In September, Barrett Sports Media announced plans to introduce an annual award named after Emmis CEO and the founder of the all-sports format Jeff Smulyan. The award would be introduced at the 2019 BSM Summit in Los Angeles on February 21-22 with Smulyan in attendance.
What wasn’t answered, was who would earn the honor of becoming the first recipient of the award. Well, that decision has been made. Kraig Kitchin, one of Premiere Radio Networks’ co-founders, and its former President and COO has been selected to accept the trophy at the 2019 BSM Summit.
Kitchin, who has also held the title of CEO of The Blaze, and currently serves as Chairman of the National Radio Hall of Fame, and Co-President of the talent management firm SoundMind, was a driving force behind Premiere Radio Networks ascension to the top of national syndication. Under his watch, Jim Rome rose to prominence on the national circuit, becoming one of sports radio’s most popular and important personalities.
“Kraig Kitchin’s importance to the sports format’s rise in national syndication can’t be understated” said Barrett Sports Media President Jason Barrett. “Under his leadership at Premiere Radio Networks, Jim Rome’s program became a giant success for sports stations across the nation, paving the way for many others to enjoy similar success. As we introduce an award named after one pioneer, Jeff Smulyan, it’s fitting that our first recipient, Kraig Kitchin, is someone who has also been a trailblazer for the sports format.”
“Creating opportunities for some of the most talented sports talk hosts on radio, along with recruiting the producers who help them create compelling programs, to reach audiences and create a loyal listener bond was the absolute right thing to do,” shared Kraig Kitchin. “I’m humbled at the notion of receiving an award in the name of Jeff Smulyan, a legendary broadcaster who exemplifies so many great leadership qualities, and has led the way in making Sports Talk Radio a permanent part of the American landscape.”
“I’m absolutely thrilled that Kraig has been selected as the inaugural recipient of this award” said Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan. “He has been a dynamic leader and visionary for this industry for so many years, and the fact that we’ve been friends for all that time makes it even better”.
Tickets for the 2019 BSM Summit on February 21-22, 2019 at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles are on-sale to media members. For further information visit https://bsmsummit.com.