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Rick Thomas Joins Cox Media Group Tampa As Operations Manager

Rick Thomas Hot 101.5 WPOI Tampa Cox Media GroupCox Media Group has appointed Rick Thomas as Operations Manager of its six Tampa stations and Director of Branding and Programming for CHR “Hot 101.5” WPOI.

Thomas exited his position as PD of CBS CHR “92.3 Amp Radio” WBMP New York last month following the expiration of his contract. He has also programmed CBS Smooth AC “94.7 The Wave” KTWV and Classic Hits “K-Earth 101.1” KRTH Los Angeles and Broadcast Company of Americas Rhythmic CHR “Z90” XHTZ and Rhythmic Oldies “Magic 92.5” XHRM Tijuana/San Diego.

Thomas fills the PD opening at WPOI created by John E. Cage’s exit to join Bonneville Country 98.5 KYGO Denver las September. In addition to WPOI, Cox owns AC “Magic 94.9” WWRM, Alternative “97X” WSUN-FM, Hot Talk “102.5 The Bone” WHPT, Soft AC “105.5 The Dove” WDUV, and Classic Rock “107.3 The Eagle” WXGL in the Tampa market.

Cox Media Group (CMG) Tampa has named Rick Thomas as Operations Manager for WWRM-FM Magic 94.9, WSUN-FM 97X, WPOI-FM HOT 101.5, 102.5 The Bone WHPT-FM, 105.5 The Dove WDUV- FM, 107.3 The Eagle WXGL-FM, and all digital content. Thomas will also serve as HOT 101.5 WPOI-FM’s Director of Branding and Programming.

“CMG is very fortunate to have Rick join our Tampa team,” said Keith Lawless, CMG Tampa’s Vice President and Market Manager. “Rick is a successful and innovative leader in our business with an exceptional track record. I’m proud to partner with Rick and I have no doubt that his contributions will help Tampa compete and win, even more.”

Previously, Thomas served as Program Director of CBS New York City’s 923 Amp Radio. Other programming highlights include successful time at KEarth 101 and 947 The Wave in Los Angeles, as well as Magic 925 and Z90 in San Diego. Rick and family will relocate to Tampa in early March.

“The quality of the people, and the company that one chooses to go to war for are just as important as the yearning for a great competitive challenge.” said Thomas, “As soon as I met Keith Lawless, I realized we would do big things together. I’m so pumped and excited to partner with Keith, CMG CHR format boss JJ Rice, and reuniting with CMG Sr. VP of Programming Steve Smith, whom I have known for three decades, in implementing a high level cluster growth strategy as well developing and curating these key brands for CMG Tampa.”

Smith added, “I’ve had the opportunity to work with Rick in one way or another for most of my career. He is a great strategist and a warrior! I am so proud that Rick is joining the strongest programming team and media company in the business”

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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.

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