Tom Kelly

Tom Kelly
​Cofounder, iRadioPhilly

Ted Nugent may have been big in West Virginia in 1980, but the Who, the Stones and Springsteen are more Tom Kelly’s speed. Yet there he was, at his first radio job as overnight DJ at an FM station in Charleston, W.V. 

Kelly was a long way away from the Conshohocken accounting job he’d had just weeks earlier. Still, he’d been a DJ at Villanova University, and working in radio was the Bala Cynwyd native’s dream. “When I walked into the station my sophomore year, I truly found my passion,” he says. “Now, I see that going to Charleston was part of my path.”

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West Virginia taught Kelly about local radio and regional music tastes. Today, his iRadioPhilly specializes in that, streaming music favored by fans in the Delaware Valley. Kelly and his three partners started iRadioPhilly in 2010 with $100,000 of their own money. That year, the site logged 2,600 hours of streaming. Last year, it did 4 million. 

Expansion plans are in the works, with launches slated for Los Angeles, New York and Chicago. Kelly won’t reveal his profits, but he has big-name advertisers like Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Home Depot and Walgreens. All like iRadioPhilly’s ability to geo-target listeners. “That’s different from AM/FM radio, where everyone hears the same ad,” Kelly says. “We’re only charging advertisers for impressions they’re getting and want.”


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