Radio Vet for AOL President?

By @NY Staff

Radio industry veteran Jimmy de Castro is said to be talks to join the nation’s largest Internet service provider America Online as president, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The newspaper, citing people familiar with the negotiations, said de Castro was talking about taking over the slot vacated by Jonathan Sacks, who announced in February he would retire.

“I have been talking with them about delivering a radio product with them,” de Castro told the newspaper.

The report could signal another attempt by AOL, a unit of AOL Time Warner Inc. to bring traditional media veterans on board to help the company’s struggling divisions.

Since the merger of the AOL and Time Warner, traditional media vets such as Kevin Conroy of music conglomerate BMG, and Robert Friedman of New Line Cinema, the film unit, have joined AOL-TW to help with the music channel and advertising efforts respectively.

With 20 years in the radio business under his belt, de Castro is well known in the radio industry. He recently left Clear Channel Communications Inc. to dabble in other business ventures. Although he is not considered experienced in Internet-related businesses, de Castro could contribute his years of experience in marketing to consumers in a mass medium, the report said.

A spokesperson told the Journal no announcement was pending and had no further comment. A call to an AOL spokesman for comment was not returned by press time.

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