Nicholas J. Verbitsky
Nicholas J. Verbitsky has been involved in the network radio industry for over 30 years. With partner Dick Clark, Verbitsky founded United Stations, which grew into one of the largest suppliers of long-form music programming in the country. In 1985, under Verbitsky's direction, United Stations acquired the RKO Radio Networks and was renamed the United Stations Radio Networks. The company supplied news and sports, as well as music programming, to America's radio stations. In 1989, United Stations merged with Transtar Radio Networks to form Unistar Communications Group. Verbitsky was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the newly formed company. Unistar was sold to Westwood One in 1993. One year later, Verbitsky and Clark recreated United Stations Radio Networks. That company has grown and is now America’s largest and most influential independently owned radio network in the U.S.
Chairman and CEO
James M. Higgins
Jim Higgins has been in the network radio business for 33 years. Prior to joining USRN in September of 1995, Higgins was Senior Vice-President of Sales for the Westwood One Radio Networks. Higgins began his career as head of the market research department at RCA Records in New York. Higgins moved on to account management, spending four years at two major N.Y. based advertising agencies. Higgins then joined the Verbitsky/Clark team at United Stations/Unistar, where he was directly responsible for national sales. Higgins continued to oversee $130 million of sales at Westwood One and was the driving force behind the network reconfiguration into format specific targeted networks.
President and COO
Carl "Charlie" Colombo has also been involved in the radio industry for decades. Much of that time has been spent at the top management level of the radio representation field. Immediately prior to joining USRN in 1993, Colombo served six years as the President of Banner Radio. In the three years prior to that, he was President of Blair Radio. In the course of his career, Colombo has also been President of Cristal Radio and Executive Vice-President of Eastman Radio. At both those companies, Colombo was directly involved with the Wall Street Journal Reports, CNN Radio and London Wavelength. Colombo now oversees USRN's national Affiliate Relations group, which include offices in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas and Washington, D.C.
Executive Vice President
Andy Denemark has been in radio programming for most of his career, which actually started at Ithaca's WVBR while he was attending Cornell University. Denemark later joined DIR Broadcasting, where he rose to the rank of Director of Station relations. In 1980, Denemark joined NBC Radio Networks in affiliate relations. Denemark held a number of executive positions at that company until it was acquired by Westwood One in 1987. Denemark remained with Westwood, and served as Director of Programming until he joined USRN in 1994 where he oversees the program development, production and distribution of the company’s content.
Executive Vice President - Programming
Rich Baum, a Chicago native, joined United Stations in 1996 as Vice President, Midwest Sales. His career has included stints in New York City and Chicago with Westwood One in addition to running their Southwest office. With over a decade of ad sales experience, Baum quickly grew United Stations client business in the Midwest region and was promoted in 2006 to Executive Vice President of Sales. As Executive Vice President, Rich oversees the marketing and selling of the radio network's daily services and tremendous inventory of entertainment, comedy, sports/news/talk properties to advertisers and agencies.
Executive Vice President - Sales
Susan Moore has nearly 30 years of experience supporting national radio sales efforts. She began as a Research Analyst for Christal Radio/Katz Communications in New York, and held a similar position at Interep, also in New York City. She joined United Stations in 1996 assisting in the creation and development of the company’s in-house sales and traffic systems. She became Director of Sales Support Services in 2001 and was then elevated to VP in 2006. Susan oversees USRN's traffic, research and affiliate compliance departments, and was named by Radio Ink magazine as one of the most influential women in radio for several years in a row.
VP/Research and Sales Support
Kathi Iannacone boasts an extensive résumé in radio and television. Having started out at New York's WNBC in the commercial traffic department, she worked her way through various roles at several top local media outlets in the New York market. Kathi spent time at WKTU-FM and became a star in the ad sales world while at WNEW-FM. She also had a stint on the ad agency side of the business at Burson-Marsteller. Her first foray into national radio ad sales was at MJI Broadcasting. After MJI, Kathi returned to local radio selling, and then joined United Stations in 1999. As a Senior Account Executive, she handles many of the company’s top agencies and accounts and is based at the company's New York headquarters.
Senior Account Executive
Based in NY, Matthew Warnecke brings decades of experience to the United Stations Sales team. With a start as a local radio and TV buyer in the late 1980s, Matthew then spent much of his career on the Ad Agency side of the media business. Through stops at various agencies including Ogilvy & Mather, Backer Spielvogel Bates, Campbell Media Alliance and MediaCom/Group M, Matthew worked his way up from a Broadcast Supervisor position to Group Account Manager and eventually to VP/Group Director for Network and Local Broadcast. In his agency roles, he was responsible for a number of blue chip accounts including Proctor and Gamble, Volkswagen, Campbell's Soup, Hallmark, GlaxoSmithKline and more. Matthew joined United Stations briefly as a new business development exec in 2010, and then was named Senior AE in 2011.
Senior Account Executive
Brian Pollina has nearly a decade in the radio business after an impressive stretch in academia. After completing a BA at Cornell, Brian went on to simultaneously earn BOTH a Law Degree and an MBA at the University of Illinois. His true love, however, was radio, and immediate upon completing his graduate education he joined the CBS-owned sports station in Chicago, WSCR-AM, handling local sales as an Account Executive. He joined WLS-AM doing local selling in early 2008, and then later that year joined United Stations selling national advertising based in the company's Midwest office. In the Fall of 2014, Brian was elevated to Manager, Digital Assets & Midwest Sales and is now responsible for marketing USRN's digital assets to advertisers.
VP, Digital Assets & Midwest Sales
Stefan has been in network radio for twenty years. The first 10 he spent in both creative and affiliate sales for what eventually became Westwood One. In 2005, Stefan started a boutique syndication company called Nineball Radio Networks. Nineball Radio’s focus was predominantly morning show services, but also represented some long-form programming. Jones operated as President, CEO, and Chairman of the Board for Nineball up until the end of 2015 when it was purchased by United Stations Radio Networks. In his new role with USRN, Stefan has relocated back to New York City from Minnesota.
SVP Content & Affiliation
Alicyn Hanford has over a decade of experience creating content for radio and television. She started her career as an Associate Producer for CourtTV before joining "Inside Edition" as a Story Coordinator in 2007. For three years, she booked and interviewed celebrities, politicians and newsmakers for one of the highest-rated news magazines on television. In 2010, she left to join the Morning Show Services team at United Stations as a Talent Booker and Producer. She rose to Director of USRN's Prep and Comedy departments in 2015, where she helped oversee the launch of the company's two newest prep services: Girl-FM and Spark. In 2018, she was elevated to Executive Director, Prep Services where she leads the editorial teams responsible for the company's prep content, awards show coverage and other programming enhancements for morning shows nationwide.
Executive Director, Prep Services
Joel Graham has made a career out of providing comedy and engaging content to some of the biggest names in morning radio. Formerly the Creative Director/General Manager at American Comedy Network, Joel started the Universal Comedy Network (UCN) in 2013. In 2016 United Stations purchased UCN and Joel became USRN’s Director of Comedy Programming, overseeing a wildly talented team of writers, performers, and singers at USRN's Manhattan studios. At the start of 2017, Joel was elevated to Executive Director of the company's wide range of comedy services.
Executive Director, Comedy Programming
Neil Barry has an extensive resume that includes stops at CBS Radio, CBS Local, Cox Digital Solutions and ABC Radio Networks where he was VP/Digital Sales. At Cox, Neil was VP/Publisher Development overseeing the sales efforts and implementation of digital products, and at CBS Local he was the Eastern VP of Digital Sales leading a team responsible for the development and execution of sales strategies for premium sponsors connected to everything from local digital assets to national tent-pole events. Neil Barry has a BA in Communications and Journalism from Rutgers University.
Executive Director, Brand Partnerships
Lila El Naggar
Lila has been with United Stations since 2012, servicing our marketing partners since her first day with US. She began working with us in the Traffic (commercial scheduling) Department and moved into her role as an Account Executive in 2016. Like many of the staffers at USRN, she started her radio career at her college station, WPSR at Purchase College in Purchase, NY. She also worked in both the production and the promotions departments at the then CBS-owned Hit Music station 92.3 NOW-FM.