. This couldn’t have happened at a worse time–advertisers are in the midst of the radio upfront (see RBR’s Network Radio Upfront discussion on Friday). The concern is about the future plans of WW1.