Noted Media Broker Ted Hepburn Dies

By on Nov, 19 2016 with Comments 4

Ted Hepburn, a longtime media broker who headed The Ted Hepburn Co. from offices in Cincinnati and Palm Beach, Fla., through the 2000s, has passed away. He was 85.

Confirmation of Hepburn’s death came Friday from his son, Todd Hepburn, to Sarkes Tarzian Radio President Geoff Virgo.

The cause of death was not known; the elder Hepburn had been suffering from the effects of an earlier stroke.

As a broker, Hepburn finalized such deals as a July 2003 acquisition of four Pennsylvania stations for Max Media, valued at $7.5 million; the 1986 sale of Mid America Media’s group of Midwest radio stations; and many deals in the early 1970s as a broker affiliated with R.C. Crisler & Co. While at Crisler, Hepburn worked with Frank Kalil, who manned the Tucson office prior to the launch of Kalil & Co., one of the nation’s largest media brokerages.

Hepburn was born on Oct. 11, 1931 in Glen Ridge, N.J., and entered the radio business immediately after graduating from Marietta College in Ohio with an Economics degree. His first job was at WKVA in Lewistown, Pa., where he worked in sales from 1955-1958.

He later served as Sales Manager of WHLO in Akron, Ohio, and entered radio station management in 1962, when he began a five-year stint as VP/GM of WARM in Scranton, Pa.

In 1967, Hepburn relocated to Cincinnati, where he became GM of WSAI. One year later, he was hired by pioneering media broker Dick Crisler to serve as a VP. In 1976, he went solo, launching The Ted Hepburn Co.

He is survived by his son and a daughter, Heidi Jo Hepburn.

“Ted Hepburn was a bright, honest, family man, who also happened to be a very good broker,” Kalil said. “Decades ago, he decided he had enough money but not enough time. So, he moved to Florida and did just enough brokering to stay in the game. We both learned at the feet of the master, R. C. Crisler. I will miss my former associate, and my prayers go out to him and his family.”

About The Author: Adam R Jacobson is a veteran radio industry journalist and advertising industry analyst with general, multicultural and Hispanic market expertise. From 1996 to 2006 he served as an editor at Radio & Records.

  1. Our thoughts go to Todd and the Hepburn family. He will be missed for sure. Kent and Pat Burkhart.

  2. Dennis R. Israel, Ph.D. Says:

    A wonderful friend and associate. Ted helped me win the GE stations in Albany
    and Nashville. He was a true friend and associate, e will be missed !!!

  3. Ted and I enjoyed a commonality in that we both learned the brokerage business from R. C. Crisler, the early dean of broadcast station brokers. While we worked with Dick at different time periods, we both adopted his absolute adherence to professional integrity in serving every client.

    Even as competitors, Ted and I occasionally cooperated in transactions including a 2003 deal that played very well in Peoria: the still-record-priced $37,000,000 sale of WMBD’s four-station radio cluster.

    After Ted and Carol sold their Palm Beach home and returned to Cincinnati we stayed in touch. When a medical problem jumbled his ability to read, Ted learned anew how to do so by listening via computer to keep himself informed on industry matters and current events. But, each and every day Ted’s true pride and joy was always his ever-growing family.

    To Carol, son Todd, daughter Heidi and their extended families all the way to the great grandchildren, Jan and I send our deepest sympathies while knowing Ted’s was a life well lived and shared.

    Larry & Janet Wood
    Cincinnati and Fort Myers Beach

  4. Tom Kennington Says:

    So sad to learn of the passing of my dear friend and mentor. May the “peace that passes understanding” be felt by Carole, Todd and Heidi.

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