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Chris Kinard Enjoying the Best of Both Worlds as New Format VP of Audacy Sports

Life is good for Chris Kinard.

Already the Vice President of Programming and Cluster Operations for Audacy in Washington DC, Kinard added a new title to his resume on June 21st when he was named Audacy’s Sports Format Vice President. 

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He will continue his day-to-day duties with the DC cluster of Audacy radio stations, but now he’ll lead brand and format strategy for Audacy’s sports portfolio.

“I’m so excited,” said Kinard.  “There’s no better learning opportunity than to learn from our other company’s brand managers.  The sports format within Audacy is home to the most talented brand managers, the most talented hosts, content creators and producers so the opportunity to learn from them across the entire country and to work with them on a daily basis is a dream come true.”

While Kinard will be spending a lot of time talking shop with brand managers from all of Audacy’s brand managers around the country, he’ll continue to be based in Washington DC operating stations like 106.7 The Fan.  But, staying in our nation’s capital means more to Kinard that just his job.

His family is there so continuing to plant roots in DC was very important to him.

“My parents still live in Washington,” said Kinard.  “I’ve got two brothers that both live in the Washington DC area.  I have a son that I would not want to move to another market at this point in his life.  For me, staying in Washington, at least for the next several years is something that I want to do and is very important to me.” 

Kinard has spent his entire career working for one radio group and that’s not about to change anytime soon.  For the last 26 ½ years, he’s been employed by the same company which is now Audacy so it’s been home…and home is where the heart is.

“I’ve been incredibly lucky in my career to be with one station group,” said Kinard. “It’s pretty crazy.  I love what I get to do on a day-to-day basis.”

Kinard certainly knows what works and what does not work in DC but now he’ll be communicating with the brand managers from all of Audacy’s sports radio stations about the company’s general philosophy.  There are a lot of common denominators that can make a sports radio station successful in any market but there are also things that can differentiate one market from another.

Kinard believes in consistency across the brand but there is also the challenge to be unique in each market. 

“Sports radio needs to be entertaining, fun and interesting,” said Kinard.  “Hosts need to be opinionated and informative.  Then you get into how do we do that?  That’s where the different flavors come.  There is no one size fits all.  Every market is different.”

To the point of every market being different, every fan base is different as well.  Even within a market, one set of fans can be different than others.  Adapting to those variations of fan bases and markets is key to the continued success of the Audacy sports format.

“That’s where the challenges come in,” said Kinard.  “That’s where you need to really think about the different challenges and the unique circumstances in each market and each competitive situation.”

At the end of the day, Kinard, along with everyone else in the company, are all interested in the same thing.  They want their shows to be fun to listen to, interesting, entertaining and informative.

Kinard is able to hit the ground running in his new role because he is already surrounded by extremely talented teammates.

“We have the best hosts in the business and the best minds in sports media so I think we have a great track record of delivering that for our audiences,” said Kinard.

Kinard already had a lot on his plate operating the DC cluster of stations, but now his to-do list has expanded with the addition of his new role in charge of Audacy’s sports format.  A couple of weeks in, Kinard is focused on the task at hand and has been in contact with many of the brand managers with plans to talk to the rest in the very near future.

“Everyone knows what a great team we have, that we all already kind of lean on each other and that’s a great culture,” said Kinard.

It’s a winning culture that Chris Kinard has been a part of for over a quarter of a century.  With additional responsibilities and the ability to stay at home in DC, that’s not about to change anytime soon.

Peter Schwartz
Peter Schwartz
Peter Schwartz writes weekly sports radio features for Barrett Media. He has been involved in New York sports media for over three decades, and has worked for notable brands such as WFAN, CBS Sports Radio, WCBS 880, ESPN New York, and FOX News Radio. Peter has also served as play by play announcer for the New Yok Riptide, New York Dragons, New York Hitmen, Varsity Media and the Long Island Sports Network. You can find him on Twitter @SchwartzSports or email him at [email protected].


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