At the end of November 2019, Urban WBLS-FM 107.5 and Hip-Hop WQHT-FM “Hot 97” in New York shifted from Emmis Communications’ full ownership to a newly created entity that saw Emmis become a 23.72% interest holder in MediaCo Holding Co.
The remaining 76.28% interest holder is Soohyung Kim-controlled Standard General, the private investment group that has stakes in TEGNA, Bally’s Corporation and Cumulus Media.
Now, MediaCo has selected a CEO while appointing a President/COO, creating an executive team for the Gotham operation that also includes Fairway Outdoor.
Starting July 1, MediaCo’s CEO is Rahsan-Rahsan Lindsay — most recently an Urban One EVP. As CEO, Lindsay will be responsible for setting MediaCo’s overall strategic vision and expanding its radio and outdoor divisions — with an emphasis on transforming the digital business.
Lindsay spent 9 years at Urban One, where he directed advertising sales, integrated marketing and sales operations for TV One and sister network CLEO TV. In 2020, he took over the role as head of iOne Digital ad sales and One Solution, Urban One’s cross-platform marketing group, as well as One X Studios, the branded content production arm of Urban One.
Before that, Lindsay spent nearly eight years in Ad Sales for Viacom Media Networks, focused on new business development for MTV, Comedy Central, Spike, CMT, and TV Land. He also served as VP of Ad Sales for MTV2, mtvU, and Palladia.
“The opportunity to work with iconic brands like HOT 97 and WBLS is just too good to pass up,” Lindsay said. “I see a number of potential ways to further cultivate both brands, build on their well-established legacies, and drive new revenue streams. I’m also energized by the opportunity to leverage the Fairway footprint in a way that helps fulfill the MediaCo mission to connect with broader audiences.”
Does MediaCo’s desire to “expand” its radio division involve the acquisition of additional stations?
That remains to be seen, as Emmis continues to seek the right buyer for WLIB-AM 1190 in New York.
Speaking for MediaCo, board member Laura Lee said, “Rahsan-Rahsan is a talented and dedicated leader with the right strategic vision, relentless drive, and passion for media required to lead the MediaCo team at this critical time. He forged his career at the intersection of technology and media, and his vast experience and keen perspective will be invaluable in taking the company into the future.”
Joining Lindsay in the C-Suite, as President/COO, is Bradford Tobin. He joined MediaCo in August 2020 and leads the business operations, and formerly served as a general counsel and Chief Compliance Officer for Standard Diversified Inc. He’s also been general counsel for RadioShack.