Friedman named VP of Internet Initiatives for Merlin Media

Merlin Media has appointed Andy Friedman to be its VP of internet initiatives. Yesterday, GTCR announced it had agreed to buy majority stakes in three radio stations from Emmis Communications. Merlin was formed to buy and operate those radio stations. Most recently, Friedman was VP of Interactive Content at Tribune.

PRESS RELEASE

Merlin Media announced today the appointment of accomplished media content leader, Andy Friedman, as Vice President of Internet Initiatives.

Merlin Media was formed to acquire and operate radio stations through a partnership between Chicago-based private equity firm GTCR and Emmis Communications, a diversified media company focused on radio broadcasting. With GTCR’s resources and Emmis Communications’ expertise in radio operations, the company begins with a base of three stations – two in Chicago and one in New York – and seeks to develop a network of radio stations across the country.

“Andy has better insight than anyone into how traditional media should use the web,” said Randy Michaels, Chairman and CEO of Merlin Media. “I’ve worked with Andy at three companies and now, at Merlin Media, he will be in an ideal environment to put all of that knowledge to excellent use.  We are a multimedia company where an interactive, one-to-one web and mobile experience is critical to success.  Andy is one of the best guys in America to bring it all together.”

“It is truly exciting to be teamed with Randy once again,” said Friedman. “Merlin Media has a tremendous amount of potential to make an impact on the industry backed by the skilled talent being brought on board. We will bring the latest in media, broadcast radio and business savvy to the table in a way that will push the boundaries of the industry in new and creative ways.”

Friedman offers over 20 years of experience in the radio and interactive media fields, having held executive positions at the Tribune Company and Clear Channel Communications. Most recently, Friedman was VP of Interactive Content at Tribune, where he was responsible for overseeing all broadcasting websites’ content strategy, terrestrial integration, and operations, as well as growing syndicated content page views 400% in one year. Prior to this, Friedman had an extensive 8-year tenure as VP of Online News, Talk, and Sports at Clear Channel where he oversaw national online informational content and the on-air news network, while helping grow online audience by 90% in one year for 225 informational websites. Friedman received his BA from UC Berkley and his MBA in Marketing from The University of Southern California. He was also a reporter for KFI AM in Los Angeles, where he covered the O.J. Simpson trial.

About Merlin Media LLC:

Merlin Media LLC was formed in June, 2011 by leading private equity firm GTCR in partnership with Emmis Communications (NasdaqGS: EMMS), a diversified media company, and Randy Michaels for the purpose of acquiring and operating media assets. Merlin Media has signed definitive documentation with Emmis Communications to purchase WKQX-FM (101.1 MHz, Chicago, IL), WLUP-FM (97.9 MHz, Chicago, IL) and WRXP-FM (101.9 MHz, New York, NY).