Published on Tuesday, 19 June 2012 15:00
Merlin Media LLC has named Pat Kelley as its Director of Sales for the company's cluster of Chicago radio stations it programs: WLUP-FM, WIQI-FM, and WKQX-LP. The hire is official as of today. The local sales veteran will report to Merlin Media Executive Vice President of Revenue Greg Janoff.
Pat Kelley was most recently Senior Vice President and General Manager of WLFM-LP/Smooth 87.7, a position he held from May 2009 until the end of April this year. He lost that position when Merlin Media purchased the programming rights to WLFM-LP from the TV/radio station's owner Venture Technologies, fired the entire staff, changed the station's call letters, and changed the station's format (twice). This move brings him back to selling for 87.7 FM, as well as to Merlin Media's two stations that they own outright in Chicago, The Loop and FM News 101.1.
It is also a return of sorts for Kelley back to the station he started at. In 1981, Pat Kelley was a young Account Executive for WKQX-FM. That station is now WIQI-FM, while the WKQX call letters are now parked at his former station.
Between his simple beginnings at WKQX-FM (then owned by NBC) to his admirable duties at WLFM-LP, Pat Kelley has worked in numerous sales positions at Chicago Media outlets. After being an Account Executive with NBC Radio for three years, he moved into management, spending over five years as the General Sales Manager & National Sales Manager for Viacom-owned WLAK-FM/WLIT-FM. Kelley left radio to be a partner in a local publishing firm for nearly five years, but returned to radio in August 1994 as the Station Manager for Clear Channel Radio's WNUA-FM, WLIT-FM and WKSC-FM. Despite very positive results under his leadership, he exited Clear Channel in January 2009, as part of a massive nationwide reduction in force by the company, resulting in the layoffs of hundreds.
Randy Michaels, CEO of Merlin Media, held off on his usual tactic of releasing bizarre and comical press releases, to instead issue a sincere one welcoming Kelley into his company. Said Michaels today: "We are incredibly fortunate to have someone of Pat's caliber on our team. His addition to our sales organization underlines our ongoing efforts to increase our Chicago performance."
Pat Kelley said today in a statement: "I am thrilled to lead the sales charge in Chicago for Merlin Media. Looking at the team, the assets, the momentum and their entrepreneurial spirit, I see tremendous upside."