Veteran programmer Mike Thomas joins Good Karma Brands “ESPN Chicago” WMVP (1000) as Market Manager. Thomas is exiting his post as PD at Beasley Media Group sports “98.5 The Sports Hub” WBZ-FM Boston to be closer to his family in Chicago and fulfill a career goal of becoming a Market Manager, a role he will begin in January 2020.
“As a lifelong Chicago sports fan, this is a dream come true,” Thomas said in a release. “It’s so exciting as ESPN 1000 Chicago has a great team, loyal advertising partners and passionate fans. This also gives me the opportunity to be close to my family and work with a company who, like me, has Midwest roots and a passion for sports.”
In a separate release issued by Beasley, Thomas said, “This was an incredibly difficult decision. This radio station is a once in a career station, with a once in a career staff. I would like to thank Caroline and Brian Beasley and the entire corporate team for everything. Locally, [VP/Market Manager] Mary Menna, [Director of Programming] Cadillac Jack and [Executive VP of Strategy and Innovation] Buzz Knight have been fantastic to work with. I also want to thank every single Sports Hub employee for 10 years of winning. I know our relationships won’t end here.”
Thomas will continue as a consultant for the station and help in the search process for his replacement.
“It has been a privilege and a pleasure working closely with Mike over the past couple of years,” Menna said. “He is a true talent who has built an amazing, iconic brand. I wish our time together was longer, but wish him every happiness as he starts his Midwest adventure.”
Good Karma Brands took over WMVP under a Local Marketing Agreement with Disney that went into effect Sept. 29. Jim Pastor, the longtime manager of the station, announced at the time that he would be retiring at the end of the year. Company founder and CEO Craig Karmazin will continue to serve as Market Manager until the arrival of Thomas in January.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Mike Thomas to the team,” Karmazin added. “He is the epitome of best-in-class and his expertise, passion for Chicago sports and sports-radio experience will elevate what already is a powerhouse brand.”
With the impending exit of Thomas, who also serves as National Brand Manager for Beasley overseeing spoken word formats, the company has a huge opening at one of the country’s leading sports radio outlets, which is the official broadcast home of the New England Patriots, Boston Bruins, Boston Celtics and NE Revolution.
“I want to thank Mike for the instrumental part he has played in leading our award-winning brand throughout its first decade, and wish him continued success in his next chapter,” Cadillac Jack remarked. “They’re big shoes to fill, and we look forward to meeting a lot of great talent in the process as the coming days and weeks unfold.”