iHeartMedia has hired veteran programmer Michael Saunders in the dual role of PD of Urban KQBT (93.7 The Beat)/Houston and Urban Brand Coordinator for iHeartMedia’s National Programming Group. Saunders joins iHeartMedia Houston from Cox Media Group Urban WCFB (Star 94.7)/Orlando, where he has been Program Director for the past five years. “Michael is a proven leader who will bring incredible results to iHeartMedia,” said Marc Sherman, Region SVP of Programming for iHeartMedia Houston. “We are excited to bring a programmer of his caliber to Houston and are eager to make history as we transition to this exciting new chapter of The Beat.”
The new gig marks a return to the iHeartMedia family for Saunders, who previously served as VP of Programming for iHeartMedia Detroit and PD of iHeartMedia Urban WWPR (Power 105.1)/New York. His extensive background also includes stops as Operations Manager for CBS Radio’s Washington, DC market, PD of WJHM (102 Jamz)/Orlando, VP of Client Services for the Left Bank Organization in Los Angeles and OM/PD of WPEG, WBAV and WGIV-AM/Charlotte. He began his radio career at WGCD-AM in his hometown of Chester, SC.
Commenting on his new adventure, Saunders said, “I’m thrilled to be returning to iHeartMedia to work with the Urban Brand Management Team and the amazing talent and staff in Houston. In less than three years, The Beat has become Houston’s premiere destination for Hip Hop and R&B and they are a prime example of iHeartMedia’s unparalleled reach with Urban music audiences. I can’t wait to help The Beat and all of iHeartMedia’s Urban stations continue to grow and serve millions of listeners.”