CBS Radio President/CEO Dan Mason announced today he will be retiring at the end of April and subsequently will be replaced by former Journal President/Chief Operating Officer Andre J. Fernandez.
Mason rejoined CBS as President in 2007 after previously serving as head of the company from 1995 until 2002. He also served as President of Westinghouse Radio. His first move upon returning to CBS was flipping 101.1 WCBS-FM New York from Variety Hits “101.1 Jack-FM” back to Classic Hits.
In addition to Journal, Fernandez served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Telemundo. He will start his new position next week.
The following memo was sent out to CBS employees and press:
After an unforgettable eight years leading CBS RADIO, I am announcing today my retirement at the end of April. Witnessing all that we’ve accomplished and knowing the bright future ahead for our company has not made this an easy decision. It has been an honor and privilege to serve as President and CEO and I want to express my gratitude to all of you.
My passion and love for this industry is well-known and I’ve enthusiastically watched as we’ve transformed our broadcast business and simultaneously evolved our digital product. I couldn’t be more proud of our accomplishments – everything from creating new music formats, and launching sports on FM, to the evolution of Radio.com and now Play.it, our on-demand podcast network. We’ve made it easier than ever before for listeners to experience our content through new online, mobile and event platforms.
However, as much fun as I’ve had, it’s now time to “pivot” in my personal life. With four kids either grown, out of the house or on their way to college, I would like to do some “retirement” type things like leisure travel and spending more time doing my favorite hobbies.
Broadcasting will always be part of my life. I am happy to continue with CBS RADIO on a consulting basis, and I will also be doing more work for the Broadcaster’s Foundation, a cause that I believe so much in. Finally, this fall I will be doing play-by-play for select college basketball games, a passion I followed early in my career. I guess you never get rid of the disc jockey blood you’re born with.
Most people are lucky enough to have one great run at the helm of an organization – I’ve had two. My thanks to Leslie Moonves who has been so supportive of every new road we traveled down since this extraordinary second time around began for me in 2007. His desire for great content has been an inspiration for all of us and will no doubt continue to be the foundation of the company.
Thank you as well for facing every opportunity with optimism and dedicating yourselves to teamwork, excellence and creativity. You have been great colleagues. I look forward to seeing you all grow in the years ahead, adding to a long list of successes.
With warmest regards,
Andre J. Fernandez has been named President of CBS RADIO, one of the nation’s leading collections of major market radio stations. The announcement was made by Leslie Moonves, President and CEO of CBS Corporation, to whom Fernandez will report. He begins next week and will be based in New York.
In this role, Fernandez will oversee the direction and management of the division, which includes 117 stations in 26 major markets as well as a growing collection of digital assets. He was most recently President and Chief Operating Officer of Journal Communications, where he was responsible for the company’s broadcasting and publishing assets.
“Andre is a terrific executive who brings a wealth of experience to this role – operations, financial management, programming and digital distribution, among many other attributes,” said Moonves. “He has had great success working in large and mid-sized markets, which has primed him to lead our major market operations. I’m confident Andre’s many qualities will make him a superb manager and help build upon an incredible foundation at CBS RADIO.”
“CBS is an exceptional media company, and this is a terrific opportunity to join a world-class operation and continue its growth and innovation,” said Fernandez. “I’m very impressed with not only CBS’s collection of market-leading brands, but the interface it has achieved with its complementary TV and digital assets, which gives us great opportunities for further development. I could not be more pleased to join this outstanding team.”
Fernandez succeeds Dan Mason, who announced his retirement earlier today after 17 years with the Company, during which he led CBS RADIO for a total of 15 years.
“Dan is a legendary leader in the radio business,” said Moonves. “His passion for the business is well-known, and is a major reason why he’s been able to turn around so many of our major market stations. Above all, he’s been a good friend and a superb colleague. We will miss him dearly and thank him very much.”
Previously, Fernandez served in several executive positions at Journal Communications, a publicly traded diversified media company. Named President in 2012 and Chief Operating Officer in 2014, Fernandez was responsible for operational oversight of Journal’s broadcast and publishing segments, as well as a number of corporate functions. He also served as the company’s Chief Financial Officer from 2008 through 2014.
Prior to Journal, Fernandez held a variety of financial leadership roles at the General Electric Company. Following GE/NBC’s acquisition of the Telemundo Communications Group in 2001, Fernandez was named Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Telemundo, where he helped steer the company to its best financial performance in history. During his tenure, Fernandez also led the acquisitions of Telemundo-RTI Studios and Tepuy International and helped create the Yahoo!Telemundo digital joint venture. Prior to Telemundo, Fernandez held the positions of Chief Financial Officer and Controller of GE Latin America, based in Mexico City; Chief Financial Officer of GE’s Digital Energy business, based in Atlanta; Assistant Treasurer of GE Corporate Treasury and Chief Financial Officer of GE Capital Information Technology Solutions (ITS), both based in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Before joining General Electric, Fernandez was FP&A and Treasury Manager for the United Technologies Corporation in both the U.S. and Brazil. Fernandez began his career on Wall Street, first as a banking associate with Brown Brothers Harriman in New York and then as Assistant Vice President with Merrill Lynch’s emerging markets group in both New York and London. He is fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese.
A New York native, Fernandez graduated cum laude from Harvard University with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics. He currently serves on the boards of the Television Bureau of Advertising (TVB) and Froedtert Health, an academic medical center and regional hospital system in southeast Wisconsin, where he is Vice Chairman of the Board, Chairman of the Finance Committee and Member of the Leadership Development and Compensation Committee. He is a member of the Greater Milwaukee Committee (GMC) and is also an active alumni interviewer for Harvard University.