Tribune announced Jimmy de Castro as President & General Manager of WGN-AM Radio, responsible for the station’s overall strategy, execution, and day-to-day management and operations. He’ll report to Larry Wert, Tribune’s President of Broadcast Media, and assume his new duties on 6/3.
de Castro began his career in marketing and sales, which eventually led to radio management and ownership. He co-founded six-station radio group Evergreen Media in 1988 and grew it into 465 stations within 12 years, creating AMFM, Inc., the nation’s largest radio broadcasting company at the time. de Castro served as Vice Chairman and CEO of the company, which broadcast in over 100 markets and reached more than 64 million listeners. Under his leadership, AMFM formed three divisions focusing on Internet and related business and expanded its outdoor advertising businesses. de Castro also served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of AMFMi, the company’s internet subsidiary. Jimmy also founded the Jammin’ format—popular in the late 90’s, early 2000’s as an Urban/Soul oldies mix across many AMFM and later Clear Channel stations.
“Throughout his career, Jimmy de Castro has fused talent, innovation, and a keen understanding of the audience to generate success everywhere he’s been,” said Wert. “He’s a great leader, a builder, and someone who knows the Chicago area and the people who live here extremely well. Jimmy will be a great addition to WGN Radio and to Tribune—I can’t imagine a better person to join our team.”
de Castro has spent more than 25 years as one of the industry’s most successful media and operations executives.
In 2007, de Castro launched the “Content Factory,” an independent content-focused national syndication company for new and traditional media, providing customized initiatives and broadcast personalities across multiple platforms. He hired Dan Patrick from ESPN and in just six weeks, de Castro signed over 80 station affiliates to carry Patrick’s radio show. By early 2009, the show was distributed to over 200 radio affiliates, DirecTV, online, mobile, and publishing platforms.
“WGN Radio has a tremendous legacy in Chicago and the radio industry,” said de Castro. “Tribune has been assembling a talented, experienced team to lead its broadcasting businesses and I’m looking forward to working with Larry Wert and Peter Liguori. I’m excited by what’s ahead and determined to continue growing WGN’s audience and market share.”