In 1986, Steve Jones joined ABC News Radio, serving as a producer and news writer following a year as an on-air host for the station that put Howard Stern in morning drive in New York for the first time — Infinity’s WXRK-FM “K-Rock.”
He would rise at ABC News Radio to Director of News & Entertainment Programming, and in 1999 under ownership of The Walt Disney Co. ascended to the position of VP/Programming & Operations, ultimately becoming VP/GM and Executive Producer in 2003.
Now, 33 years later, Jones is exiting ABC.
Effective April 9, Jones will become President/COO at Skyview Networks. In this role, Jones will help lead the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based company’s growth in sports play-by-play, content creation across platforms, syndication, network sales, distribution of audio, and technology innovation.
Jones will work from both the company’s Scottsdale corporate office and its New York office and reports to Skyview co-founder and CEO Ken Thiele.
“Steve is a highly respected leader in the audio industry and his addition to Skyview will accelerate what already has been a period of explosive growth,” Thiele said. “Since Skyview Networks and ABC News partnered in 2014, Steve and I have worked side-by-side in developing new business that has resulted in great success for both companies.”
In a note to staff obtained by RBR+TVBR, ABC News President James Goldston said that even when he moves on to Skyview, Jones will be involved in ABC’s radio business, as Skyview is the sales representative and distribution partner for ABC News Radio.
Regarding Jones’ successor, Goldston said, “We’ll post the role for a new executive to lead the radio division shortly. In the meantime I’m confident we are in extremely capable hands with the leaders at ABC News Radio.”
This will see Andrew Kalb handling news coverage/digital programming; Abe Velez handling business development; Heidi Oringer handling affiliate relations/sales; and Jeff Fitzgerald overseeing operations.
Goldston also acknowledged Jones’ passion for the radio business. “Under his leadership, the ABC News Radio team has been recognized with dozens of awards for its journalism including the prestigious Edward R. Murrow Award multiple times for news coverage, Peabody Awards for Superstorm Sandy coverage, and while Steve was leading abcnews.com, for coverage of the 9/11 terror attacks.”
Jones was also cited for playing a big role in shaping ABC News Radio’s podcast portfolio. “He understood the opportunity presented by digital audio early on to reach new listeners and tell compelling stories in new and innovative ways,” Goldston said.
In a note to colleagues, Jones said, “This decision was reached after very careful consideration and consultation both with Skyview and ABC News—two organizations I care deeply about. In the end, the opportunity to help lead the growth and expansion at Skyview convinced me to take the position.”
Skyview and ABC News have an agreement through 2026.
“We are excited to welcome Steve to the company and the Skyview leadership team,” said Jeanne-Marie Condo, EVP/General Manager at Skyview. “He has an extraordinary vision for how we can organically expand our footprint and bring new innovation to our partners and our clients.”
Jones’ early career highlights include working on-air at legendary Modern Rock station WLIR-FM 92.7 in Garden City, N.Y., from 1982-1985.
He began his career at former Tribune-owned WPIX-FM 101.9 in New York, as a news writer and anchor.