Former Westwood One CEO Launches Radio Net

A new radio network, Compass Media Networks opened its doors for business Thursday (March 5). Founded by Peter Kosann, the former president and CEO of Westwood One and the current COO of radio group Connoisseur Media, CMN launched with two products, Free Beer & Hot Wings, a daily morning show; and Download HD, an audio imaging and production service that was formerly affiliated with Westwood One.

Free Beer & Hot Wings, a five-hour morning show broadcast from WGRD-FM in Grand Rapids, was originally syndicated by Regent Communications on four of its stations in Albany, N.Y., Flint, Mich. and St. Cloud, Minn. The program now airs on 17 stations.

Within the past 30 days, Compass has signed new affiliation agreements with Big League Broadcasting, Connoisseur Media, Great Eastern Radio, Genesis Communications, Maverick Media, MT Wilson Broadcasting and Rose City Radio, for a total 160 radio station affiliates.

“This is a homecoming for us, as we had the pleasure of working with Peter during his tenure as CEO at Westwood One when we debuted our service two years ago,” said Mike Lee, president of HD/FX and co-founder of Download HD. “We jumped at the opportunity to work with Peter again.”

Kosann, whose noncompete with Westwood ended in January, said he’s not looking to compete with the big networks, yet. “We’re not focused on size. We’re focused on quality. Everything else will take care of itself,” Kosann said.

Meanwhile, Kosann and his new network are on the hunt for new programming and services. “There is clearly a need for cost effective and unique programming which jumps off the radio dial.”