Ed Christian, MAB Hall of Famer, Re-Upped by Saga
According to All Access Music Group, Saga Communications has signed Chairman/Pres./CEO Ed Christian, MAB Hall of Famer, to a new five-year contract extension.
A Michigan native, Ed Christian worked his way through college and earned his bachelor’s degree in mass communications in 1973 at Wayne and his masters’ degree in Management in 1981 from CMU. Ed’s calling was to a career in radio, which began in 1958, at age 14, and hasn’t stopped since.
His first job as a young teen was running the control board at several FM radio stations here in Detroit. Then, while studying at Michigan State University, he worked as a radio reporter at several Lansing radio stations. In 1966, when he realized he’d reached the top of his game as on-air talent, he moved into radio sales at WCAR-AM/FM, in Detroit.
In 1971 Ed joined the ranks of station owner by partnering in the purchase of WCER-AM/FM, in Charlotte, Mich. In 1974 he was he was brought in as vice president and general manager to save the floundering WNIC AM/FM, which was in deep financial trouble. With $100,000 in cash to operate the station he cut staff, paid bills and changed the radio format to “Detroit’s Nicest Rock,” and within three months the station was profitable again. In 1986 then parent company of WNIC, Josephson Communications, decided to sell its radio division. Ed found a venture capital partner and bought eight radio stations in the group and Saga Communications was born. And the company has been steadily acquiring broadcast properties ever since.
In 2009, Ed was honored with the National Association of Broadcasters’ National Radio Award for his service as a national leader for radio and his passion for public service. In 2012, Ed was also honored with the Michigan Association of Broadcasters’ Lifetime Achievement Award. The broadcast publication Radio Ink has called Ed one of the most influential radio executives in the United States. Saga has been regularly elected to the highly selective Forbes’ list of the 200 Best Small Companies in America.
Ed’s heritage is Icelandic and he serves as Honorary Consul of Iceland for Michigan, Ohio and Indiana. In this position he promotes tourism, commerce and industry between Iceland and the U.S.