Casey Kasem To Reach For The Stars For The Last Time Next Week

Casey Kasem hasn’t hosted American Top 40 since the overemployed Ryan Seacrest took the reins in 2004, but he still had a hand in the American Top franchise thanks to his hosting of American Top 20 and American Top 10, which counted down songs topping the liter side of pop radio. Kasem’s tenure of bringing America its biggest hits will come to a close for good on July 4–the 39th anniversary of the very first American Top 40 broadcast–when his final episode of AT20 is scheduled to air. (He’ll still be a presence on the radio, though; reruns of AT40 shows from the ’70s and ’80s will continue to be syndicated around the country.)

But the current Adult Contemporary American Top 20 will wind up over the July 4th holiday weekend – a meaningful anniversary for Casey. His quintessentially “American” show debuted on a July 4, back when he created the franchise in 1970. L.A.-based Eric Weiss has repped Casey for years and he tells me that “Casey and Premiere agree” that this is the time to end the AC show. That gives Casey time to do his other work – voiceovers, cartoons, you name it. Eric says “Casey has turned down a lot of stuff over the last few years” that he can now look at.

Weiss, for his part, also notes that Kasem’s high standards for production will result in Premiere Radio Networks–which syndicates the American Top shows, as well as a ton of other programs on your radio dial–saving a bit of money. I wonder if this means that Seacrest is going to have yet another job added to his seemingly endless list of duties?Keep reaching for the stars, Casey… [Radio-Info, sub. req.; via Franklin Avenue] Earlier: Bulls, Bears, And Bullets: 50 Years Of The Billboard Hot 100