iHeartMedia announced today that Jon Zellner has been named President of Programming Operations and Digital Music for iHeartRadio, effective immediately. Zellner will report to Tom Poleman, Chief Programming Officer for iHeartMedia.
In his new role, Zellner will manage the programming, content and strategy for iHeartRadio’s digital channels and playlists while continuing to oversee iHeartMedia’s programming operations, ensuring that iHeart’s 850 local radio station brands in 150 markets are best utilizing the company’s unparalleled national resources. In addition to running programming and strategy for the iHeartMedia Custom and Format Center stations, Zellner will continue to lead iHeart’s Commercial Production Center, the National Imaging Center, the Audio Distribution Center, on-air partner and client integration and the Technical and Broadcast Operations teams to expand programming technology and provide key support to iHeartMedia’s national team of programmers at market-leading radio brands that serve more than a quarter of a billion listeners every month in the U.S.
“Jon’s leadership in providing the delivery of our national resources to our markets for their use at the local level has been invaluable to our company,” said Poleman. “We are excited that he’ll be taking on an even larger role in our company-wide programming initiatives and expand and grow our digital channels and playlists on the iHeartRadio app.”
“For years, Jon has made innumerable contributions to our company’s success, and has demonstrated exceptional leadership in both day-to-day operations and forward-thinking innovation when we needed it most,” said Conal Byrne, CEO of iHeart Digital Group. “I’m thrilled to see him step into a new role and bring his skills and expertise to help us continue to build and grow during an exciting time in the industry. He has an incredible range of experience and adding more facets of the business to his purview puts us in an even better position to expand our reach and scale.”
Over the past 35 years, Zellner has worked with over 100 markets across the country specializing in ratings and revenue growth through brand development, strategic and financial planning and the coaching and mentoring of talent. He has been with iHeartMedia for over 13 years. Prior to joining iHeart as Senior Vice President of Programming in 2009, Zellner spent five years as Executive Vice President of Programming for Sirius XM, where he oversaw 100+ music and entertainment channels and helped grow the subscriber base from one million to over 20 million. His background also includes nine years as Vice President of CHR and Hot AC programming for CBS Radio in Boston and Kansas City and he served as a Program Director, Operations Manager and on-air talent in many other markets across the U.S.
In addition to recently being named Senior Programmer of the Year at the Worldwide Radio Summit, Zellner has been recognized by Billboard, Radio Ink, FMQB and many other industry publications as Operations Manager and Program Director of the Year. He has served on the Board of Governors for the Children’s Miracle Network and the faculty for the Conclave, the HD Radio Leadership Team and the National Talent Radio System. Zellner is a graduate of Ohio University.
“iHeartMedia continues to lead the way in the creation and distribution of compelling audio content,” said Zellner. “I’m excited about where the company is headed and continue to be inspired by the talented people I have the privilege of working with every day. The synergistic opportunities between iHeart’s national programming for broadcast and our digital programming and playlists on the iHeartRadio app are extraordinary. I value being part of this great team and look forward to seeing all we can accomplish together in the future.”