Motivated by his own 25-year battle with multiple sclerosis, Brad Saul founded the Radio Center for People With Disabilities, Chicago Disability Transit and other socially conscious enterprises that combined his passions for media and new technology.
The innovative and ambitious broadcast entrepreneur, who also created and headed WebTalkRadio.net, a thriving podcasting platform, and Matrix Media, a wide-ranging radio programming distributor, died Friday at his home in Chicago. He was 55.
While studying at Northwestern University, the Chicago native began his career as an intern at CBS Radio all-news WBBM AM 780 and later became general manager of two north suburban radio stations, WEEF AM 1430 and the former WONX.
Public Interest Affiliates, the first company he formed while still in his 20s, produced public-service programming for radio stations across the country and expanded to provide in-flight programming for major airlines. He also used PIA to create the NBA Radio Network.
Saul established the nonprofit Radio Center for People With Disabilities to recruit, train and place people with disabilities into radio station jobs. With the help of Yellow Cab, he launched Chicago Disability Transit, a transportation service for people with disabilities. A third venture, Prime Access Capital, provides online banking for people with disabilities.
In addition to his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in radio, television and film from Northwestern, Saul earned a law degree from Loyola University.
Saul is survived by his wife Debbie, and their 16-year-old triplets, Gabrielle, Brennan and Griffen. Funeral services will be noon Monday at Anshe Emet Synagogue, 3751 North Broadway, Chicago.