Zach who? If you’re not an obsessive consumer of teen celebrity news gossip, or a regular viewer of Nickelodeon, you’re probably not familiar with Sang, an enterprising 19-year-old Internet radio host and television personality hoping to come soon to a terrestrial dial near you.
On July 9, he kicks off Zach Sang and the Gang, a Top 40 and pop culture talk show airing online between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET Mondays through Fridays from the historic CBS Broadcast Center in Manhattan.
“We’re a different show. We’re much younger than what’s already out there,” said Sang. “[I’m] everybody’s best friend.”
In addition to online distributor TuneIn—which lets listeners stream live radio to computers and mobile devices—Sang has partnered with programming company WYD Media and broadcast syndicator Dial Global to lure sponsors and bring the new show to broadcast affiliates nationwide, aiming to attract the 12-34 demo in a time slot that’s also occupied by personalities like gossipmonger Perez Hilton.
Terrestrial radio would be a first for Sang, a proactive networker and ambitious kid who launched his first online radio show from his bedroom at age 14.
Now, his reel includes clips featuring him chatting with a constellation of teen phenoms like One Direction, Nick Jonas and Selena Gomez. He’s worked as a celebrity gossip columnist for tween magazine J-14. Last fall, he landed a gig as an on-camera personality for Nick.com. And some of his work for Nickelodeon’s “Orange Carpet” movie coverage—like recent spots with Ben Stiller, Chris Rock and Jada Pinkett Smith promoting Madagascar 3—has been finding its way onto the channel’s airwaves.
“Because he’s a kid, he really has his finger on the pulse of what’s going on in a kid’s life,” said Jay Schmalholz, svp, creative director of Nickelodeon on-air. “For us as a brand, that’s exactly what we’re trying to bring for our audience.”
A young talent who gets his start in radio and branches into other media is something of a familiar narrative, a fact not lost on Sang.
“I don’t know if I want to be Ryan [Seacrest] per se, but I really do want to be a personality that he would be proud of,” he said.
At the same time, listeners might also catch PG-rated echoes of a notorious shock jock in his broadcasts.
“I love Howard Stern,” Sang said, when asked to name other role models. “He is fantastic.”