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CRN Digital Talk Radio Network
Broadcast area
Worldwide via Internet and American Forces Network
HeadquartersChatsworth, Los Angeles
Key people
Jennifer Horn, VP of Sales & Marketing
Founded1983 (1983)
by Michael Horn, CEO
Former names
Cable Radio Network, CRN Talk
CRN6 (CRNJohn316)
CRN8 (Radio Mujer)

CRN Digital Talk Radio Networks, sometimes simply referred to as CRN or CRN Digital Talk, is a syndicator and distributor of radio programs and talk radio networks.


CRN was founded in 1983 as Cable Radio Network to provide commercial radio programming to local cable television systems. CRN founder Michael Horn (who, at the time, was an on-air personality at Los Angeles’ KFI AM) read an article in the trade publication Radio & Records that mentioned Los Angeles radio station KMET earned ratings points in the Phoenix market. Horn learned KMET was the audio source for a channel on a local cable system in Phoenix.

Horn brought the radio-on-television idea to San Fernando Valley cable provider King Cable, where he soon programmed a country music channel. Seeking a more mass appeal, Horn changed the channel's format to oldies music. Two other cable systems – Valley Cable and Falcon Cable – then became interested and was used on a few Electronic Program Guides across America.

Broadcast hookups were initially conducted through phone lines before the method became cost prohibitive. Horn invested more money and switched to satellite transmission. A branding change from "Cable Radio Network" to "CRN Networks" eventually followed.

Noncommercial music channels from companies such as Digital Planet and DMX eventually were picked up by cable providers. Instead of competing with them, Horn switched CRN's programming to a talk radio platform. CRN Networks then became "CRN Talk" and, in 2007, "CRN Digital Talk Radio". The company's legal name remains Cable Radio Networks, Inc.

Horn commissioned a company that worked with Arbitron (now Nielsen Audio) to determine CRN.s listenership. Results indicated that CRN shared a similar-size audience as MSNBC, Cinemax, and Fox Sports.[2]

In 2013, CRN Digital Talk Radio Launched CRN Digital Magazine, its own online magazine (no association with CRN Magazine) featuring lifestyle and entertainment stories written by CRN personalities.[3]


CRN programs are produced both in house and in collaboration with other broadcasters.[4] CRN broadcasts eight audio feeds: a main feed that carries mostly in-house offerings; direct network feeds from Sports Byline USA, The Answer, Talk Radio Network, Radio America; Fox News Radio, Westwood One; iHeart Radio, and others. CRN also airs a simulcast of XEAAA-AM (a female-oriented Spanish-language station based in Guadalajara, Mexico); and a seventh channel that duplicates and timeshifts some of the other feeds' programs. It is distributed, as its former name implies, mostly through various cable television providers, much in the way the more widely available Music Choice is distributed. However, it is also available via C band satellite, various terrestrial stations across the nation and on the Internet.

Some of CRN’s first talk offerings included “Polka Parade” with Dick Sinclair and television and radio personality George Putnam’s “Talk Back” (which became a CRN exclusive). Former Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson co-host Ed McMahon also hosted his weekly Lifestyles Live program on CRN.[5]

Don Ecker’s “UFOs Tonight”,[6] and the pro wrestling themed “Squared Circle” hosted by James "Shadowe" Boone[7] were also CRN original programs.

CRN Digital Talk Radio announced in June 2015 it would become the home for libertarian radio and television personality Larry Elder’s show.[8] Less than two months later, Salem Radio Network announced it would add Elder’s program to its own national syndication lineup.[9]

Actor Robert Conrad hosted his own CRN program until his death on February 8, 2020, and Barry Farber hosted his own show until his death later that year. There are also several food and wine lifestyle programs, such as the "What's Cookin'" franchise.[10]


  1. ^ Nordyke, Kimberly; AP (29 February 2008). "More Seacrest 'On Air'; Dobbs bows". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 20 October 2015.
  2. ^ Kinosian, Mike (28 October 2013). "30 Candles for Horn.s CRN". TALKERS magazine. Talk Media, Inc. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  3. ^ "CRN Digital Talk Radio Launches CRN Digital Mag". TALKERS magazine. Talk Media, Inc. 6 February 2013. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  4. ^ Kinosian, Mike (28 October 2013). "30 Candles for Horn's CRN". TALKERS magazine. Talk Media, Inc. Retrieved 19 October 2015. Some transmutation of the long-standing cliché that television is simply 'radio with pictures' perhaps triggered Cable Radio Network not only to come to fruition but also to thrive.
  5. ^ Wagoner, Richard (24 April 2008). "Television has some radio exclusives, including polka". Long Beach PressTelegram. Long Beach Press Telegram. Retrieved 3 March 2017. For example, former "Tonight Show" announcer and co-host Ed McMahon has a show featuring commentary and "information on living the good life." Even longtime commentator and "Talk Back" originator George Putnam is still doing a daily show at age 92. Putnam is a CRN exclusive. "When we started CRN 25 years ago, we wanted to try a program that no one else would think of carrying," said CRN president Mike Horn. "We found Dick Sinclair of the old 'Polka Parade' that once aired on KFI (640 AM) and KTLA Channel 5. He has been on the air as one of our only music programs since our beginning, and is a fan favorite." "Polka Parade" airs from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturdays.
  6. ^ Harris, Scott (21 September 1993). "Close Encounters of the Call-In Kind". Los Angeles Times newspaper. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 3 March 2017. Life-sized cardboard cutouts of Capt. Kirk, Mr. Spock and Dr. McCoy greet visitors who descend the stairs to the studios of Cable Radio Network. Every Sunday night, from the basement of a Sunland shopping center, a program called "UFOs Tonight" is beamed up and out across America. The host is Don Ecker, the self-assured, well-versed research director of an obscure journal called UFO magazine.
  7. ^ Folmar, Kate (17 November 1997). "School of Hard Knocks". Los Angeles Times newspaper. Retrieved 3 March 2017. Such techniques are the mainstay of professional wrestling schools. There are perhaps 10 to 20 "legitimate schools"--such as the one in Simi Valley--across the nation, estimates James "Shadowe" Boone, semiretired grappler in the San Fernando Valley. He hosts the country's biggest talk radio show about wrestling, called "Squared Circle," on the Cable Radio Network.
  8. ^ "Larry Elder Goes Nationwide With CRN". NTS Media Online. NTS Media Online. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  9. ^ "Larry Elder To Host Evenings On Salem Radio Network". All Access Music Group. All Access Music Group. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  10. ^ "CRN Digital Talk Radio Launches CRN Digital Mag". TALKERS magazine. Talk Media, Inc. 6 February 2013. Retrieved 19 October 2015.