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Cumulus Hires Bruce Gilbert As SVP/Sports

Cumulus Bruce Gilbert Westwood One SVP/Sports Don MartinCumulus is creating a brand-new SVP/Sports position for Bruce Gilbert.

Gilbert will join Cumulus from iHeartMedia’s Premiere Radio Networks where he was SVP/Sports Operations overseeing Fox Sports Radio. His new position will give him oversight over all of Cumulus’ Sports formatted stations as well as Sports content produced for syndication by Westwood One.

At Premiere, Don Martin will return to the position he held in 2012 and 2013 as SVP/Sports Programming as he re-adds network programming to his current position as Program Director of 570 KLAC Los Angeles.

Cumulus announces that sports programming executive Bruce Gilbert will join the company in the newly-created role of Senior Vice President/Sports for Cumulus and Westwood One, the largest pure-play sports radio network in the world. Gilbert comes to Cumulus from FOX Sports Radio/iHeart Media, where he was Senior Vice President of Sports Operations. In his new position, Gilbert will lead the curation, development and execution of all sports content initiatives and will oversee the strategic direction of the company’s owned and operated sports stations. He will report to John Dickey, Executive Vice President of Programming and Content for Cumulus. Jim Mahanay, Corporate Program Director/Sports for Cumulus, will continue in that role and will report to Gilbert.

Gilbert assumes his new position on January 7.

John Dickey said: “Bruce Gilbert brings years of experience in sports broadcast programming and management to our senior programming team and we’re pleased to welcome him aboard. Bruce will drive the continued growth and development of the industry-leading sports platform at Cumulus and Westwood One, which together comprise the largest pure-play sports radio network in the world and align with the best brands in the business. His addition furthers our commitment to creating and delivering the most exciting content to sports fans and delivering incomparable opportunities for our partners and advertisers.”

Gilbert said: “Sports is one of the many core competencies of Cumulus and Westwood One. I feel very fortunate to join this team of professionals and look forward to working side by side with them and with our partners to produce best in class content and live events that grow ratings and create unique advertising ownership opportunities for our valuable clients. I want to thank John and Lew Dickey and Mike McVay for this incredible opportunity to provide our sports programming across every platform sports fans access. There is a very bright future for sports radio content and the many sports marketing opportunities associated with that content.”

Gilbert brings more than 30 years experience in radio programming and operations to Cumulus. While at iHeart Media, Gilbert directed sports programming for the company, including Premiere Networks and the FOX Sports Radio Network. Gilbert was formerly Vice President/News, Talk and Sports Programming for CBS Radio Dallas, where he led programming initiatives for 105.3 The Fan, NewsRadio 1080 KRLD and the Texas State Network. Prior to CBS, he was Chief Executive Officer of Washington, D.C.-based Red Zebra Broadcasting. Gilbert was also Vice President/General Manager for the ESPN Radio Network, where he led programming, affiliations and sales, and worked with owned and operated ESPN stations. He has been named “Sports Radio Program Director of the Year” three times by Rick Scott & Associates’ annual Sports Radio Conference. In addition to being recognized by Radio Ink in the magazine’s annual list of top programmers, he received the coveted “Andrew Ashwood Award” in 2010 at the annual Talk Show Boot Camp, which honors the broadcaster who has made the most positive impact in the radio business.

And from Premiere:

Premiere Networks, the leading audio network in the U.S., announced today that Don Martin, iHeartMedia SVP of Sports Los Angeles, will expand his duties to include Premiere and FOX Sports Radio, effective immediately. As SVP of Sports Programming for Premiere Networks, Martin will oversee the creation, development and direction of sports programming and content at the company, as well as the FOX Sports Radio Network, which reaches nearly 5 million weekly listeners on more than 400 stations nationwide. Based in Los Angeles, he will report to Julie Talbott, President of Premiere Networks. Martin will continue his role as iHeartMedia SVP of Sports Los Angeles, overseeing AM 570 FOX Sports LA/KLAC and reporting to Greg Ashlock, President of iHeartMedia Southern California.

Talbott stated, “We’re in the business of creating and delivering the most relevant sports personalities and content, while leveraging exceptional results for our partners, and Don Martin has the experience and track record to lead that effort. I couldn’t be happier to have him return to the Premiere Networks-FOX Sports Radio family, and I’m confident he will help drive continued growth and success for our leading sports entertainment programming.”

“When Julie Talbott and Darren Davis call, everybody listens!” shared Martin. “I’m thrilled to team up with Julie, Darren and the Premiere team once again. I’m also looking forward to reuniting with the incredible FOX Sports Radio family.”

Martin first joined Premiere Networks in 2009 as Vice President/General Manager of the FOX Sports Radio Network, while also serving as General Manager/Program Director of AM 570 KLAC/Los Angeles. During his tenure, the network reached an all-time high of more than 400 affiliates. In January 2012, Martin was elevated to Senior Vice President, Sports Programming for Premiere Networks. In 2013, he returned his focus on KLAC as SVP of Sports Los Angeles for iHeartMedia. Previously, Martin oversaw the merger of AM 690/1150 and was responsible for moving XTRA Sports 690/1150 to 570 – one of the strongest signals in Los Angeles. Martin also served as program director of 850 KOA in Denver, Colo. Under his supervision, the station was recognized with Marconi Awards and was named “Station of the Year” five years in a row by the National Association of Broadcasters.

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Lance Venta is the Owner and Publisher of RadioInsight.com and a consultant for RadioBB Networks specializing in integration of radio and the internet. Lance has two decades of experience tracking the audio industry and its use of digital platforms.

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