Cumulus Media is playing musical chairs at the Program Director office at three of its major market stations.
Jan Jeffries, Cumulus’ Senior Vice President of Programming, will give up his role as day-to-day PD of Classic Hits 94.7 WLS-FM Chicago to head to CHR “All The Hits 107.3” WRQX Washington, DC. Concurrently, Rick Gillette will move from WRQX to Hot AC 95.5 WPLJ New York as Program Director and retain his duties as CHR Corporate Program Director for the company.
Current WPLJ PD John Foxx will remain with the station as Assistant Program Director/Afternoon host. A search will be on for a new PD for WLS-FM.
INSTANT INSIGHT: Reshuffling the deck chairs on three stations in need of a boost. WRQX has made no impact since shifting from Hot AC “Mix 107.3” to CHR a couple years ago. With a gaping Classic Hits void in the market and former WRQX morning host Jack Diamond working for Jeffries in Chicago how long until a reunion is made at WRQX?
WLS-FM has fallen well behind CBS’ “K-Hits 104.3” in the head-to-head Classic Hits battle in Chicago, while WPLJ has recently restored its gold library and reimaged after spending most of 2014 as a pseudo-CHR.
Cumulus Media announces that Jan Jeffries, Senior Vice President, Programming for Cumulus and Program Director for WLS-FM in Chicago, will move to Washington, D.C. to oversee programming for WRQX-FM as Program Director. Jeffries replaces Rick Gillette, who will move to New York City as Program Director for WPLJ-FM. John Foxx, who previously held the PD position for WPLJ, will remain with the station as Assistant Program Director. Jeffries will continue in his corporate role as Senior Vice President, Programming for Cumulus, while Gillette will retain his responsibilities as Corporate Program Director/Contemporary for Cumulus. Cumulus is currently conducting a search for WLS-FM Program Director.
Jeffries has more than 40 years experience in broadcasting, and has programmed stations in Mobile, Birmingham, Tampa/St. Petersburg, Baltimore/Washington, D.C., Atlanta, San Jose, Dallas and Chicago. He has also operated his own consulting firm and served as president of Stratford Research.
Gillette is a veteran programming professional who joined Cumulus in March 2014, after programming NOW-FM for CBS in New York City. He has also programmed stations in Chicago and Detroit and was Vice President of Music Entertainment for DMX Music, a global music services company based in Los Angeles.
Mike McVay, Senior Vice President, Content and Programming for Cumulus said: “These moves maximize the skills of two of the company’s best programmers. They are each perfectly suited for these two specific situations. ”
Jeffries said: “The past four years programming WLS FM have been most rewarding, solidifying its heritage with a legendary air staff and signature sound. Now it is an honor to join WRQX and lead the talented programming team in Washington. My deepest appreciation to John Dickey and Mike McVay.”
Gillette said: “D.C. is a special place. It’s not often you get to rebuild a brand from the ground up, but that’s exactly what we’ve done in the past year. The cast and crew there are nonpareil, and the ratings growth shows the brand is on the move. 95.5 PLJ is also a special place. John Foxx and I have been working very closely together on this project the past nine months. He’s one of the finest young programmers in the country and we’re blessed to have him on this amazing team. Now, with Chad Lopez firmly ensconced in the corner office, I believe this brand is ready to return to dominance in Gotham.”