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Chart Beat Podcast: SiriusXM Exec Kid Kelly on Being an ‘Advocate for Radio Entertainment’

The satcaster's vp of music programming talks picking hits for the service's pop channels, recounts his colorful radio career & reveals that it might be time to retire his long-running syndicated…

“I was inspired by the friendship of the original social media,” says Kid Kelly, that social media being radio. “I was inspired by the art of how things were presented.”

On the latest episode of the Chart Beat Podcast, SiriusXM’s vp of music programming chats with host, and Billboard co-director of charts, Gary Trust, about his early love for radio and how it continues to inform his programming philosophy for the satellite broadcasting service’s paid subscribers.


Kelly also traces the chapters of his impressive career, which has included multiple turns at New York’s Z100, where it took repeat opportunities for him to land a regular shift (as he explains through his uncanny impression of legendary former Z100 program director Scott Shannon, now morning host at New York’s WCBS-FM). That arrival followed stops at more than 30 radio stations (including one where a flea collar might’ve made for the most appropriate compensation).

Kelly also discloses, for the first time, that his popular syndicated radio show Backtrax USA, which, in its two forms, relives the hits of the ’80s and ’90s on more than 200 stations, may soon end after nearly 25 years. Or not. “Maybe it’s that time to say, ‘You know what? What a great run.’ It’s been in the back of my mind. I don’t know that I can [continue to present the show] while I’m dedicated to SiriusXM.”

A sampling of previous episodes:
Original MTV VJ Martha Quinn / RCA’s Joe Riccitelli on Britney Spears & Justin Timberlake / Mike Curb / Hit Songs Deconstructed on Drake & Selena Gomez / Fred Bronson / Chart Beat Founder Paul Grein /

Enjoy the entire latest Chart Beat Podcast and stay tuned for more upcoming episodes with label execs, radio programmers and personalities, songwriters, producers and more, all as we look at why what’s on the charts … is on the charts. (Plus, there’s that catchy theme song, performed by Sarah J!)

And, to receive every episode automatically in your inbox, subscribe to (and rate) the Billboard Chart Beat Podcast on iTunes!