People Moves 1/23: Zapoleon Semi-Retires From iHeartMedia

iHeartMedia iHeart iHeartCommunicationsiHeartMedia Senior Vice President of Programming, Research and Strategy Guy Zapoleon is going into semi-retirement and stepping back to a role as a Senior Advisor for the company.

Zapoleon has been with iHeartMedia since 2011 when he exited his Zapoleon Media Strategies to join the company as VP/Digital Music Programming. His 45 year career included stops at KRTH Los Angeles and KZZP Phoenix before rising to National Programming Director for Nationwide Communications where he launched the first “Mix” station in 1990 at KHMX Houston. He moved into consulting in 1992.

Veteran programmer Guy Zapoleon has announced his semi-retirement as Senior VP of Programming, Research and Strategy at iHeartMedia after a nine-year run. He’ll remain with the company as a Senior Advisor. Zapoleon — regarded as one of the preeminent radio programmers in the business — joined then Clear Channel as VP/Digital Music Programming in 2011, leaving the consulting firm Zapoleon Media Strategies he founded.

Zapoleon began his career in Los Angeles at Oldies KRTH as the station’s first Music Director. His next steps included programming stations, including KRQQ in Tucson and B94 in Pittsburgh. He then joined Nationwide Communications at KZZP in Phoenix and soon became the National Program Director. Zapoleon was also responsible for creating America’s first Hot AC at KHMX (Mix 96.5) Houston. In 1992, he founded Zapoleon Media Strategies and quickly became one of the most respected names in consulting, helping to launch great radio stations, such as WKTU in New York.

iHeartMedia Chief Programming Officer and President, National Programing Group Tom Poleman told the company’s staff, “After 45 years of programming brilliance, Guy Zapoleon, our SVP/Programming Research & Strategy, has decided to retire. As most of you know, Guy is a trailblazer — from programming successful Top 40 radio stations to creating the first-ever Hot AC station in the U.S. helping to launch a long list of incredible brands, including WKTU, and co-creating HitPredictor. It’s safe to say that Guy is one of the most influential programmers of all time, having left his mark on some of the greatest stations in the world. He’s been a fantastic mentor and friend to so many of us. And for that we’re forever thankful.”

He continued, “While we’re sad that Guy is leaving us, we’re very happy that he’s agreed to stay on with iHeart as a consultant and will be working on specific projects as determined by Brad and me. That said, we want him to enjoy as much of his retirement as he can — so please go through us on any business matters. And I know you’ll all join me in thanking GUY for his significant contributions to our company and to our team over the last several years.”


With the company currently in a rent dispute with the licensee of 105.7 XEPRS-FM and 1700 KEPE Tijuana MX, Broadcast Company of Americas has cut as many as ten staffers at its San Diego operations. Among the confirmed exits are VP/Programming & Operations Mike Shepard and Classic Hits “105.7 Max-FM” afternoon host Karen ‘Cha Cha’ Harlow. BCA continues to operate the Classic Hits station online and also operates Sports “Mighty 1090” XEPRS.


Kris Fisher, who joined Beasley Media’s Rhythmic Oldies “Old School 105.7” KOAS-FM Dolan Springs and Hot AC “Star 107.9” KVGS Meadview AZ/Las Vegas NV as Program Director in September has added morning host duties at KVGS. Fisher replaces the syndicated Brooke & Jubal in that slot at “Star 107.9“.


After fifteen years in the market and thirteen at Amaturo Sonoma Media Country “Froggy 92.9” KFGY Healdsburg/Santa Rosa CA morning hosts Rob Taylor and Joss Taylor are exiting on February 15 for an undisclosed market.


Westwood One has announced the creation of the Vice President of Digital Sales Marketing & Operations position and the hiring of Cory Smith to fill it.

Smith comes to Westwood One after 16 years at ESPN where he most recently served as Director of Sports Marketing.

Westwood One, the largest radio network in the U.S., announces the strategic hire of Cory Smith in the newly created role of VP, Digital Sales Marketing & Operations, effective today.

In this position, Smith is responsible for digital sales planning, ad sales marketing, audience development, and ad operations, focusing on the rapidly-growing podcast space. He is based in New York City, reporting directly to Suzanne Grimes, President of Westwood One.

Cory joins Westwood One from ESPN, where he worked for 16 years, most recently serving as Director, Sports Marketing. In this position, he developed cross-platform sales strategy for national, regional and local sales teams to drive revenue and audience growth. Cory also developed sponsorable podcasts and live podcast events across the U.S. Cory’s cross-platform media career experience also includes revenue operations, partnership development, and radio network sales.

“Westwood One is dominating the podcast landscape with top shows, massive promotional power, and national and local sales teams, making it the fastest growing podcast network today,” said Suzanne Grimes. “Cory joins the team at a perfect time as our podcast business is exploding. He brings extensive digital audio experience, marketing expertise, and proven ability to build best-in-class operations.”

Cory said, “I’m very impressed with what Westwood One has been able to accomplish in the podcasting space in such a short period of time. As the largest radio network in the U.S., and fastest growing podcast network, the opportunities are limitless. I am very eager to work with Suzanne Grimes, Kelli Hurley and the podcast team to help take this business to the next level.”

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