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Cumulus Restructures Salt Lake Programming Staff

Rick Vaughn Alt 94.9 KHTB KBear KBER 101 Salt Lake CityCumulus Media has hired Rick Vaughn as Program Director at Alternative “Alt 94.9” KHTB and Rock “K-Bear 101” KBER Salt Lake City.

Vaughn, who previously programmed such stations as “103.5 Kiss-FM” WKSC Chicago, “Q102” WIOQ Philadelphia, and “Power 96.1” WWPQ and “Radio 105.7” WRDA Atlanta most recently was operating talent coaching consultancy AIM, READY, FIRE LLC.

The addition of Vaughn leads to the exit of Sue Kelly as PD of KBER and KHTB. Additionally Dain Craig, PD of AC “B98.7” KBEE will replace Mike Parsons as PD of Variety Hits “Trax 101.9” in addition to his duties at KBEE..

Cumulus Media announces that Rick Vaughn will join Cumulus as Program Director of KBER (K-Bear) and KHTB (The ALT) in Salt Lake City. He replaces KBER/KHTB PD Sue Kelly and KENZ/TRAX PD Mike Parsons. Concurrently, Dain Craig, PD of KBEE (B98.7) will take on the programming of KENZ/TRAX-FM. Vaughn programmed contemporary and rock stations for iHeart Media/Clear Channel for 15 years in markets including: Chicago (WKSC), Philadelphia (WIOQ), Atlanta (WWPW and WRDA), Hartford (WKSS), and San Diego (KHTS). Most recently, he was principal of AIM, READY, FIRE LLC, a consultancy focused on talent coaching and radio branding across multiple formats.

Troy Hanson, Corporate Programming, Rock Formats for Cumulus said: “We are excited to put Rick’s vision and strong major market track record of talent development & strategic execution to work on our rock brands in Salt Lake City.”  

Vaughn said: “No one places a higher value on our listeners and quality local programming than Cumulus. I am deeply appreciative of Troy Hanson, Mike McVay and John Dickey for the opportunity to join their team in Salt Lake City.  ALT 94.9 and KBER 101 are literally loaded with talent. We have so many great moments ahead of us. Simply, this is the most exciting mission of my career.”

Profile photo of Lance Venta
Lance Venta is the Owner and Publisher of RadioInsight.com and a consultant for RadioBB Networks specializing in integration of radio and the internet. Lance has two decades of experience tracking the audio industry and its use of digital platforms.

4 Comments

  1. Profile photo of Mark W.


    This guy has almost zero experience in programming rock radio.. The corporate press release is a crock of b.s.

    Both of these stations have abysmal ratings.

    A flip to CHR, CHR/Rhythmic, or Classic Hip-Hop is likely imminent for at least one of these stations. That is the type of format where someone with Rick’s credentials can add value.

    • Profile photo of charles57


      Utah”s population is mainly white, which makes Alt-Rock and mainstream Rock viable for Salt Lake City. The region already has Pop and Rhythmic stations on other signals. Better to provide a choice than an echo.

      And no, Rap Oldies will never be done in a state that’s predominantly Mormon.

  2. Profile photo of Mark W.


    X96 was just sold for a bargain basement price, both CHRs have great ratings, and KBER’s ratings are near all time record low levels Alt 94.9 is dead in the water; it has zero ratings traction and offers a format that underindexes in the billing department even when ratings are good.

    Common sense says you don’t hire a long time CHR programmer to do a turnaround to salvage a frigging ROCK format.

    One of these signals will flip.

    • Profile photo of wtk1


      Cumulus would be retarded to flip a station like KBER with 25+ yrs of heritage. What did they expect hiring Sue as a PD. Her success at Arrow was due to Consultants. She had no business programming an active rocker. When she did, she turned it classic rock (only four-five signals in metro broadcasting same puke) and removed a ratings winner syndicated morning show (B&T) in favor of local PM drive duo only to bring said syndicated show back weeks later. That 25-54 yr old male who wants his Metallica found Boston instead. Kelly Hammer had KBER dialed in and when he saw Cumulus purchasing Citadel he hit the eject button and coincidentally landed at Sue Station Killer’s…err…Kelly’s old cluster in an elevated position where he’s having great success. The Bear hasn’t been the same since Hammer left but hopefully new suit can resuscitate it.

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