The Broadcasters Foundation of America, the national charity that provides aid to past and present members of the broadcasting profession, has established the Edward F. McLaughlin Memorial Fund to honor the iconic broadcaster who passed away on January 19, 2018 at the age of 91 in Palm Beach, FL.
McLaughlin was at the helm of ABC Radio Network for many years and is widely recognized as the man who discovered Rush Limbaugh, which led to the revitalization of AM Radio and the news/talk format. McLaughlin was a longtime Chairman of the Broadcasters Foundation and held the title of Chairman Emeritus at the time of his passing. Earlier this week, the Broadcasters Foundation announced McLaughlin as the recipient of the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award.
“The Board of Directors and I are saddened at this tremendous loss to our industry and grateful for Ed’s years of service to the Broadcasters Foundation,” stated Dan Mason, Chairman of the Broadcasters Foundation of America. “Ed believed in giving back to the profession that he loved and helping those among us who need it the most.”
A life-long broadcaster, McLaughlin founded EFM Media Management in 1987 and syndicated The Dr. Dean Edell Show. Shortly thereafter, he launched the national syndication of local Sacramento radio host Rush Limbaugh, which led to the revitalization of AM radio and the news/talk format.
William O’Shaughnessy, Chairman of Whitney Global Media and a Board member of the Broadcasters Foundation, noted: “Ed was a great raconteur who often held court at the ‘21’ bar where he did a lot of business entertaining out-of-town affiliates.”
During his 14-year tenure at the helm of ABC Radio Networks, McLaughlin guided the expansion of long-form programming, acquiring American Top 40 with Casey Kasem, launching American Country Countdown with Bob Kingsley, and championing Paul Harvey’s program to reach 1,000 affiliates. His ABC Radio stable of personalities included the legendary Chicago newscaster and national commentator Paul Harvey.
Richard A. Foreman, prominent station broker and Chief Executive Officer of RAF Media, who was an ABC Radio Network colleague, added: “Ed really resurrected network radio in the early 80’s. And he moved talk radio to the forefront of an industry populated by stations that resembled jukeboxes with their cacophony of various music formats. He saw that stations could make people think … not just entertain them.”
As Chairman of the Broadcasters Foundation of America, McLaughlin redefined the organization and set it on its current course. Throughout his career, McLaughlin has received numerous accolades, including Radio Ink’s Lifetime Leadership Award in 2010 and the National Association of Broadcasters’ National Radio Award in 1996. He was the first chairman of the Radio Network Association, a long-standing board member of the International Radio & Television Foundation, and a trustee of The Paley Center for Media. He was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1995.