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"It is an honor to take over a show that I have been a fan of for so many years."
——Ryan Seacrest on taking over for Casey Kasem on American Top 40
SEACREST TAKES OVER AMERICAN TOP 40; KASEM INKS WITH PREMIERE FOR NEW SHOWS
American Idol Host Takes Over for Legendary Countdown King as Kasem Launches American Top 20 for Adult Formats
It's the end of a radio era...and the beginning of another. Without the usual static.

American Idol's Ryan Seacrest is taking over as the new host of the syndicated American Top 40 countdown show, while its legendary founder Casey Kasem inks a new long-term deal with Premiere Radio Networks for two versions of American Top 20, geared to Hot Adult and Adult Contemporary stations.

Seacrest will host the new show, which will be heard on KIIS-FM  L.A. and Z-100 N.Y. as well as around the country, from his new glass studio at Hollywood & Highland, home to his new live daily Fox-TV show, On Air With Ryan Seacrest, which debuts Jan. 12.

Premiere President/COO Kraig "If You Can't Stand the Heat, Stay Out of the" Kitchin commented: "It takes a great talent to measure up to the standard that Casey Kasem has set. Ryan brings a vibrancy and a consumer connection to this program, the likes of which our industry has not seen in a long, long time. And neither Paris nor Nikki Hilton were available."

Said Seacrest: "Casey is one of America's greatest broadcasters. It is an honor to take over a show that I have been a fan of for so many years. The synergy between On Air with Ryan Seacrest and American Top 40 will allow us to broadcast radio's most current interactive chart and check in with Hollywood's biggest stars. Now, all I have to do is learn how to count backwards from 40."

Kasem is thrilled with his new gig. "I've been working with Premiere over the last several months to find a way for me to be with my audience in every market in the nation without having to compete with myself by being on both CHR stations with American Top 40 and AC stations with American Top 20. With this new contract, I'll be counting down the hits for my listeners into the next decade. And I certainly admire the nice young man taking my place. I hear he's the next Wink Martindale."

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