A 35-year radio industry executive who has held such roles as EVP/Operations for Chancellor Broadcasting and the company it became, AMFM Inc.; as EVP for the new music division of Salem Media Group; and as EVP/Operations for iHeartMedia‘s Miami-Fort Lauderdale station group while the company was still known as Clear Channel is returning to the Sunshine State.
After exiting the radio industry and spending the last 6 1/2 years as CEO and Director of Sales and Operations for Alpha Astra LLC, the Raleigh-based owner of five franchises of multi-unit women’s specialty retailer Apricot Lane Boutiques, George Toulas now has an office just minutes from Harbor Isle, Gandy Blvd., and the Howard Frankland Bridge.
Effective today (12/4), Toulas is now Market Manager of Beasley Media Group’s Tampa Bay station group.
He replaces Kent Dunn, who relocated from Beasley’s Augusta, Ga., station group in November 2014 to become VP/Market Manager of the company’s newly obtained Tampa-St. Petersburg station group, and as of Friday will hold that title once again in Georgia.
As Market Manager, Toulas will oversee Tampa Bay stations Financial Talk WHFS-AM 1010, “Modern Adult Contemporary” WPBB-FM 98.7, Rhythmic Top 40 WLLD-FM 94.1, Country WQYK-FM 99.5, Classic Hits WRBQ-FM 104.7 “Q105” and Latin Tropical WYUU-FM “Maxima 92.5.”
Before investing in Apricot Lane franchises in 2012, Toulas had a long career in radio management. In summer 1982, he was appointed Sr. VP of American Media Broadcasting, which held radio stations in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Cincinnati, Orlando, Tucson, San Antonio, Riverside-San Bernardino, and Nassau-Suffolk, N.Y.
In July 1994, he shifted to Chancellor — an AMFM and Clear Channel predecessor, prior to mergers and acquisitions precipitated by the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
His most recent radio industry role was as EVP/Operations and Sales for Clear Channel in San Antonio, where he was responsible for developing regional markets for the company.
“We are thrilled to welcome George to the Beasley Media Group family,” said EVP/COO Brian Beasley. “His proven track record and commitment to excellence is the perfect combination to lead our outstanding team in the Tampa market.”
“It feels really good to come back to Radio,” said Toulas. “I am excited to join Beasley Media Group in Tampa, where the cluster’s fabulous team will keep the winning tradition alive and well.”
Toulas began paring down Apricot Lane stores in 2016. The Triangle Business Journal reports that one store closing — at Cary Towne Center mall in Cary, N.C. — was unexpected, with no prior notification of the July 2, 2016, shutdown given to the store’s General Manager.
The newspaper noted that George and his wife, Carol Toulas, envisioned as many as 25 franchise stores across the Southeast. However, struggling retail markets in early 2016 led them to shut down stores and abandon their growth plans.
According to the Raleigh News & Observer, the North Hills store in Raleigh was seized by the North Carolina Department of Revenue for failure to pay state sales tax.
The newspaper noted $14,671 in unpaid taxes for the period between June 1 and Nov. 1, 2016, plus more than $3,900 in penalties and interest, referencing a certificate of tax liability filed in Wake County Superior Court.