Is The ‘Digital PD’ A New Essential Post?


kelsieloos-photoOn Sept. 19, Kelsie Loos will be setting in to new role at iHeartMedia’s San Francisco operations.

Loos, who joins the cluster from iHeart’s Portland, Ore. Station group, will be taking on a similar role she had a few hours north – Digital Program Director.

What exactly is a “Digital PD”?

The bigger question may be, “Do we need one at our stations?”

As iHeartMedia explains, Loos will oversee digital strategy for the company’s five San Francisco radio stations: KMEL-FM, KIOI “Star 101.3”, KISQ “The Breeze 98.1”, KKSF “[email protected]”, KYLD “Wild 94.9” and KNEW-AM.

Loos and her team will work closely with the programming and sales departments “to deliver key messages on digital platforms, including station websites, mobile [platforms] and social media.”

Does this position sound new and novel to you?

It shouldn’t. Loos had been in her previous role since 2012, where she led the department during her entire tenure at the stations, which include KKRZ “Z100,” KKCW “K103,” KFBW “The Brew,” KLTH “106.7 The Eagle,” KXJM “Jam’n 107.5”, KEX-AM 1190, and KPOJ-AM “Rip City Sports Radio 620.”

Where would one find a potentially awesome candidate for this position?

Try the local university.

From May 2011 through June 2012, Loos served as the Webmaster for crosstown Alpha Media’s radio stations.

She got the gig just after finishing her third year at Portland State University.

“I realized quickly that I was learning far more in my job than I ever would in school,” she jokes, noting that she prides herself in her drive for self-education and staying on top of marketing trends.

“After an extensive search, inside and outside of the industry, Kelsie stood out as the clear choice to lead our digital and social efforts in the Bay Area,” said Don Parker, iHeartMedia San Francisco’s SVP/Programming. “She’s done a tremendous job driving great results for our Portland cluster and I’m confident she’ll seamlessly transition to maintain and grow our already strong performance.”

Loos said she’s honored for the opportunity to further grow with iHeartMedia.

In San Francisco, Loos succeeds Michelle Lin, who was promoted to the role of Digital Program Director for iHeartMedia Los Angeles, effective August 22. Lin spent just over one year in San Francisco as Digital PD; from August 2010-July 2015 she was Digital PD for iHeartMedia’s Houston stations.

Lin holds a Master’s degree in Interactive Telecommunications from New York University, earned in 1999.

Needless to say, she’s been at the forefront of digital technology’s birth and evolution as an interactive consumer-guided tool.

The RBR + TVBR Weekly Tech Roundup caught up with Dan Shelley, SVP/Digital Content Strategy at iHeartMedia, to learn a little more about the position that isn’t unique to iHeart, but still may be foreign to another broadcast company.

RBR + TVBR: How many are there nationally at the company, and in what markets?

Dan Shelley: iHeartMedia has digital leads nationwide, and their titles vary from market-to-market.

RBR + TVBR: When did this position come into creation, and for what specific purposes?

DS: Our markets have had digital leads for years. The position evolved from webmaster and online content director responsibilities; over time the role has changed with the advent of new platforms, and today’s digital leads know how to expand our radio broadcast content and personalities to digital and social.

It’s an important place for our radio station brands and personalities to connect with our listeners and communities nationwide.

RBR + TVBR: How is this a part of how radio’s sales and programming teams have evolved to work closely on digital initiatives at iHeart?

DS: Digital leads work hand-in-hand with their regional programming and sales teams to create digital extensions of initiatives and campaigns. They have backgrounds in radio, content creation and digital marketing, and use their expertise to grow audiences across web, social and mobile for stations and on-air personalities.



Editor’s Note: This article was updated at 12:30PM Pacific on Sept. 6, 2016 to correct the schooling experience of Ms. Loos. Loos attended Portland State University for three years and did not graduate with a Bachelor’s degree from the institution, as initially reported by RBR + TVBR.