De Castro comes back to radio following Internet ventures, time as AOL Interactive president

Tuesday, May 28, 2013 - 11:55am

Veteran Chicago radio executive Jimmy de Castro has returned to radio as GM/president of Tribune Company's WGN-AM/Chicago.

De Castro, described by Chicago Tribune columnist Robert Channick as "one of Chicago's most charismatic, successful and well-known broadcast managers,"... returns to radio "as the industry faces significant digital competition."

Probably best-known for running Chicago rock outlet WLUP-FM during its 1980s edgy, irreverent heyday, de Castro eventually became president/CEO of AMFM Inc. It became the largest radio ownership group in the country at the time, with around 440 stations.

When Clear Channel bought AMFM, de Castro left to focus on Internet ventures. In 2002 he became president of AOL Interactive Services.

Though de Castro told the Tribune he doesn't forsee following the feather-ruffling model of the '80s Loop (WLUP on-air veterans Gary Meier and Jonathan Brandmeier are both employed by WGN), Talkers magazine publisher Michael Harrison told the paper, "what might have been considered irreverent back in the 1980s may now be the new mainstream."

Read more in the Chicago Tribune here.

Chicago radio sales and management pro Michael Damsky joins AccuRadio as EVP/Sales

Friday, September 14, 2012 - 12:55pm

Michael Damsky has spent most of his 32-year radio career so far at two of Chicago's legendary radio stations. Following a stretch of more than two decades that saw him rise from an account executive at WXRT to that station's general manager, Damsky became WLS-AM/FM director of sales, and then eventually president/market manager.

On Tuesday (when he'll attend RAIN Summit Dallas), Damsky will offcially assume his new role as AccuRadio Executive Vice President of Sales.

"It is our belief that AccuRadio, with its fully built-out platform for personalizable music channels, is well positioned to take a significantly increased share of this fast-growing market," AccuRadio founder/CEO (and RAIN publisher) Kurt Hanson said today. "With his proven ability to build a sales organization, Michael will help provide the increased revenue which we expect to fuel AccuRadio’s growth."

"I am excited to be joining AccuRadio — a pioneering provider of personalizable streaming Internet radio," Damsky said. "I couldn’t pass-up the chance to help grow AccuRadio into a leadership position in what is clearly the most rapidly expanding sector of music listening."

Chicago area online alt rock owner sues b'dcaster Merlin for trademark infringement

Thursday, July 5, 2012 - 12:50pm

A company called Broadcast Barter Radio Networks has filed a trademark infringement suit against broadcast group Merlin Media over BBRN-owned intellectual property.

Last year Emmis Communications sold radio station Chicago alternative rock station WKQX (Q101) to Merlin, which changed the station's call letters and format. At the time, BBRN purchased all related Q101 intellectual property and social media assets from Emmis Communications, and launched the online-only Internet radio station (RAIN coverage here; also, here). In May, Merlin launched "Q87.7" on a low-power FM frequency it LMAs, and changed the call letters to WKQX-LP. It's an alternative rock "soundalike" of the original Q101 (using similar imaging and slogans).

As Chicagoland Radio and Media reports, "BBRN owns the Q101 name, the Q101 logos and images, 19 years of recordings, 19 years of promotional materials, the online Q101 Club database, and perhaps biggest of all, the website Merlin Media did not choose to purchase any of these physical or intellectual materials when they agreed to purchase WKQX-FM and two other stations from Emmis Communications in June 2011."

Read Chicagloand Radio and Media's coverage here.

Chicago's web-only Q101 lands on the AM dial

Monday, May 7, 2012 - 11:35am

Q101In what Radio-Info rightfully dubs "a unique twist," the web-only version of Chicago's alternative rock station Q101 is now simulcast on 1530 AM. The AM station, WJJG-AM, flipped from talk radio (featuring Michael Savage, Steve Dahl and others) over the weekend, reports Radio-Info. It now broadcasts the same content playing on

Chicago's Q101 was an FM station found at 101.1 FM. It was flipped to all-news by Merlin Media in July 2011 (RAIN coverage here). Broadcast Barter Radio Networks purchased Q101's intellectual property and website soon after the flip (RAIN coverage here).

You can find Radio-Info's coverage here.


Thursday, September 15, 2011 - 12:00am

While radio group heads speaking at this morning's Leadership Breakfast seemed to have a more "forward" approach to the inevitable expansion of radio to include newer techologies, the respective heads of the two industry groups hosting The Radio Show took a somewhat more defensive posture discussing Inte


Thursday, September 8, 2011 - 12:00pm

Liquid Compass has announced LC Pro 2.0, the company’s latest streaming radio platform, and an update to their Client Control Center.

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