Renaming A Trusted Brand

A Structured Approach

Background: ABC Radio Networks was the most trusted name in national audio syndication and audio streaming services. The Walt Disney Company sold the ABC Radio group, which included the network and 22 of the most historic radio stations in America to Citadel Broadcasting for $2.7 billion. As part of the deal The Walt Disney Company allowed ABC Radio Networks to continue to use the Disney-owned ABC trademark. After the close of the sale, Citadel’s CEO had a dispute with Disney and they withdrew the rights to use the ABC brand.  We had 60 days to develop a new brand. Research was the basis for developing a jumping-off point, and for testing new names for the brand. Focus groups and one-on-one interviews were conducted with four key stakeholders: our talent, partners, our affiliates, and the brands and advertising agencies who placed business with us. The ideal name would encompass feedback from all of these groups and contribute to a new brand story that was relevant and looked toward the future. Four key areas for naming emerged. Leader: ABC Radio Networks is an industry leader. Their commitment to premium content, flexible formats, and superior service has given them a unique advantage. History: ABC Radio Networks has a very rich heritage. Capitalizing on its history is paramount to moving forward. Adaptability: to meet the needs of our audience, ABC Radio Networks has evolved to become not just the one-stop shop for programming and advertising, but also for digital products such as apps, streaming, and digital out of home. Relationships: ABC Radio Networks has cultivated many relationships that have had a profound and positive impact on its development. The countless affiliates, listeners, and talent helped grow ABC and the same positive relationships will be responsible for future development.

A $350

Pivot, Launch, Perfection!

ABC Radio Networks
43 Media
Citadel Media

ABC Disney Stairs
ABC Disney flag

- 37 Products and Services -
- 18 Owned Websites -
- 7 Offices Nationally -
- 2 Trade Show Exhibits -
- 245 Individual Business Cards -
- External Industry & Partner PR -
- Internal Employee Communication -
- All Re-branded & Re-launched -

It was the final choice based on the research and feedback from stakeholders, and it could be trade­marked. ABC was founded in 1943. The name Forty-Three and its derivatives still communicated the long history of innovation and industry leadership that ABC Radio Networks is known for. For­ty-Three can be written as a numerical symbol or spelled out. As numbers, 43 couples history and experience, and spelled out it takes a neutral position and connotes formality. Forty-Three is unique in that it can be easily paired with words from other clusters to communicate more com­plex messages that speak to other aspects of the new ABC brand and services.

After the senior management team's full presentation, the CEO decided he wanted to name it Citadel Media. He said that a brand or name had no bearing on doing business. This was a mys­tery to everyone. The CEO was included in the project and participated in numerous one-on-one calls, with no mention of a differing opinion. We took Citadel Media and ran with it. Our team flawlessly executed the name change, both in external activation and PR and internally rede­veloping all assets and sales materials.

"My gratitude goes out to the marketing team! This is the most flawless launch and transition to a new brand that I have been a part of at any company."

Dave Van Dyke

Vice President/
Affiliate Relations



"It's moments like this that redefine what can be achieved under pressure. An unbelievably flawless execution and launch. This is the best team I have worked with in my 20 plus year career. Thank you from the company!"

Jim Robinson

ABC Radio Networks

"A hearty thanks goes out to both you & your team for doing a first class job with the name change. I know that both you & your supporting team worked hard on this project and the result was a 100% success. Thanks gentlemen for everything"

Frank Kelly

Director of


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