Jimmy DeCastro Joins WGN As President/GM
Former Evergreen Media co-founder Jimmy DeCastro has been named President/GM of Tribune’s 720 WGN Chicago.
DeCastro first came to Chicago in 1981 to be GM of 97.9 WLUP. He would later purchase the station as part of Evergreen Media, which would later merge with Chancellor Broadcasting to form AMFM. While President of AMFM, the company was bought and merged into Clear Channel in 2000. He has since served as President of AOL Interactive and in 2007 founded The Content Factory, which launched the Dan Patrick Show into syndication before being sold to DirecTV.
DeCastro fills the position left open by the retirement of former GM Tom Langemyer last October.
The Press Release announcing DeCastro’s hiring follows:
Tribune Company today announced the appointment of radio industry and digital media veteran Jimmy de Castro as President & General Manager of WGN-AM Radio, responsible for the station’s overall strategy, execution, and day-to-day management and operations. de Castro will report to Larry Wert , Tribune’s President of Broadcast Media, and assume his new duties on June 3.
“Throughout his career, Jimmy de Castro has fused talent, innovation, and a keen understanding of the audience to generate success everywhere he’s been,” said Wert. “He’s a great leader, a builder, and someone who knows the Chicago area and the people who live here extremely well. Jimmy will be a great addition to WGN Radio and to Tribune—I can’t imagine a better person to join our team.”
de Castro has spent more than 25 years as one of the industry’s most successful media and operations executives. In 2007, de Castro launched the “Content Factory,” an independent content-focused national syndication company for new and traditional media, providing customized initiatives and broadcast personalities across multiple platforms. He hired Dan Patrick from ESPN and in just six weeks, de Castro signed over 80 station affiliates to carry Patrick’s radio show. By early 2009, the show was distributed to over 200 radio affiliates, DirecTV, online, mobile, and publishing platforms. “WGN Radio has a tremendous legacy in Chicago and the radio industry,” said de Castro. “Tribune has been assembling a talented, experienced team to lead its broadcasting businesses and I’m looking forward to working with Larry Wert and Peter Liguori . I’m excited by what’s ahead and determined to continue growing WGN’s audience and market share.”
de Castro began his career in marketing and sales, which eventually led to radio management and ownership. He co-founded six-station radio group Evergreen Media in 1988 and grew it into 465 stations within 12 years, creating AMFM, Inc., the nation’s largest radio broadcasting company at the time. de Castro served as Vice Chairman and CEO of the company, which broadcast in over 100 markets and reached more than 64 million listeners. Under his leadership, AMFM formed three divisions focusing on Internet and related business and expanded its outdoor advertising businesses. de Castro also served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of AMFMi, the company’s internet subsidiary.
In 2000, de Castro resigned from AMFM, Inc. to devote his efforts exclusively to the convergence of media and the internet and founded the company Nothing But Net. Subsequently, he became a consultant to America Online and later served as President of AOL Interactive Services.
TRIBUNE is one of the country’s leading multimedia companies, operating businesses in broadcasting, publishing, and interactive. The company’s broadcasting group owns or operates 23 television stations, WGN America on national cable, the national multicast network Antenna TV and Chicago’s WGN-AM. In publishing, Tribune’s leading daily newspapers include the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Baltimore Sun, Sun Sentinel (South Florida), Orlando Sentinel, Hartford Courant, The Morning Call and Daily Press. Popular news and information websites complement Tribune’s print and broadcast properties and extend the company’s nationwide audience.