Under-the-radar media exec Dan Bennett oversees four of the region’s top five radio stations and big personalities like Gordon Keith, Mark Louis, and Corby Davidson. His role at Cumulus Media also puts him in the bizarre situation of overseeing rival sports shows (103.3 ESPN and 96.7 The Ticket), competing news talk formats (570 KLIF and 820 WBAP), and dueling country and western programs (96.3 KSCS and 99.5 KPLX The Wolf).
In a profile of Bennett for the April issue of D CEO, Tom Stephenson dissects Bennett’s unlikely rise and details the challenging conditions of this market. He writes:
When Bennett and Cumulus were named to manage and operate competing sports talk ESPN in 2013, longtime sports personalities at The Ticket wondered what all was about to change. The last thing stalwarts like The Ticket’s legendary Mike Rhyner wanted was any interface with the boys from Bristol. Today, the station’s studios sit about 30 feet apart on the company’s fourth floor. “We don’t really fraternize,” Rhyner says. “We have long had a group chip on our shoulder, and that remains today to a very large degree.”
Elsewhere in the building, the rivals are much more affable, but as WBAP’s Jay says, “We all want to beat each other and be the best in the ratings. We might hug [KLIF’s] Amy [Chodroff] and Dave [Williams] in the hall, but we all want to beat each other.”
Stephenson’s feature went online today. Read it here.