Tom KentTom Kent (born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina), is an American radio personality. As the head of the Tom Kent Radio Network, he hosts and produces syndicated daily, weekend and 24/7 programming each week on approximately 500 stations including the What's This World Coming To Podcast. The majority of Kent's programming is centered on the classic hits and adult contemporary music formats, with select programming made available to stations of any music format.
Prior to becoming syndicated, Kent worked on the air and in programming at top 40 radio station WLS in Chicago. Kent also worked on the air at KLIF in Dallas, WIBG Philadelphia, WGCL and WIXY in Cleveland, WMXJ in Miami, WAVA-FM in Washington, D.C. where he was also the Program Director, and WBZZ (B-94) Pittsburgh.
In addition, Kent worked in the music industry as a promotion executive for Elektra Entertainment, which was a division of Time-Warner's Warner Music Group. While an executive at Elektra, Kent received many awards including "Promotion Rookie of the Year" and "Promotion Executive of the Year" both separate and individual awards in different years. He helped break and bring to the national music spotlight national music recording artists Tracy Chapman, Third Eye Blind, Keith Sweat, Moby, Natalie Merchant, Simply Red, Missy Elliott, Gerald Levert, Metallica, Yolanda Adams, and En Vogue.
On August 6, 2015, The National Radio Hall of Fame in Chicago nominated Tom Kent in the category of syndicated music personality.
On June 29, 2002, Kent launched the Tom Kent Organization and its radio network, the TKO Radio Network. It was here that Kent launched what was then oldies programming, centered around the decades of 1964 to 1973. Drawing on inspiration from classic Top 40 disc jockeys, Kent's goal was to create a broad-based persona that, while still appealing to the "adult power demo" (persons 25 to 54, many of whom listened to Top 40 radio at a young age), would be enjoyed by all ages. During this time, Kent created and hosted the programs "Into the Seventies," a five-hour weekly program devoted to 1970s music, and "Hall of Fame Coast to Coast", a general six-day-a-week oldies program. The programming was immensely successful and significantly boosted ratings on the stations it aired. In 2006, Kent turned the network into the "Classic Top 40" network, renaming the weeknight show from "Hall of Fame Coast to Coast" to "Classic Top 40 Weeknights." The long-term goal was to create a 24-hour network out of this with similar programming.
Exactly five years after Kent launched the network, on June 29, 2007, he resigned as host and sold the company. The company continued operations through at least 2010 without Kent.
Tom Kent Radio Network
On March 16, 2008, Kent launched a new network, the Tom Kent Radio Network. Programs include a five-hour totally live daily show called, "The Music Magazine" as well as weekend shows: "The Ultimate Party" (a live five-hour Saturday evening party show) and "[http://www.my70sshow.com My 70s Show]" (a five-hour 70s show). Other offerings include "Powerline" hosted by Brother Jon Rivers (based on the program that was originally produced by the Southern Baptist Convention and also was hosted on Brother Jon), "Totally 90s Now" also LOVIN' LIFE LIVIN THE 80's" The Tom Kent Radio Network now has more than 500 affiliates since its launch in March 2008, self-estimating its listenership at 23 million listeners, which would make Kent the most-heard radio host in the United States, well ahead of second-place Rush Limbaugh, who held that title for much of the 2000s (Limbaugh disputed this contention and now claims that he has 26 million listeners, which would once again place him ahead of Kent; neither Limbaugh's nor Kent's claims have been independently verified).
On April 18, 2011, The Tom Kent Radio Network launched a 24-hour Classic Hits network called "24/7 FUN". The network features Bill Shannon in the morning, Steve Kent and Jackie Newton mid-days and Tom Kent on afternoons and nights along with Brother Jon Rivers weekends.
Upon launching TKRN, Kent entered into a distribution and sales agreement with Jones Radio Network in March 2008 and then in February 2009, with the ABC Radio Network. Since February 2012, Kent has since employed sales and distribution services through United Stations Radio Networks.
Kent lives in suburban Cleveland, Ohio with his wife, three kids and two dogs. Kent and his family moved back to Cleveland in 1988 and have lived there since. His son, Steve Kent, fills in on occasion for him on the air. Steve also hosts a portion of middays on Tom Kent Radio Network's "24/7 FUN" channel as well as daughter Jackie. Tom Kent's wife Karen works behind the scenes at the network.