Week of 4.2.12
Gaylord country WSM, Nashville (650) hires Tom English as its new general manager, succeeding Mike Ford, who exits. English most recently spent six years (2005-2011) as market manager for Clear Channel’s Nashville cluster. Before that he was director of sales.
Merlin Media hires Jeff Smith as its chief engineer for “FM News 101.9” WEMP, New York. He previously spent five years as an engineer with Clear Channel in New York – including chief engineer for urban “Power 105.1” WWPR. Prior to that he was manager of broadcast engineering for Sirius Radio (2007), director of broadcast systems for Nassau Broadcasting (1998-2006), regional engineering manager for Metro Networks (1996-1998), and an engineer for AC “Magic 98.3” WMGQ and talk WCTC (1450) in Middlesex-Somerset-Union, NJ (1993-1996).
Public radio news-talk WRVO, Syracuse, NY (89.9) hires Catherine Loper as director of news and public affairs. She most recently was the Washington Bureau of the Fox News Channel. Loper has also worked at Canadian Television Network, ABC NewsOne and APTN over the past two decades.
NRG Media hires Mike Peot as director of sales for its Wausau-Stevens Point, WI four-station cluster starting April 17. Peot has been a sales consultant for many Wisconsin-based radio companies since 2007. He previously was general manager for Bay Cities Radio in Marinette, the general sales manager for Next Media in Kenosha, and director of national sponsorship manager for Relevant Radio in Green Bay.
Country WCJW, Warsaw, NY hires Trevor Carey as it new morning show host. He most recently worked at KVOR, Colorado Springs, has also spent time on air at KNUS and KALC in Denver; and KQHT, San Jose, plus a stint as national director of pop promotion for Relativity/Sony NY. Carey succeeds station owner Lloyd Lane, who’s been handling morning show duties for the past three years. He’ll continue to host “CJ’s Classic Café” show in addition to GM duties. WCJW airs on several frequencies between the Rochester and Buffalo markets.
NRG Media hires Ritch Cassidy as brand manager for its Wausau-Stevens Point, WI four-station cluster. He’ll also program country “Y-106.5” WYTE and CHR “Hot 96.7” WHTQ. Cassidy previously worked for 12-years at Clear Channel in both Lincoln and Omaha, NE where he served as a marketing specialist, producer, writer and on-air personality.
Mark Willes, Keith McMullin
Bonneville parent Deseret Management Corporation (DMC) is getting a new leader. After three years Mark Willes is stepping down. Fifteen-year board member Keith McMullin will succeed him. Willes oversaw Deseret’s shift to digital media, as well as the $505 million sale of 17 Bonneville stations in Chicago, Washington, St. Louis and Cincinnati to Hubbard Radio last year. DMC is the for-profit arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Daryl Lee McCann
Veteran air personality Daryl Lee McCann, who used the air name of Jay Walker, died April 1 of a heart attack. He was 60. McCann worked in radio for more than 30 years, programming several stations. In 1988, he and his wife launched a community newspaper in West Sacramento, CA, until he sold it and retired in 1996.
Clear Channel promotes Pittsburgh market director of sales Tim McAleer to market manager for the cluster. He succeeds Dennis Lamme, who became market manager for Clear Channel’s Philadelphia cluster in February. McAleer has been in radio for more than 14 years, starting his career at Chancellor Media as the general sales manager for rock WDVE (102.5). In 2000, he also became responsible for managing the sales efforts for modern rock “105.9 The X” WXDX-FM, Pittsburgh Steeler radio and Pittsburgh Penguin radio. Before working in radio he was a VP of sales for the Pittsburgh Brewing Company.
Cumulus Media news-talk WBAP-FM & AM (96.7, 820) talk show host Mark Davis has left the station after 18 years. In a web posting Davis says he was unable to reach an agreement on a new contract with Cumulus.
CBS Radio KFWB, Los Angeles (980) afternoon (2-4pm) talk host and motivational speaker Les Brown exits the station, the Orange County Register reports. Brown reportedly may return to radio at some point in a syndicated fashion. KFWB has extended both the syndicated Dave Ramsey show and its afternoon drive news block by one hour to cover the shift.
Local Media of San Diego modern rock “91X” XEHTZ-FM, San Diego promotes Michael Halloran to afternoon drive host. He’s been filling the daypart on an interim basis since Capone exited in late-February. Halloran will also remain the host of 91X’ local music show “91X Loudspeaker,” which airs Sundays from 7:00 to 9:00 PM.
NRG Media Wausau-Stevens Point, WI operations manager Brad Austin exits. He’s also been program director for country “Y-106.5” WYTE and CHR “Hot 96.7” WHTQ. Austin had been at the cluster since May 2010. No successor has been announced.
Genesis Communications hires Bill Bokunic as market manager for “1060 News” WIXC, Melbourne, FL. He’ll also oversee new business development for the Orlando radio cluster as the director of sales-new business. Bokunic was previously general sales manager for Salem’s Orlando stations (2010-2011), as well as a GSM for Cumulus Media (2007-2010) and a local sales manager for Clear Channel (2006-2007).
Cumulus Media names Bob Visotcky as VP of sales for its two Los Angeles stations: talk KABC (790) and classic rock KLOS (95.5). He most recently spent the past 18 months as market manager for Cumulus’ stations in Oxnard/Ventura/Santa Barbara. Visotcky was previously a Los Angeles market manager for AMFM in the late-1990s. He also spent time at Jacor and ABC Radio during his three decades in radio.
Premiere Networks promotes VP of engineering Bill Hickey to senior vice president. In this new position, Hickey will now be responsible for directing all studio operations and administration, while continuing to oversee engineering and technical operations for Premiere’s studio facilities nationwide. He’s been with Premiere since 2004. Prior to that he was the director of engineering for ABC Radio/Citadel Broadcasting’s news-talk KGO, San Francisco (810) from 1997-2004. Before that, he was the chief engineer for Buck Owens’ KUZZ-TV, Bakersfield.
Cumulus Media modern rock “97.9 X” WBSX, Wilkes Barre-Scranton hires Kenny Wall as its new program director. He most recently spent five years programming Shamrock Communication’s modern rock “Z 104.5 The Edge” WMYZ-FM, Tulsa.
Thomson Broadcast hires Perry Priestley as vice president of sales and marketing, where he will be responsible for the development and direction of the company's sales and marketing approach in North America. Most recently, Perry worked for Linear Industries as vice president of sales, and iBiquity as director of international development. Perry previously held positions with Thales Broadcast & Multimedia, Marconi, Varian, and Philips.
Sam Rogers, Jeff Boden
Cumulus Media promotes Sam Rogers to Washington, DC market manager, succeeding Jeff Boden, who exits. Rogers has been with Cumulus since last August as VP of political and platform sales. He previously was CBS Radio’s Washington market manager for nearly 24 years (1988-2011).
Clear Channel promotes Tommy Austin to operations manager for its St. Louis cluster. Austin has been with Clear Channel since 1997. For the past three years Austin has been ops manager for Clear Channel’s Portland, OR cluster.
After 15 years in programming and management positions for the company, Virgil Thompson leaves Cox Media Group as VP of programming of its San Antonio cluster effective April 27. Thompson previously served as VP/GM of the cluster, rock format coordinator for Cox Radio and PD of rocker KISS-FM.
Radio One promotes Dionne Burkett-Lewis to program director of urban AC “Majic 102.3” WMMJ, Washington, succeeding Jamillah Muhammad, who exited last month. Burkett-Lewis remains assistant PD of urban sister “Kiss 93.9” WKYS, where she’s worked since 1994 – the last six years as APD.
Beasley Broadcast Group rhythmic CHR “Power 96” WPOW, Miami morning host DJ Laz exits the station after 22 years to explore other opportunities. Morning show cohosts Afrika and The Big Lip Bandit, both of whom are veterans in the market, will continue in morning drive. Beasley has started a search to add a third member to the team.
Morris O’Kelly, David Cruz
Clear Channel talk KFI, Los Angeles (640) hires two new weekend hosts. Morris O’Kelly will host a show on Saturday evenings (6-8pm). After an 11 year stint in the music industry, O’Kelly transitioned to a career as a political commentator. In the same daypart on Sundays, David Cruz will host a show. He’s also the afternoon drive personality on sister talk KTLK (1150).
Buck Wise, Sean Tabler
CBS Radio CHR “98.7 Amp Radio” WDZH, Detroit announces Buck “Buck Head” Wise and Sean “Coop” Tabler are the station’s new morning show hosts. Wise moves mornings from afternoon drive where he’s worked since the station’s 2010 launch. Tabler moves from country sister WYCD (99.5) where he served as the evening host since 2010. Gillian Reilly will serve as executive producer for “The Buck and Coop Show.” She’s worked as a traffic producer, traffic reporter and on-air personality since starting her radio career in 2009. Will Kosnik, who has worked as an on-air personality and executive producer at WYCD for the past four years, will act as the show’s technical producer.
Longtime Syracuse, NY talk personality Jim Reith is returning to the local airwaves with a help of digital subchannels. He’ll host a daily talk show (6:30-7pm) on local public broadcasting outlet WCNY-TV’s digital tier channel starting May 14. Then in the fall Reith will launch a daily three-hour talk show on the HD3 channel for sister classical WCNY-FM (91.3). Reith spent 27 years on Clear Channel talk WSYR-FM & AM (106.9, 570) until he was laid off last October.
Clear Channel news-talk WRVA, Richmond (1140) hires Leland Conway as its new afternoon drive talk personality. The Herald-Leader reports he’s leaving sister “News Radio 630” WLAP, Lexington, KY for the position. Conway has been at WLAP for the past six years. No successor has been announced.
Dan Williams, Kim Zachary
The husband-and-wife team of Dan Williams and Kim Zachary parted ways with Clear Channel’s hot AC “Mix 93.1” WHYN-FM, Springfield, MA earlier this year. Now they’re returning to the local airwaves as the hosts of Gormally Broadcasting’s “ABC 40” WGGB-TV’s morning newscast. Williams and Zachary have worked in the Springfield radio market since 1995.
Bott Radio Network (BRN) hires Fred Zielonko as St. Louis regional manager for the religious broadcaster’s KSIV-FM & AM (91.5, 1320). He previously worked at CBS Radio news-talk KMOX (1120) from 1979-2010. Most recently he worked in sales for Tele-Ad, the St. Louis-based telephone on-hold marketing company.
Cumulus Media news-talk WBSM, New Bedford-Fall River, MA afternoon talk host Ken Pittman exits in a cost-cutting move, the Standard Times reports. WBSM will fill the timeslot with the syndicate Mike Gallagher show.
Hubbard Radio hires Lisa Allen for evenings on “Rewind 100.3” WILV, Chicago. Time Out Chicago reports she joins from NextMedia AC “Star 105.5” WZSR where she was music director and assistant program director. She’s previously worked at Hubbard’s hot AC “101.9 The Mix” WTMX.
Lincoln Financial Media hires market vet Von Freeman as its new director of marketing for the company’s three-station Miami cluster. Freeman previously was VP of marketing for Clear Channel’s Los Angeles stations for eight years. Prior to that he worked in the Cincinnati and San Diego markets. Since leaving Clear Channel in 2006 he has been operating his own company, Creative Chaos Productions, which worked with clients including NBC, GSN and The Rose Bowl.
CBS Radio country “Y-108” WDSY-FM, Pittsburgh (107.9) announces longtime Steel City morning personality Jimmy Roach will join the station, reuniting with longtime co-host Brian “Monty” Montgomery. The show will be known once again as “Jimmy and Monty In The Morning.” Roach joins from Keymarket Communication’s country rival “Froggy 94.9” WOGG. He previously worked at WDSY-FM from 1991-1998.
CBS Radio sports “92.3 The Fan” WKRK-FM, Cleveland hires Mike “Chico” Bormann to host middays on the station. It’s a westward move for Bormann, who has previously spent five number of years working at Cumulus Media’s “ESPN Radio 1260 The Score” WRIE, Erie, PA.
Puddin, Shay Shay
CBS Radio “98.7 Amp Radio” WDZH, Detroit morning show host Puddin and midday personality Shay Shay exit the station. No successors have been announced. The moves following the hiring of Tim Rainey as WDZH’s new program director in mid-March.
Local Media of San Diego modern rock “91X” XETRA-FM, San Diego-Tijuana promotes music director/night personality Christy Taylor as its new program director. Prior to San Diego, Taylor was an on-air personality at CBS Radio modern rock “92.3 K-Rock” WXRK, New York and Pamal Broadcasting’s rock “104.9 The Edge” WZMR, Albany, NY.
Fisher Radio’s all-news KOMO-FM & AM, Seattle (97.7, 1000) hires Paul Duckworth as its new program director starting April 16. It’s a return to a cluster where he worked as PD from 1997-2002. He most recently programmed talk WMAL, Washington (630) for Citadel Broadcasting, exiting the station in May 2010. He’s also programmed talk stations including KLIF, Dallas (570); WDBO, Orlando (580); and KPAM, Portland (860).
Clear Channel rhythmic CHR “Hot 107.9” WWHT, Syracuse, NY names A.J. as its new program director. He succeeds Jason Furst, who remains PD for “FM Newsradio 106.9” WSYR-FM. A.J. joins WWHT from Cumulus Media CHR WBHT, Scranton-Wilkes Barron (97.1) where he was program director and afternoon drive host.
Clear Channel St. Louis operations manager Jeff McHugh exits the cluster. McHugh previously was Cox Radio’s Atlanta operations manager, a programmer for Entercom, and a talent coach for The Randy Lane Company.
Clear Channel sports “1340 The Game” KGHM, Oklahoma City sports director and afternoon talk host David Garrett exits the station after seven years. He’d also did play-by-play on the station, The Oklahoman reports.