Chicago Sun-Times
Lewis Lazare follows Chicago media and marketing news

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DreX is out at Clear Channel Radio Chicago's Top 40 WKSC-FM (103.5). Drex's exit comes during the second year of a five-year contract that he signed with the station in early 2009. Also gone with him are his two sidekicks Mel Tovar and Angi Taylor. Sources said DreX (whose given name is Kevin Buchar) was making between $300,000 and $450,000 under terms of the five-year deal -- a generous arrangement in an industry where three-year contracts for on-air talent are the norm.

The reasons for DreX's abrupt exit Tuesday are unclear. "This is radio," said one source, suggesting that on-air talent can be dispensed with at any time for any number of reasons. A Clear Channel spokeswoman said it is the company's policy not to comment on personnel issues. She said other WKSC talent would rotate in the morning drive time slot until a new morning show host is announced. WKSC's evening host Special K hosted the morning show on Wednesday.

DreX's ratings were certainly acceptable, although he was not the top-ranked morning talent in the 18 to 34-year-old demo that was the show's target demographic. In the most recent November Arbitron ratings book, "DreX in the Morning" ranked ninth among morning drive shows in the 18 to 34-year-old demo. His numbers have slipped however. DreX ranked third in the 18 to 34-year-old demo when his current contract was signed in early 2009.

When Clear Channel brought DreX to Chicago in 2003 from San Antonio, he was a hit in that Texas market. And Clear Channel Chicago management believed he could replicate that success in Chicago on its Top 40 outlet. In fact, Clear Channel Chicago had enough confidence in his abilities to allow him to do a talk-focused morning drive show on a station that otherwise is devoted to playing Top 40 hits around the clock.



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Lewis Lazare has written the Media Mix column for the Chicago Sun-Times for the past seven and a half years.

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