Published on Wednesday, 22 June 2011 12:30
Merlin Media LLC, who set the radio world abuzz yesterday with the announcement of its formation and purchase
of three Emmis Communications radio stations, continues to make announcements on its growing staff. CEO Randy Michaels has already added media veterans John Gehron and Liz Aiello
and this afternoon announced the hiring of Andy Friedman, yet another media veteran. Friedman has been named as the Vice-President of Internet Initiatives for Merlin Media LLC, effective immediately.
Friedman comes to Merlin Media with over twenty-two years of radio and interactive media experience. Up until recently, Friedman was Tribune Company's Vice-President of Interactive Content and Vice-President of Content for Broadcasting. There, he was responsible for overseeing all of the media company's broadcasting websites' operations, growing national content traffic by four times in one year. He was with Tribune Company from May 2008 through this month. Prior to that, Friedman spent eight years with Clear Channel Communications as the company's Vice-President of Online News, Talk, and Sports. He joined Clear Channel after working in Chicago as News Director of WBBM-AM in 1999 and 2000. Before working in Chicago, Friedman worked three years as News Director for the Hearst-Argyle/Pulitzer Radio cluster of radio stations in Phoenix, AZ and seven years as a reporter and Assistant News Director for KFI-AM in Los Angeles, CA.
This will be the third company where Andy Friedman will be using his media content talents working with Randy Michaels. They first worked together at Clear Channel and Michaels then brought Friedman back to Chicago to work with him again at Tribune Company. In fact, it was Randy Michaels' hiring of Friedman that caused Clear Channel Communications to sue Michaels and Tribune Company for "unfair competition," feeling that Michaels was stealing away Clear Channel's best talents. The suit also sought Friedman from using supposedly confidential information they felt he possessed. The suit was eventually amicably settled and Friedman was allowed to work for Tribune Company.
Randy Michaels, Chairman and CEO of Merlin Media said of Andy Friedman in a press release today: "Andy has better insight than anyone into how traditional media should use the web. I've worked with Andy at three companies and now, at Merlin Media, he will be in an ideal environment to put all of that knowledge to excellent use. We are a multimedia company where an interactive, one-to-one web and mobile experience is critical to success. Andy is one of the best guys in America to bring it all together."
In the same statement, Andy Friedman added: "It is truly exciting to be teamed with Randy once again. Merlin Media has a tremendous amount of potential to make an impact on the industry backed by the skilled talent being brought on board. We will bring the latest in media, broadcast radio and business savvy to the table in a way that will push the boundaries of the industry in new and creative ways."
Originally from Los Angeles, Andy Friedman and his family live here in Chicago. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in History from University of California, Berkeley and his Master of Business Administration degree in Marketing from the University of Southern California.
The newly formed Merlin Media LLC will own three radio stations -- 2 in Chicago and one in New York -- pending the successful closing of yesterday's announced transaction. The company is actively seeking to acquire more radio outlets and is looking to develop a nationwide network of stations.