BONA FIDES: Cumulus filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in December -- a necessary move, says Berner, to continue the broadcast group's reboot. "We said in 2016 that we're going to turn this around, and we did. We're looking at seven straight quarters of ratings-share growth. Now we're addressing the balance sheet."
LISTENING TOUR: Returning programming decisions back to local markets and drastically reducing employee turnover have been Berner's key strategies since taking the helm in 2015. The former publishing executive also divested Cumulus of indulgences like the company's -private plane, then visited all 90 markets where the broadcaster, which employs 6,000, has stations. Recalls Berner: "We'd sit down in small groups, and I'd ask one simple question: ‘What do I need to know?' And then I'd shut up."