[Updated]: Cumulus Names Mary G. Berner As CEO; McVay Takes Over For John Dickey


[Updated]: EVP of Content & Programming John Dickey has exited Cumulus. Mike McVay is taking over all responsibilities from Dickey, under the title VP of Programming, according to Radio Ink.

[Original post, Sept. 29, 2015 at 3:39 p.m.]:

Mary G. Berner has been named Chief Executive Officer of Cumulus Media Inc., effective Oct. 13, 2015. She will succeed Lew Dickey, the company’s founder and CEO who has decided to serve as Vice Chairman and will continue as a director of the company.

Berner was most recently President and CEO of the Association of Magazine Media (MPA). She served as CEO of Readers Digest Association from 2007-2011, and before that was CEO of Fairchild Publications. During her career, she has led brands including Glamour, TV Guide, W, Women’s Wear Daily, Allrecipes.com, and Every Day with Rachel Ray.

Jeffrey Marcus, Chairman of the Board of Cumulus Media, Inc. and a Partner at Crestview Partners, said, “We are delighted that Mary has agreed to serve as our new CEO. Mary is a proven executive, with over 30 years of experience in media driving results in multi-platform advertising and content driven businesses. Not only has she successfully built and transformed some of the best-known consumer and b2b media brands and companies in the world, she has demonstrated an ability to turn around a company’s performance and build value for shareholders.

“Under Lew Dickey’s leadership, the Cumulus team has built a formidable national and local footprint, becoming the second largest operator of radio stations in the country, with more than 460 stations across 90 markets, approximately 8,500 broadcast radio affiliates and numerous digital channels serving over 225 million listeners nationwide. However, maximizing the value of these assets requires making them work together effectively and efficiently. At a time when the media landscape continues to undergo seismic transformation, Cumulus needs a broad based media operator who can leverage its outstanding resources – from its core strength in radio to its growing presence in digital, experiential and other emerging platforms – and capitalize on the industry’s strong fundamentals. The board has had the benefit of seeing Mary in action and is fully confident that she is the right leader for Cumulus,” Marcus added.

Berner stated, “I am honored to have been asked to lead Cumulus Media and am eager to work with the board and the company’s talented teams to implement Lew’s vision of building the next generation multi-platform media company. As the director who led the Operations Review Task Force established by the board, I have insight into the issues that Cumulus faces, but I also know the operational leverage that can be generated by first focusing on execution. Radio is a powerful and unique medium – the number one mass reach medium in the U.S. – and Cumulus possesses all of the elements to be one of the industry’s winners. I look forward to bringing a renewed focus on operating excellence at all levels and in all functions to help Cumulus realize its potential and generate improved financial performance and increased value for shareholders.”


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Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at [email protected]

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