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.”