LOS ANGELES (AdAge.com) -- Stu Olds, president-CEO of radio-ad-sales firm Katz Media Group, passed away Saturday from complications due to myelodysplastic syndrome, or MDS, a type of leukemia. He was 60.
Mr. Olds was a 33-year employee of Katz Media, starting out in the company's Chicago office in 1977 and working his way up to president of Katz Radio in 1987 and president of Katz Radio Group in 1994. He was named CEO of Katz Media Group in 2000. Most recently, he oversaw ad-sales representation for more than 3,000 radio stations (roughly 90% of the national radio inventory) and 400 TV stations as part of a restructuring with parent company Clear Channel's sales teams.
Mr. Olds saw Katz through some difficult times in recent years for the radio industry, which was hit hard by the recession and competition from other media. But revenue has been making a this year thanks to successful attempts to position radio as a national media vehicle for major marketers.
In addition to his responsibilities at Katz, Mr. Olds was actively involved with many charitable foundations and industry organizations, including as an honorary trustee for AWRT/Alliance for Women in Media Foundation, a board member of the Radio Advertising Bureau and the Bayliss Foundation, and as vice chairman of the Broadcasters Foundation Board. In a memo to Katz and Clear Channel employees regarding Mr. Olds' passing, Clear Channel CEO John Hogan wrote, "Perhaps his greatest professional accomplishment was that he was respected by all who knew him and loved by those who worked with him."
Mr. Olds is survived by his wife, Kim, and their children. Charlie Rahilly, president of Clear Channel's national-advertiser platforms, will assume Mr. Olds' responsibilities while a search is held for a replacement.