One of the busiest broadcast media personalities in the world has committed to three more years of service to the nation’s No. 1 creator and distributor of audio content.
The new deal keeps Ryan Seacrest with iHeartMedia and in mornings at its KIIS-FM in Los Angeles through the end of 2025.
Under the agreement, for which financial terms were not disclosed, Seacrest will continue in his role as “one of the core personalities across all iHeartRadio platforms.”
Seacrest’s deal was negotiated by Jeff Refold, COO and CFO of Ryan Seacrest Enterprises, and Jonathan West at Latham & Watkins LLP.
This includes hosting the internationally syndicated On Air with Ryan Seacrest program, along with the current incarnation of American Top 40. He will also continue to work closely with Chairman/CEO Bob Pittman and President/COO and CFO Rich Bressler, “providing input into the company’s major initiatives and hosting several tentpole events.” This includes the two-day iHeartRadio Music Festival; New York City’s annual iHeartRadio Jingle Ball holiday concert; and, quite possibly, future trips to Cannes, such as his 2017 excursion.
In addition to those duties and his role as a co-host of LIVE with Kelly and Ryan, a Disney ABC Home Entertainment and Television Distribution production, Seacrest will continue as only the second morning host KIIS-FM has had in 40 years.
Seacrest has hosted the morning shift at KIIS since March 2004, taking over for Rick Dees. Dees exited the station a month earlier, and had been with KIIS since July 1981, moving from former Top 40 KHJ.
Now, Seacrest’s tenure with iHeartMedia and its predecessor companies will be extended to beyond 30 years, making it longer than that of Dees, who became a globally known air personality at KIIS some eight years after his novelty song “Disco Duck” put him on the Top 40 as a recording artist in fall 1976.
“Continuing my relationship with iHeartMedia was a no-brainer,” Seacrest said. “Thirty years speed by when you love what you do. I get to live out my dream every day by interacting with our listeners and hearing their stories. Thank you to Bob and Rich and the entire iHeartMedia team for continuing to support us and grow with us. And a special thank you to my on-air crew, the best team in radio, for making the show work seamlessly every day.”
Seacrest first arrived in Los Angeles by joining Lisa Foxx as the hugely successful afternoon co-host of KYSR-FM, then a Pop/Alternative known as “Star 98.7.” Before that, he was a popular air personality for Jefferson-Pilot’s WSTR “Star 94” in Atlanta, discovered by then-station head Tony Novia; Seacrest was a regular caller who, through perseverance, found his way into the studio and on the air.
As 2026 arrives, Seacrest will near 22 years in mornings at KIIS; Dees’ tenure was nearly 23 years.
Bressler added, “We are honored to continue working with Ryan, who has consistently delighted audiences both digitally and in-person with his knowledge, energy and trustworthiness. Ryan is truly unique in the world of entertainment, with a keen eye for business and the talent to match. His impact is unparalleled, and we congratulate him on nearly three decades as part of the iHeartMedia family.”
RBR+TVBR OBSERVATION: Congratulations to Ryan Seacrest for extending his iHeartMedia deal. He’s certainly integral to the iHeart machine, given his role as the host of AT40 and his syndicated On Air with Ryan Seacrest, which can be heard practically everywhere these days. That said, we wish iHeart would reconsider his role at KIIS-FM. Like the last years of Dees, his predecessor, the ad revenue may be decent. Like Dees, his predecessor, some of the ratings in particular demos may be good. But, Seacrest no longer fits what the biggest Top 40 station in the nation needs to be, unless KIIS wants to become a broad mass-appeal Hot AC and model itself after 104.6 RTL in Berlin, perhaps the most successful contemporary music station in the world. Seacrest would be best served, in our view, as the afternoon host of Hot Adult Contemporary KBIG “My104.3,” which could use a nice bump. Dave Styles could move to middays, allowing Lisa Foxx to rejoin Seacrest in a key drive-time just as they did a quarter-century ago. Or, Ryan and Lisa could take mornings and Valentine & Co. could shift to afternoons, if it is better for Ryan’s seemingly impossible daily schedule. Moving Seacrest to KBIG would allow KIIS to send “97.1 NOW” off by playing Taps as the Audacy FM is rumored to be prepping a flip to Sports Talk. KIIS’s NEXTGEN morning host should be someone of the Olivia Rodrigo generation, one who knows the leads of “Cruel Summer” (not the Bananarama song but the Freeform limited series) and likely follows them on Instagram alongside Kaitlyn Dever. Seacrest’s star power notwithstanding, it’s time for KIIS-FM to bring in someone a 22-year old Latina can relate to — not their moms.