Programming EVPs Named As iHeartRadio ‘Dislocation’ Stories Grow


It’s been a noteworthy week for iHeartMedia and its iHeartRadio operation. The nation’s No. 1 owner of radio stations earlier this week parted ways with many on-air staffers and programming veterans. Investors were pleased, sending iHeart shares to a post-bankruptcy high on the Nasdaq Global Select exchange.

As the names of those displaced by iHeart continues to grow, the company on Thursday revealed that three senior programmers have been promoted to Division Executive Vice Presidents of Programming for iHeartRadio’s National Programming Group.

Jeff Hurley, Tony Travatto and Angela Watson Charles will now join current EVPs of Programming Andrew Jeffries, Thea Mitchem, “Maynard” and Gene Romano.

They report to Brad Hardin, who serves as COO of the iHeartMedia National Programming Group.

Each member of iHeart’s Executive Vice President of Programming team will partner with the company’s Division Presidents, collaborating with each division to provide national programming assets, services and resources:

  • Mitchem and Jeffries will work with Kevin LeGrett and Scott Hopeck and the Region Division, which is comprised of the company’s largest markets, like New York and Los Angeles, that each reach hundreds of cities, communities and trading areas for local businesses.
  • Romano and Maynard will work with Division Presidents Tom McConnell, Tony Coles and Linda Byrd and the Metro Division, which houses markets that are large areas that still encompass multiple communities – but are not regional hubs like the company’s largest markets.
  • Travatto, Hurley and Watson Charles will work with Division Presidents Shosh Abromovich, Nick Gnau and Dan Lankford and the Community Division, which includes markets that focus on the shared needs of one community and one trading area for most businesses and advertisers and will also group markets into areas which are geographically close and culturally similar.

“We’re excited to add Angela, Jeff and Tony to our already extremely talented Executive Vice President of Programming team,” said iHeartMedia Chief Programming Officer Tom Poleman. “They each have deep experience building great local brands with a blend of math and magic, and they’ll provide excellent leadership to our programmers in our Community Division markets.”

Hurley has served as Regional SVP/Programming for iHeartMedia’s Allentown/Harrisburg Region since 2013. He joined iHeartMedia in 2004 as the Program Director for WHKF-FM in Harrisburg and later worked as a Program Director, Operations Manager and on-air personality for brands in the region.

Travatto rises from the role of SVP/Programming for iHeartMedia in Detroit and Program Director for WKQI-FM and WNIC-FM. He joined iHeartMedia in 2005.

Watson Charles began her career at iHeartMedia in 1990 as a promotions intern for WQUE-FM in New Orleans. In 2015, she was named SVP/Programming for iHeartMedia’s eight stations in the market. She is the longtime midday air personality at WQUE-FM in New Orleans.

With the promotions of Hurley, Travatto and Watson Charles come additional reports of those who have exited iHeartMedia. They include a wide array of air personalities, including 34-year KOST in Los Angeles air personality Mark Wallengren, KJR-FM in Seattle morning host Marty Reimer and Coe Lewis, midday host at KGB-FM in San Diego.

But, programmers are also impacted. Gone are Tony Bristol, PD of WTAG-AM & WSRS-FM in Worcester, Mass.; KAKC/KTBZ “The Buzz” in Tulsa PD Jeremie Poplin; KTBT-FM in Tulsa PD Jadd Naamani; and WIOT-FM/Toledo 16-year PD/midday host Aimee Brooks, who was also Asst. PD of WRVF-FM in Toledo. In Southern California, Rob Scorpio is no longer a Regional SVP/Programming and has departed iHeart.

News of high-profile departures in St. Louis also surfaced Thursday. Among those now gone from iHeart’s station group there include Jules Riley, SVP/Programming and PD of KSD-FM and KLOU-FM; KATZ-FM “100.3 The Beat” PD Maurice DeVoe; and KLOU midday host Vic Porcelli.

From Minot, N.D. to Minneapolis, staff was effected by the downsizing of iHeart’s 12,500 employee roster, as it seeks to modernize its operations — and tackle its $5.75 billion outstanding debt.

With and AllAccess Music Group each running continual updates of those exiting iHeart, the numbers crept into the hundreds.

As of 11:36am Eastern, IHRT was trading at $17.48, off 9 cents from Wednesday.