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Radio Company Entercom Turns the Dial to New GC Andrew Sutor
Don't touch that dial: starting in January, Andrew Sutor will sign on as general counsel at Entercom Communications Corp, one of the five largest radio broadcasting companies in the U.S.
Sutor has served as in-house counsel at the Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania-based corporation since 2002, one of four attorneys reporting to longtime general counsel John (Jack) Donlevie. The GC will step down from his current post in the new year, and plans to retire from Entercom in 2015.
With more than 100 stations in 23 marketsincluding Boston, New Orleans, and SeattleSutor tells CorpCounsel.com that Entercom's core strengths remain its station brands, personalities, and "engaging, compelling" content. And the company's embrace of digital assets has transformed Entercom's business model over the last decade.
"When I started, it was all about selling 60-second [ad] spots on the air," he says. "We've transformed the company into a leading local-marketing solutions company."
Sutor arrived at Entercom from Saul Ewing in Philadelphia. As an associate in the firm's business law department, he knew he wanted to go in-house and volunteered for assignments he thought would put him on that pathlike setting up a broker-dealer, working on aircraft financing, and preparing regulatory filings.
Once in the door at Entercom, Sutor took the same approach to expanding his horizons, diving into the legal work on the nascent digital side of the business. So while he has handled station acquisitions, credit facilities, and sports rights agreements, Sutor has also honed his skills in areas such as licensing agreements to allow for audio streaming and agreements with mobile app developers.
In other words, radio isn't going the way of "newspapers and the yellow pages," according to Sutor. In fact, he says, "radio is thriving."
And just recently, Entercom, like radio powerhouse Clear Channel, inked a royalties deal with Big Machine Label Groupwhose roster includes country and pop hitmakers such as Taylor Swift, Tim McGraw, and Rascal Flatts. Sutor sees it as model for how record companies and broadcasters can meet up and do business together. "I'm excited to see where we go from here," Sutor says, adding that such deals are part of the game plan set at the top of Entercom: "David Field is a forward-looking CEO."
Field took over the Entercom helm from his father, Joseph, a tax attorney who became fascinated by the possibilities of FM radio in the 1960s and founded the company in 1968.
Both Field and Sutor have high praise for departing GC Donlevie, who has spent nearly three decades with the broadcasting concern. "Entercom wouldn't be the company it is today without the wisdom and hard work of Jack Donlevie," Field said in a statement, adding: "We will miss his thoughtful and invaluable counsel, his unimpeachable integrity, his can-do spirit, his fundamental decency, and his tireless and devoted work ethic."
Sutor adds personal praise for Donlevie, noting that his boss allowed him to grow as an attorney. "He was a really good mentor," Sutor says. "He allowed me to have the opportunity to work with top-level management on significant projects."