Ryan Seacrest Named Network/Syndicated Radio Personality of the Year

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Ryan Seacrest

This year's Marconi Radio Awards were presented Thursday night.

Ryan Seacrest's idol status continues to grow: The multimedia star received the top individual award, network/syndicated personality of the year, Thursday night at the National Association of Broadcasters’ Marconi Radio Awards in Chicago.

Millions of American Idol fans who only know Seacrest from his hosting gig on the TV juggernaut for the past decade might be surprised to learn that he has been in radio for more than 20 years. Seacrest, 36, interned at WSTR-FM Atlanta as a teenager, leading to a weekend overnight slot at the station. By the mid-’90s, he was hosting Ryan Seacrest for the Ride Home at KYSR-FM (Star 98) Los Angeles.

That show’s popularity led to a gig hosting American Top 40. Seacrest took over in January 2004 for the countdown’s original host, Casey Kasem, who had returned for a second stint behind the mike from 1998-2003. Seacrest continues to host the program, along with On Air With Ryan Seacrest, a four-hour weekday show that Premiere Radio Networks syndicates to more than 150 stations in North America.

The Marconi Radio Awards honor individuals and stations in 21 categories. Finalists are chosen by broadcasters and winners voted for by the NAB Marconi Radio Awards Selection Academy.

Elvis Duran of Premiere Networks and Z100 (WHTZ-FM) New York hosted Thursday's ceremony, which was part of the three-day 2011 Radio Show that wraps Friday. Country star Ronnie Dunn performed at the show.