Lee Abrams will become the Tribune Cos. Chief Innovation Officer, the Company announced today. Abrams, 55, was Senior Vice President and Chief Creative Officer at XM Satellite Radio since 1998. He'll be returning to Chicago, a place described as his home by the Washington Post.
"Abrams is a legend in the radio industry, credited with inventing the 'album-oriented rock' format on FM. He was one of the planners of the notorious "Disco Demolition Night" between games of a 1979 doubleheader involving the White Sox and Detroit Tigers at Chicago's Comisky Park that resulted in an on-field riot and a White Sox forfeit," a Washington Post report by Frank Ahrens said.
Abrams told the Post his departure from XM was not related to the pending merger of XM with rival Sirius.
"(Abrams) invented the modern FM radio format, got satellite radio off the ground when no one gave it a chance, and managed to advise on the redesign of "Rolling Stone" magazine and the launch of TNT Cable Network in his spare time," Tribune President of Broadcasting Randy Michaels said.
The Post notes "Abrams also has been blamed for radio's demise as one of the fathers of consultant-generated playlists, which critics say homogenized stations across the country."