The CRN Story

CRN to Mark its 30th Year with Special Programming, an Online Magazine and by Hosting the Inaugural ‘Food and Wine Awards’

They say time flies, but when you are face to face with a milestone anniversary, you realize, it really does.  CRN Digital Talk Radio is proud to be celebrating its 30thanniversary in 2013.  The crew at CRN loves a good party, so we are planning on celebrating our 30th all year long.  To kick things off, CRN has launched our all-new online magazine, “CRN Digital Mag.” In April (our official anniversary month), CRN will be launching a few new programming initiatives, including a two-hour anniversary broadcast and tributes to the talent, past and present that make CRN great.  In October, we will expand our What’s Cookin’ brand with our first annual Food and Wine Awards.

During a successful career in LA radio at stations like KROQ, KFI and KRLA, our President and CEO, Michael Horn was hit with an idea. Horn saw a trade publication article about how Los Angeles rock station KMET-FM was garnering a 7 share in the Phoenix, Ariz. market. It turned out that the station was sending its audio into a dedicated channel with cable providers in that market.  Radio broadcast on cable TV, could it work?  In 1983, with a little seed money and lots of enthusiasm, CRN came into being as Cable Radio Network.

“I thought that it was a great idea to try to bring radio to television and give cable subscribers the interactive and cutting edge programming that only radio can offer,” Horn said.

Soon, CRN was serving a number of Los Angeles-area cable companies who saw the value of radio programming on their cable lineup. Today, CRN is available on scores of cable and telecommunications providers across the country.

But that wasn’t enough for Horn.  During the 2000’s, the radio industry saw a lot of consolidation, jobs were lost, local programming was replaced with a few shows available via syndication.  Radio’s creativity seemed to be dwindling.

Horn’s love of radio, drove him to reformat CRN.  The first step, launching six additional channels of talk radio programming to compliment the prospering CRN 1.  The second step, sign deals to distribute some of the best talent in talk radio to our network of 11 million cable households nationally.  Talent that was making radio great, but that couldn’t be found in every market.  Talent like Thom Hartmann, Dennis Prager, Michael Medved, Mancow, Rusty Humphries and Doug Stephan.  Third, CRN began developing niche original programming like What’s Cookin’ Today, The Fred Dryer Show, The Robert Conrad Show and The Larry Manetti show.  The idea, to create compelling content and distribute it to multiple platforms like cable and satellite television, broadcast radio, mobile applications, etc.

Today CRN offers over 100 talk shows as part of our lineup which includes entertainment talk, conservative talk, progressive talk, sports, food, wine, travel and much more!

It’s been an exciting 30 years.  Three decades filled with innovation, creativity, many wins and a few loses.  All leading up to the CRN you know today.  Now, it’s time to celebrate.  Put on your party hat and join us!

As you can see, our quarterly CRN Digital Mag features behind the scenes access to your favorite talk radio personalities, expanded coverage of featured show topics, profiles, recipes, do it yourself projects and so much more!  You can expect to see your next issue in your inbox in April 2013.

In April, CRN will began producing a series of interstitials featuring past and current personalities recalling memorable moments from CRN’s past, which included programs featuring the legendary newsman George Putnam, talk radio pioneer Barry Farber and scores of other top radio personalities.

Capping the year-long celebration will be the CRN Food and Wine Awards, scheduled for the fall which will honor the country’s top eateries as well as the best wineries and winemakers.

The awards will be held in October with the winners selected by a tabulation of listener votes which will be compiled via online voting later this year. The awards will feature celebrities, CRN personalities and a who’s-who of top chefs, restaurateurs, winemakers, sommeliers and other VIPs.

Prepare to get a blast from the past on the CRN webpage,  CRN will feature classic photos and articles recalling its past as well as a message inviting listeners to share their memories of classic moments from its shows.

“We’ve come a long way since we started,” Horn said. “This will be truly a year to celebrate for us and our listeners as we go back in time to celebrate CRN and the great people who have contributed so much to our success,’ Horn said.