Kevin LeGrett is the President of iHeartMedia Market Group’s Southwest Division, where he oversees programming, sales, partnerships, and operations for all radio station brands in the Los Angeles, San Diego/Riverside, Arizona, Red River, Houston, Dallas, and Austin/San Antonio Regions. LeGrett is also a 2018 Radio Wayne finalist.
A close associate of LeGrett tells Radio Ink “Kevin is a dynamic, versatile, and innovative communicator and negotiator with particular success in revitalizing underperforming media operations, developing and motivating winning teams, and providing the leadership to consistently outperform the market. He is highly effective at interfacing with all constituent groups in support of business objectives. He’s a well-respected member of the industry due to operations expertise, pioneering vision, and a relentless commitment to excellence in all pursuits.”
LeGrett has been in radio for 24 years and says it’s felt like four years as time moves so fast. He started with iHeartMedia in 2010 as Senior Vice President of Operations for the iHeartMedia Rochester Region, where he oversaw operations for over 220 radio stations across 46 markets in the Northeast and Midwest, as well as the company’s political advertising initiatives.
Here is our extended interview with iHeartmedia’s Kevin LeGrett, who will also be featured in a special Radio Wayne pullout section in our September 17 issue, which will be distributed at the advertiser breakfast during the upcoming Radio Show.
Radio Ink: Why did you choose radio as a career?
Kevin LeGrett: Radio chose me. I started as an intern my senior year in college and caught the amazing radio bug. The opportunity to work with so many wonderful people and see their development has been a true joy.
Radio Ink: What is the key to managing multiple stations today?
Kevin LeGrett: Balance and perspective. The ability to balance all of the things that come at you over the course of a day. I always talk about the importance of having a plan. In this business, you can have the best laid plans but at 7 a.m. it can be blown up due to an immediate issue. I have always found that exhilarating. The perspective side is the ability to see situations from multiple perspectives. Whether with a client, co-worker, personality, or corporate team member it’s always important to truly try and understand the why behind something that was done, said, or is being done to offer true value.
Radio Ink: What is the key to successfully managing so many people?
Kevin LeGrett: It’s important to understand those who report directly to you and what their strengths and weaknesses are, then give them the freedom to manage those who report to them. At the same time, I believe in a flat organization where my door is open to ensure the whole team feels comfortable to reach out when I’m needed. Definitely lead with a trust-but-verify approach where I ask a lot of questions but in many instances it’s for me to truly understand the why!
Radio Ink: What motivates you to walk into your radio station every day?
Kevin LeGrett: The challenge… every day is different and, frankly, fun. If you have a great team that is eager to learn, grow, and work in a challenging and complex environment, how can you not be stimulated? I often say I’d rather burn out than rust out. This industry makes you sharpen your skill set and evolve each year, quarter, and month!
Radio Ink: What are your top three challenges and how are you overcoming them?
1. Next generation of leaders and recruitment of sales and on-air talent – whether on-air or in leadership positions the lack of depth on the next superstars is scary to me. It keeps me up at night.
2. Changing the perception of audio and the role radio plays in it.
3. Continuing to foster a culture that rewards hard work and performance.
Radio Ink: How do you educate yourself so you are always on top of your game?
Kevin LeGrett: I am always reading relevant material to my field and learn from my colleagues about best practices. We are very fortunate at iHeartMedia that, from Bob Pittman to Rich Bressler to Greg Ashlock, we have leaders who constantly challenge you to get better and never feel comfortable with where you are. I love that environment as each of us either have to “get busy living or get busy dying” (love that quote form Tim Robbins in The Shawshank Redemption).
Radio Ink: Tell us what’s made you the proudest about the people and stations you’ve lead over the last year.
Kevin LeGrett: Relationships I have built. Here in Los Angeles, I have been fortunate to work with some of the best people in the world! The growth we have had here has been impressive from a ratings, revenue, and cash flow view.
Extremely proud of launching The Woody Show in syndication (22 affiliate markets to date), watching all the hard work from Valentine in the Morning pay off as they have been #1 in LA for over a year. Being part of the development and tremendous growth of the only female-lead AM show in a top-market — Ellen K. in mornings on KOST has been amazing. Working with the legendary Bill Handel on KFI and seeing his show evolve has been fun. Laughing and partnering with the voice of LA Big Boy is always fast-paced but now having him on Fuse TV Network daily is an additional touch-point for his loyal followers. And, obviously, working with Ryan Seacrest is tremendous as his hard work and focus are contagious.
Reach out to Kevin to congratulate him on being named a 2018 Radio Ink Radio Wayne finalist at [email protected]