Ryan Seacrest is already an anchor on E! News; host of "American Idol," "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve" and "American Top 40"; and the morning-drive personality on a top Los Angeles radio station. Now, he's about to come to radios nationwide each day, too. And, if that's not enough, the ubiquitous Mr. Seacrest will be peddling the ads for that show, the Wall Street Journal reports.
In a deal with Clear Channel Communications Inc.'s Premiere Radio Networks unit, Mr. Seacrest's five-hour L.A. radio show will be boiled down to three for use middays and afternoons in the rest of the country. Mr. Seacrest will tape localized comments for each market that syndicates the show.
The deal is most noteworthy, however, for its advertising component. In an unusual arrangement, Mr. Seacrest will own and control a portion of the advertising time on the show. The goal: bringing in some of the sponsors he already has a relationship with on television, with the potential fringe benefit of getting them more interested in radio. He will also sell some of his own advertising on the "American Top 40" radio countdown.
While some radio personalities own their shows, they tend to leave the selling up to their employers. Few have the national presence of Mr. Seacrest, 33 years old, who reaches audiences young and old and moves seamlessly between television and radio. Now, Mr. Seacrest is going to try to parlay his fame and squeaky-clean image into a closer and more lucrative relationship with advertisers.
"Ryan is one of the most commercially viable, advertiser-friendly personalities in radio today," says Kraig Kitchin, a consultant to radio personalities like Rush Limbaugh and former head of Premiere Radio Networks. "He is as clean and endorsement-appropriate as they come."
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