In October 2009, a veteran radio programming executive joined AT&T Entertainment Group as its Operations Director, a role that saw him “monitor technology acquisition responsibilities and optimize talent training responsibilities.”
This most recently included activity with the DirecTV/AT&T U-Verse channel Audience Network, which ceased operations on May 23.
With Audience Network sunsetting, Ken Kohl has opted to do the same for his career, which spans 50 years.
Kohl’s role at AT&T was far bigger than running an exclusive commercial-free channel. “On behalf of The Dan Patrick Show and The Rich Eisen Show I maintained a 500-station radio network,” he says, in addition to NBC Sports Network, AT&T Regional Sports Networks, two podcasts and a branded SiriusXM channel with an emphasis on business expansion.
Kohl arrived at AT&T following a two-year run as VP/Content Development and Broadcast Operations for The Content Factory/Acquaint Media, where he built out the Dan Patrick network.
That role was Kohl’s first outside day-to-day radio station activity — a career that began on New York’s Long Island, with an overnight shift at WBLI-FM and a Program Director slot, in the early 1970s, at beloved Progressive Rocker WLIR-FM. In June 1974, he joined the air staff of KBPI-FM in Denver, a legendary AOR station.
But, like many who started in free-form rock, Kohl rolled into a successful career in the News/Talk arena. His resume includes stints at KOMO-AM in Seattle, which he joined in February 1981 when it was still Adult Contemporary; KFBK-AM in Sacramento; and, most notably, KFI/Los Angeles, where he shifted to Talk upon joining in early 1987.
“It’s been an amazing 50-year career,” he tells Streamline Publishing, which also produces Radio Ink. “I’ve been blessed with fantastic staffs, amazing talk talent and exceptional ownership but there are a handful of folks who championed my career to whom I am eternally grateful: Mike Harrison (who reported on his WLIR departure as a Radio & Records Rock Editor long before launching Talkers Magazine), Monty Grau, Jim Donahoe, Jimmy De Castro, Chris Long, and the best of the best, Gerryann Agovino.”
What’s next for Kohl? “We’ve moved back to Seattle for our FINAL move, fishing and cruising the San Juan Islands, making new friends, and reconnecting with old Seattle pals top the list. For the first time in 50 years, I don’t have a morning show to get up for.”
Kohl remains available for a limited number of consulting clients in between bites of fresh
salmon and can be reached at [email protected]