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Charese Fruge Promoted To VP/Programming CBS Radio Houston; Cat Thomas Takes Over Las Vegas

Charese Fruge Cat Thomas J Love CBS Radio Houston Las Vegas 98.5 KLUC Mix 96.5 KHMX Hot 95.7 KKHHCBS Radio is transferring its Las Vegas VP/Programming Charese Fruge to Houston where she will serve as Vice President of Programming and Operations Manager for the company’s six stations in the markets as well as Program Director of CHR “Hot 95.7” KKHH and Hot AC “Mix 96.5” KHMX effective Monday, May 4.

Fruge joined CBS Radio in 2009 as PD of Hot AC “Mix 94.1” KMXB Las Vegas and has since taken on oversight of Alternative “X107.5” KXTE as well. At various times she also oversaw CBS stations in Sacramento and San Diego.

Replacing Fruge as VP/Progamming of CBS Radio Las Vegas will be Cat Thomas. Thomas will give up his day-to-day programming duties at CHR 98.5 KLUC, but program KXTE, News/Talk 840 KXNT/100.5 KXNT-FM, and “CBS Sports 1140” KXST. John “JB King” Bernard is promoted from APD/MD to Program Director at KLUC, while Jonathan “J Love” Campbell is given the same promotion at KMXB.

Charese Fruge has been named Vice President of Programming and Operations Manager for CBS RADIO’s six stations in the Houston market, it was announced today by Sarah Frazier, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, CBS RADIO Houston. Fruge comes to Houston from CBS RADIO Las Vegas, where she served as Vice President of Programming for the market. In this new role, she will oversee programming for MIX 96.5 (KHMX-FM), CBS Sports Radio (KIKK-AM), SportsRadio 610 (KILT-AM), 100.3 The Bull (KILT-FM), HOT 95-7 (KKHH-FM) and MEGA 101 (KLOL-FM).  The appointment is effective as of Monday, May 4. Additionally, Fruge will serve as Program Director for music stations, MIX 96.5 and HOT 95-7.

“Charese is a talented programmer and leader,” said Frazier. “Her longstanding relationships in the music industry, passion for radio, and ability to create special experiences for the listener are an integral part of why she’s such a great fit for Houston. We are thrilled to have her join the Houston team, as we continue to grow and build upon our brands under her guidance.”

“This role is the opportunity of a lifetime and a chance to finally be back in the South,” said Fruge.

“I’m honored, and looking forward to working with Bruce Logan and the Houston team to help take these amazing brands to the next level. I have made lifelong friends and memories in Las Vegas and appreciate them always making me look good.”

Fruge has spent more than 20 years in radio both on-air and in programming with various stations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Denver, San Diego, and New Orleans. She was in Las Vegas with CBS RADIO collectively for more than 10 years and is a member of the Nevada Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame. The Southwest Louisiana native has collected numerous programming awards and women’s leadership awards, including Radio Ink’s Most Influential Women in Radio for 2012 and 2013.

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Cat Thomas has been named Vice President of Programming for CBS RADIO Las Vegas, it was announced today by Jerry McKenna, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, CBS RADIO Las Vegas. Thomas takes on the lead programming role, overseeing 98.5 KLUC (KLUC-FM), Mix 94.1 (KMXB-FM), X107.5 (KXTE-FM), NewsRadio 100.5 FM and 840 AM (KXNT-FM/AM) and CBS Sports Radio 1140 AM (KXST-AM). The appointment is effective on Monday, May 4.

Thomas will continue to serve as the day-to-day programmer for X107.5, NewsRadio 100.5 FM and 840 AM, and CBS Sports Radio 1140 AM.

“Cat Thomas is a veteran programming executive whose experience in this market is unmatched,” said McKenna. “He has successfully programmed 98.5 KLUC for the better part of two decades and most recently, has been the driving force behind the success of our spoken word brands. Our stations are in very capable hands.”

Added Thomas, “This is a dream come true. We have the biggest brands in the market and I have loved this group since we put these stations together in 1996. None of this would be possible without the passion of our staffs. As the great Woody Hayes said, ‘You Win With People!’ and we have great people from top to bottom.”

Thomas succeeds Charese Fruge who has been named Vice President of Programming and Operations Manager of CBS RADIO Houston.

In a related announcement, John Bernard (J.B. King) has been promoted from Assistant Program Director to Program Director of 98.5 KLUC and Jonathan Campbell (J.Love) has been elevated from Assistant Program Director and Music Director of Mix 94.1 to Program Director of the station.

“Mix 94.1 and 98.5 KLUC are the two biggest brands in Las Vegas and each need the love and care they deserve,” said Thomas. “I have worked hand in hand with JB for years, and can attest to his passion and champion’s attitude. J.Love has been a winner everywhere he goes and we have total confidence in him at the helm of Mix 94.1 as we work together to keep the station a dominant force in Las Vegas.”

Thomas has spent more than 30 years both on-air and in programming, starting his career on WNHS, his high school radio station at Northland High in Columbus, Ohio. He worked at WFAL, WBGU, WCOL-AM and WNCI while attending college. After graduating from The Ohio State University, Thomas went to work in Orlando at Y106 (now XL 106.7) for several years. In 1988, he was hired to do nights at 98.5 KLUC in Las Vegas, soon after becoming Music Director for the station. Thomas was named Program Director of KLUC in 1996 and has won countless awards as PD including, Program Director of the Year from Billboard, S.I.N., Gavin and EMA Magazines. He added Program Director responsibilities for NewsRadio 100.5 FM and 840 AM, along with CBS Sports Radio 1140 AM in 2014.

Bernard has been the anchor of the 98.5 KLUC on-air staff in afternoon drive, since joining in April 1998. In 1999, he took on Music Director responsibilities and in 2001became Assistant Program Director for the station. A native of Oakland, California and a graduate of U.C. Davis, Bernard began his radio career in Sacramento, California with stops in San Francisco and Phoenix, before arriving in Las Vegas.

Campbell hails from Los Angeles, California. He graduated from San Jose State University with a degree in radio and television, and has been in radio for more than 20 years. He has worked in numerous markets and was Program Director in Providence, Rhode Island, Oxnard/Ventura, California and Reno, Nevada. In 2012, he joined CBS RADIO Las Vegas as Assistant Program Director and Music Director for Mix 94.1 along with Assistant Program Director for X107.5.

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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.

1 Comment

  1. Profile photo of Steven


    I remember listening to Charese years ago when she was on the air in Louisiana. I’m excited to have Charese here in Houston–she’ll do great things!

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