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Radio veteran Morgan jumps to Emmis from IMS

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Long-time radio veteran Charlie Morgan is leaving his post heading up broadcasting for Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Indy Racing League to lead Emmis Communications Corp. radio stations in Indianapolis. He takes his new post Sept. 14.

Before joining IMS Productions and Radio Network, Morgan, 48, was market manager for Georgia-based Cumulus’ Indianapolis radio cluster. He was fired by Cumulus and replaced in September, 2007, by former Clear Channel market manager Chris Wheat.

Morgan worked for Cumulus — and Susquehanna until its acquisition by Cumulus — for 22 years in duties including on-air personality, program director, operations manager and market manager for Indianapolis stations WFMS-FM 95.5, WJJK-FM 104.5 and WISG-FM 93.9 from 2000-07.

Emmis has been looking for a new market manager since Tom Severino died of cancer at age 57 in early July.

“Charlie is widely regarded as one of the best managers in radio and we are excited to welcome him back to the Indianapolis radio scene,” Patrick Walsh, Emmis chief operation officer and chief financial officer, said in a statement. “Charlie’s leadership, experience and management style is perfectly suited for Emmis Indianapolis. We respected Charlie as a competitor, enjoyed working closely with him as a partner during his tenure at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and can’t wait for him to begin leading our Indianapolis radio stations.”

Morgan said in a statement, “I’ve long admired the Emmis radio stations and team that Tom Severino and Jeff Smulyan built. Radio has been my life's passion and I'm excited to join a culture and team at Emmis Indianapolis that shares my enthusiasm for radio's future. Emmis is blessed with four great radio stations in Indianapolis and I look forward to working with the team to help these stations grow and prosper as the economy begins to rebound.”

Morgan’s departure comes at a time of change for the Speedway and IRL. In June the board, which included four of his own family members, ousted Tony George from his longtime position as chairman as the IRL continued to struggle to turn a profit. George was replaced by Jeff Belskus, who said he is still putting together a new leadership team.

In July, IMS President and Chief Operating Officer Joie Chitwood resigned to take a job with International Speedway Corp., a NASCAR-affiliated track owner. Belskus decided not to replace Chitwood, and sources close to the IMS and IRL say there is trepidation among Speedway and IRL employees about what Belskus will do concerning other staffing decisions.

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