Drew Horowitz

After 43 years in the radio business, Hubbard Radio President and Chief Operating Officer Drew Horowitz has announced he will retire at the end of the year. Credited with transforming “101.9 The Mix” from a ratings bottom-feeder into a Chicago powerhouse, Horowitz joined Hubbard in 2011 as Executive VP & COO when it bought Bonneville’s four biggest market clusters in a landmark $505 million deal.

“I absolutely know that each of us has learned a great deal from Drew and not just about radio, business and leadership,” Hubbard Chairman and CEO Ginny Morris said in an email to employees. “I know that Drew has touched and helped many of us personally as well as professionally. Drew is a wise and generous leader and it has been an honor to be able to work alongside him for the last eight years.”

Horowitz, 67, was promoted to his current position as No. 2 at Hubbard Radio in July 2014, after serving as Executive VP & COO since April 2011. That’s when he joined the company as part of its acquisition of Bonneville’s four biggest market clusters, where he held the same role for four years. Horowitz joined Bonneville in 1992 and went on to become Executive VP of the company, overseeing all of its markets.

In the email to employees, Morris reflected on his contributions to Hubbard. “Drew has been instrumental in helping us further grow the company as we added clusters in Phoenix and Seattle, bolstered our cluster in St. Louis and most recently, acquired our operations in West Palm Beach,” Morris wrote.

Frequently quoted in Inside Radio, Horowitz has been involved with WTMX since 1992, when then-Bonneville president Bruce Reese hired him to manage the then-struggling station, which used the calls WCLR. WTMX, of course, became a Chicago radio powerhouse and a model for the hot AC format. It has been perched at the top of the 6+ ranker in the Windy City in Nielsen’s two most recent monthly ratings reports.

Earlier in his career, Horowitz was VP/GM of a pair of other Chicago stations – country WUSN (99.5) and the former WFYR Chicago – and ran Chicago-based Lakeshore Communications before he joined “The Mix.” He advanced to President and General Manager of the station in 1993.

“This is as good as I could have ever hoped for,” Horowitz told Chicago media reporter Robert Feder, who first reported the news. “I had a career that I never could have dreamed of when I started selling in 1976. I’ve loved every minute of it. I worked with great companies and great people who respected the industry and respected the people that worked for them. I just was so lucky.”

Looking ahead, Horowitz plans to take some time off and explore other opportunities, including serving on corporate boards, teaching and taking classes. “Another goal is to get someplace warm,” he told Feder. “I’m tired of Chicago winters.”

Morris told employees the company “will be celebrating Drew in the coming months,” but will remain in “business as usual mode until further notice.”