5 Things to Know About KFAN/iHeartMedia’s A.J. Mansour ‘07

by Anna Munhin Mar 23, 2023 News
5 Things to Know About KFAN/iHeartMedia’s A.J. Mansour ‘07

A content specialist.

March 23, 2023 | 9:15 a.m.

A.J. Mansour ’07

A.J. Mansour has worked at iHeartMedia/KFAN for more than 15 years.

A.J. Mansour ’07 remembers exactly where he was when his career in radio, podcasting, and media started with an unexpected opportunity. He had just sent out applications seeking a “really slick” internship position at a downtown Minneapolis advertising agency for an internship as part of his B.A. in Business: Marketing, but he wasn’t having any luck and didn’t have a plan B. He was listening to KFAN FM’s “The Common Man,” a sports radio program, when he heard an ad that KFAN FM was seeking interns. “The rest is history,” Mansour says. “Once I got my foot in the door, I fell for the industry quickly. It was fun, fast-paced, and filled with big personalities on and off the air that quickly became friends and locked me in.”

At iHeartMedia, Mansour has worked for more than a decade. There are five things to know about the man.

This is the first thing. He has worked in a variety of roles with iHeartMedia, including being a journalist, making on-air appearances, and leading KFAN's podcasts efforts.

After turning his internship into a full-time job, Mansour has served in many different roles. He started in advertising before switching to content production as a multimedia journalist. He covered Minnesota Vikings training camps, practices, and games, which led him to appear with Paul Allen—who calls play-by-play for the Vikings—on his morning radio show. “It was a gesture of good faith on his part that opened a door to a new world for me,” he says. Soon, Mansour was cohosting radio programs like "Saturday's With Sauce" and "Vikings Gameday Kickoff,” and he appeared regularly on “The Power Trip,” becoming the morning show’s unofficial fourth member. As taking on leadership with iHeartMedia, he helped expand the show’s brand and on-air content, helping them rise to #1 in the market. He’s scaled back his on-air appearances in recent years as he shifted to behind-the-scenes roles. He helped launch and lead KFAN’s podcast efforts, shaping and forming a streaming video network and shifting the focal points for social media toward video-based content.

A.J. Mansour ’07

A.J. Mansour poses with the hosts of the show. For many years, Mansour has been the unofficial fourth member of the morning show, but he is taking a step back from on air duties as he focuses on new duties at iHeartMedia.

2. He inspired The Initials Game, a popular game played on “The Power Trip.” In spring 2014, Mansour announced he was leaving iHeartMedia/KFAN to seek new opportunities—and a more stable schedule—as he and his wife Abby Mansour ’08 were about to have their first child. As a going away present, “The Power Trip” crew created and played the A.J. Game. But Mansour actually returned to KFAN a few weeks later, and the game—now dubbed The Initials Game—became a staple of the show. In the game, contestants start with the initials of the answer, which can be people, places, things, phrases, and more.Though Paul “Meatsauce” Lambert established an early lead, Mansour became a frequent Initials Game winner. “I eventually caught up and passed him as the all-time win leader, but that feat would ultimately lead to my demise!” Mansour says. “In early 2022, after winning too often, I was pushed into a mandatory retirement from the game and now only appear for special events and major tournaments.”

The Initials Game is now available as a physical game to play at home or at gatherings with family and friends. And iHeartMedia has compiled a podcast archive of all 450-plus games.

A.J. Mansour ’07

The Initials Game is a game that is played frequently on The Power Trip. The host reads clues while the players use their initials to guess the answers. There are hints like "Is married to an Avenger" and "Weekend update anchor" in the initials of the person. Colin is an actor and comedian.

3. He’s taking on a new role as vice president of digital sales at iHeartMedia. 

There is a new challenge. He moved back to advertising after becoming iHeartMedia's vice president of digital sales. It is the biggest shift in his career. He helps the team promote and sell their digital assets. He says it's a unique perspective for this position but one that will bring with it a wealth of knowledge and experience that will prove beneficial. A typical day for me now is filled with training presentations, brainstorming conversations, and client meetings helping unlock the power and wealth of digital assets.

4. Adaptability has been his key to success.

Adapting is the most important attribute in the radio industry. Things are changing quickly on the digital side, requiring him to be aware and willing to follow a new direction at any given moment. He says that the approach has led to long-held success. This journey has allowed him to witness the growth of a community of partners and friends that surrounds their shows and brands. He says seeing the community grow is one of the proudest moments of his career.

He was prepared for the business world.

He fell in love with the culture and campus after working at youth sports camps. He started attending Bethel in 2004. He says his experience at the school was very special. It was a great chance to grow as an adult in a positive environment. He liked the focus on personal faith of the community and said it was what he needed at the time. He formed lifelong friends and met his spouse. He was introduced to the business world by the business department. He says that what stuck with him was the professors who showed servant-leadership in a business setting.

It was very special to me that I was there. It was a great opportunity to grow as an adult in a positive environment.

— A.J. Mansour ’07

Mansour wants to be more and more like Jesus in his life. He says that he was prepared for what it would look like to step out into the world and hold this value close while at the workplace.

You can explore the intersection of business and faith in the Department of Business. The tools of business will help you make a difference.

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