New York, NY – January 5, 2024 — It is with great sadness that the Broadcasters Foundation of America shares the news of the passing of Philip J. Lombardo, who died this morning following a brief illness. Lombardo was CEO of Citadel Communications and Chairman Emeritus of the Broadcasters Foundation, having previously served as Chairman for 15 years. The family has requested that in lieu of flowers donations be made to the Philip J. Lombardo Memorial Fund in honor of Lombardo’s dedication and service to the broadcasting industry and to the Foundation’s charitable cause.
“Last night, the Broadcasters Foundation and the broadcast industry lost a great man,” said Scott Herman, Chairman of the Broadcasters Foundation. “As Chairman of the Broadcasters Foundation for many years, Phil left an indelible mark. He was passionate about our mission and one of our biggest donors, giving both time and money to helping colleagues in need.”
“It would be impossible for me to quantify all that I learned from Phil Lombardo over the course of our nearly 40-year association,” said Ray Cole, President and COO, Citadel Communications. “Phil was a boss, a mentor, and a partner. Most of all, he was a dear friend who changed my life in immeasurable ways. While his impact on the broadcasting industry was vast and deep, Phil’s enduring legacy will be the vision and passion with which he led the Broadcasters Foundation of America. His contributions to its mission — helping fellow broadcasters in need — had no bounds. That commitment is sure to live on forever.”
Lombardo’s impactful role as Chairman from 2000 to 2015 was vital to the Foundation’s ability to increase the amount of grants awarded annually to broadcasters in need from just over $60,000 in 2000 to nearly $2 million in recent years.
“Phil had a strong personality, but his heart was bigger,” added Tim McCarthy, President of the Broadcasters foundation. “No one worked harder than Phil to raise money from our biggest donors. He gave more than anyone in our industry to colleagues who need it most.”
To honor his longstanding dedication to the Broadcasters Foundation, in 2000 the Board passed a near unanimous vote to rename the annual golf tournament and fundraiser, held during the NAB Show in Las Vegas, to the Philip J. Lombardo Charity Golf Tournament. The one ‘no’ vote was cast by Lombardo.
Lombardo always knew he wanted to go into broadcasting. Growing up in a rough neighborhood on Chicago’s near north side, radio was his companion. He began his career at WBBM-TV in Chicago as a production assistant and quickly rose to executive levels, earning a reputation for being a ‘turnaround’ manager. The majority of Lombardo’s storied career was focused on buying, turning around, and selling TV stations for his privately held company, Citadel Communications. In 2003, Lombardo was elected to serve as joint board Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB). He was inducted into the Broadcasting + Cable Hall of Fame in October 2015.
The Broadcasters Foundation has distributed more than $15 million dollars in aid over the past 20 years. This year, the Foundation will award approximately $1.8 million. More information about the Broadcasters Foundation, including how to make a donation or apply for aid, is available at www.broadcastersfoundation.org, 212-373-8250, or email@example.com.
About the Broadcasters Foundation of America: www.broadcastersfoundation.org
The mission of the Broadcasters Foundation of America is to improve the quality of life for men and women in the radio and television broadcast profession who find themselves in acute need. The Foundation reaches out across the country to identify and provide an anonymous safety net in cases of critical illness, accident, and other serious misfortune. The Broadcasters Foundation of America is a 501(c)3 Public Charity and has received 4 stars from Charity Navigator, its highest rating, and a Gold Seal of Transparency from Candid/Guidestar.
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