A Yale Law School graduate Joseph Field practiced law for 13 years in New York and Philadelphia. He became interested in radio while acquiring WPEN-AM/FM in Philadelphia for a client in 1967. The major issue at hand was valuation with the AM valued at between $4.5 and $5.5 million and the FM valued at $500,000. That difference in valuation, as well as rapid advances in audio transmission technology and importation of inexpensive AM/FM radios from Japan, compelled him to pursue the FM opportunity.
Field founded Entercom in October 1968, acquiring FM stations in San Francisco, Houston and Minneapolis. He served as Chairman and CEO for 34 years, taking Entercom public in 1999 and acquiring 101 stations in 19 markets.
While serving on the Radio Board of the National Association of Broadcasters, Field proposed the existing in-band-on-channel (IBOC) solution for digital radio broadcasting. While Field continued as Chairman, his son David succeeded him as CEO in 2002 and expanded Entercom to 128 stations in 28 markets. Following the acquisition of CBS Radio, Entercom has 230 stations in 47 markets, including 23 of the top 25 markets, and is the country’s second largest radio broadcasting company.
Joseph Field was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2017.