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Lee Abrams      

XM radio founder

Recently, The Chief Innovation Officer at the Tribune Company, Lee Abrams is responsible for helping reinvent scores of Tribune TV stations, Cable channels, and newspapers as well as to help create a new and modern innovation focused culture. While at Tribune, Abrams re-named and re branded cable station WGN-AMERICA, re-structured and energized the creative departments for the TV group, oversaw the redesigning and restructuring of newspapers including The Chicago Tribune, The Baltimore Sun and The Orlando Sentinel. A dramatically different TV Morning Show and PM News concept were created and built by Abrams and were in development at the time of his departure and scheduled to launch in early 2011. Prior to 2008, Abrams was XM?s Chief Programming Officer. Abrams joined XM as the first employee in June 1998 to create satellite radio, designing the programming and overseeing and training a staff with the mandate to re-invent the sound of radio. With 150 stations to develop and program, Abrams was once again challenged to reinvigorate the radio landscape. Lee Abrams, has been shaping the American radio industry for over three decades. During the past 40 years, he has brought unparalleled ratings and economic success to radio stations in over 400 markets, including 97 of the top 100. In 1993, Newsweek listed Abrams as one of America?s ?100 Cultural Elite? for his contributions to creating the modern radio; and Radio Ink listed Abrams as one of the 75 most important radio figures of all time. In 1989, Abrams joined ABC Radio Networks as an internal consultant and oversaw the revolutionary Z-Rock format, which was the first satellite delivered Superstation, as well as being the first ?Active Rock? format, and was instrumental in the launch of Radio Disney. While at Satellite Music Network (Now ABC), Abrams oversaw the satellite delivered programming to over 1,000 stations. As a founding partner of Burkhart/Abrams, the Atlanta-based consulting giant, Abrams invented and built Album Rock, the first successful FM format. He also designed numerous other highly successful radio formats including the first Classic Rock format at San Francisco?s KFOG; the first FM Urban/Dance format at New York?s WKTU, the first New Adult Contemporary format among others. In addition, he created the original blueprint for the NBC Source Radio Network. His corporate clients have included every major broadcast group. Musically, Abrams produced the Grammy-winning CD ?Ah Via Musicom? by Eric Johnson, has appeared on several Alan Parsons Project CD?s, and worked with major labels and recording artists as a consultant and label head. Among his clients have been great industry leaders, such as The Moody Blues, Yes, Asia, Iron Maiden, Bob Seger, Island Records and EMI Records. Abrams? other media projects have included the redesign of Rolling Stone magazine, the launch of TNT Cable Network, MTV, American marketing consultant to Swatch, Disney and advisor to dozens of entertainment companies. In addition, Abrams has been the subject of feature articles in hundreds of consumer publications including Playboy, Esquire, New York Times, People, and The Wall Street Journal, and appeared as a guest on "The Apprentice" series with Donald Trump. While at XM, Abrams was responsible for creating and bringing timeless icons such as Bob Dylan, Quincy Jones, BB King, Wynton Marsalis, Willie Nelson, Snoop Dogg, Tom Petty and others into the XM fold to create passionate original programming. Abrams is recognized as the leader in re-inventing traditional media and marketing and is a frequent speaker and college lecturer. Recently Abrams created and hosted the "SkyDives" series, sponsored by Geico and Priceline.com on cable superstation WGN AMERICA reaching 72 million homes. At 58, Abrams resides in Chicago and is a Commercial and Instrument rated pilot. Stay tuned for Act 4 as Lee transforms News delivery for the 21st Century!


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Lee Abrams' Next Project: A News Network on All Platforms

Lee Abrams left Tribune amid a serious uproar less than three years ago, but the radio entrepreneur is back—with a project that is perhaps the most ambitious ...

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