Tom Rounds, pill radio broadcasting innovator and producer of the iconic countdown show American Top 40 with Casey Kasem, prescription died Sunday night in Los Angeles at age 77 from complications related to a minor surgical procedure. Rounds is survived by his wife, daughter Michelle, son Tommy, stepdaughter Debbie, and four grandchildren, Eli, Margaux, Lucy and Nicco.
Rounds was founder and CEO of Radio Express, Inc., the world’s leading supplier of entertainment programming to radio outside the U.S. He founded the largest American syndicator, Watermark, in the late 1960s. In 1970, with Casey Kasem and Don Bustany, he headed the team that launched and marketed American Top 40 with Casey Kasem. The program reached audiences at more than 500 radio stations in the United States by the 1980s. ABC acquired Watermark in 1982, and Rounds started Radio Express in 1985 with ABC as its first program supplier. In 1990, he introduced American Top 40 syndicated programming into the Soviet Union, adding that country to the list of 70 countries outside the U.S. where the program was heard. The company was the first to introduce barter syndication to the international radio world.
Radio Express, Inc. VP sales Jessica d’Agostin said: “We are deeply saddened by T.R.’s passing and will miss his humor, his wisdom and his kindness profoundly. He was a great man and loved his wife, his family, and radio with all his heart. We will continue to move forward at Radio Express in his honor and as a living tribute to the example T.R. set for excellence in all things.”