Java Joel Murphy Takes WAKS Cleveland PD Reigns; Keith Abrams Adds WMMS

96.5 Kiss-FM WAKS Akron ClevelandFollowing the move of Chris Tyler to Classic Rock 100.7 WZLX Boston, iHeartMedia Cleveland has filled the roles at his former stations.

‘Java’ Joel Murphy will move up from Assistant Program Director/Music Director to fill the Program Director role at CHR “96.5 Kiss-FM” WAKS. Murphy has been with WAKS since 2006 and has moved up the ranks from night host to his current role in addition to serving as afternoon host. He has also worked at “103.5 Kiss-FM” WKSC Chicago, 97.9 WPXY Rochester, and “Hot 107.9” WWHT Syracuse in his career and also served as Music Director for Variety Hits “106.5 The Lake” WHLK from 2011-2015.

Keith Abrams, who serves as Senior Vice President of Programming for iHeartMedia’s North Ohio Region, will add day-to-day PD duties at Rock 100.7 WMMS. Abrams has been with iHeartMedia Cleveland since he joined as Operations Manager in 2008 and Program Director of Classic Hits 105.7 WMJI. He previously served as VP/Programming for CBS Radio Denver from 2004-2008, programmed WWMG Charlotte and KBSG Seattle, and served as General Manager for Mercury Broadcasting Salt Lake City.

iHeartMedia Cleveland announced today that “Java” Joel Murphy has been named Program Director for 96.5 KISS FM, Cleveland’s No. 1 Hit Music Station, effective immediately. In addition, Keith Abrams, Senior Vice President of Programming for iHeartMedia’s North Ohio Region, has been named Program Director of 100.7 WMMS, also effective immediately.

iHeartMedia Cleveland has a strong cross-platform presence and includes a number of iconic brands and franchises — both broadcast and digital – including Majic 105.7, 99.5 WGAR, 100.7 WMMS, 106.5 The Lake, 96.5 KISS FM, 99X and WTAM 1100 and is home to legendary personalities including Rover, Mike Trivisonno, Bill Wills, Brian & LeeAnn, Nolan, Malone and Kulik and Alan Cox. iHeartMedia Cleveland is also the flagship market for the Cleveland Indians and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

iHeartMedia has massive consumer reach and influence across multiple platforms and delivers more live programming than any other media company, and Murphy and Abrams will work closely with their stations’ on-air personalities and sales to oversee onair and digital programming, as well as local events and partnerships.

“Joel knows great radio and has been an important part of KISS FM for more than 10 years,” said Keith Hotchkiss, President of iHeartMedia’s North Ohio Region. “I’m excited for him to lead KISS FM’s strategic and creative direction. We’re ready for him to take the station to the top of the Terminal Tower.” Murphy most recently served as Assistant Program Director, Music Director and PM Drive host for KISS FM. “Being handed the keys to program 96.5 KISS FM is a dream come true,” said Murphy.

“I couldn’t be more excited for this opportunity after being part of the brand for over a decade!” Hotchkiss added, “Under the stewardship of Keith Abrams for the past 10 years, iHeartMedia Cleveland has seen record growth in terms of ratings for our iconic brands.

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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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