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

Recently in WUSN-FM Category

scan0011.jpgCBS Radio Chicago WUSN-FM (99.5) midday personality Trish Biondo has been nominated for the Academy of Country Music Awards "Personality of the Year" award in the major markets category. Biondo has been with WUSn for 25 years and was recently signed to a new multi-year deal. The 46th annual ACM Awards show will be telecast on CBS on April 3, beginning at 7 p.m., from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Ray Stevens and Lisa Dent have won the Country Music Association's major market "Personality of the Year" Award for 2010. Stevens and Dent host the "Lisa Dent & Ramblin' Ray Morning Show" on CBS Radio Chicago's country WUSN-FM (99.5) weekdays from 5 to10 a.m.

The show debuted in that time slot nearly four years ago. "We always want to do a good job for our listeners, the people who get up and go to real jobs every day," said Stevens. "This award is icing on the cake," added Stevens.

The "Lisa Dent & Ramblin' Ray Morning Show' was one of five nominated radio shows selected as finalists in this year's competition. The finalists were then judged by a CMA panel of industry experts who evaluated them on several criteria, including ratings success, community involvement, industry involvement and a sample of their show.

Dent has been with WUSN for eight years and previously won the CMA "Personality of the Year" award as a midday host in 2005. Stevens has been with WUSN for over 17 years. WUSN has an average audience of 1.7 million listeners each week.

Buddy Scott has been named program director at CBS Radio Chicago's country WUSN-FM (99.5). Scott previously was program director of CBS Radio Chicago's Top 40 WBBM-FM (96.3) from 1982 to 1990. Scott went on to become senior vice-president of programming at Clear Channel Radio with programming oversight for 120 stations in 25 markets, many of which were country outlets. WUSN was launched as a country station in 1987, and has a weekly audience of 1.1 million listeners. CBS Radio Chicago market manager Rod Zimmerman said Scott's "experience, leadership, skill set and passion for the (country) format make him the perfect choice to lead WUSN to new levels of success."

Bill Gamble has departed his dual post as program director for WUSN-FM (99.5) and WCFS-FM (105.9), both CBS Radio Chicago outlets. Gamble lasted about 10 months on the job, during which time WUSN-FM continued to be a top-10 performer in the 25-to-54 adult demo in the Arbitron ratings. WCFS-FM has shown some success in attracting more women listeners, but just days before his exit Gamble conceded more work needed to be done to get that station where it needs to be in the ratings. CBS Radio has been aggressively running ads promoting WCFS in recent months.

WCFS had been rumored in recent months to be the outlet CBS Radio might use to simulcast sports talk WSCR-AM (670) on the FM band, but sources within CBS Radio Chicago say there are no plans to do that on WCFS or any other CBS Radio FM outlet in the Chicago market at this time. Sources also said CBS Radio market manager Rod Zimmerman may opt to bring in separate program directors for WUSN and WCFS or possibly go with one PD for both stations again.

CBS Radio Chicago's country WUSN-FM (99.5) was a big winner this past weekend at the country music industry's prestigious "Country Music Broadcasters/Country Aircheck" Awards. WUSN won in the following categories: Station of the Year (major market); music director of the year (assistant program director Marci Braun) and morning show of the year with the "Lisa Dent & Ramblin' Ray" morning drive show. WUSN also is currently nominated for "Station of the Year" (major market) by the Academy of Country Music. The ACM Awards will be telecast by CBS on Sunday, April 18th, beginning at 7 p.m.

CBS Radio Chicago's country WUSN-FM (99.5) has inked a multi-year contract extension with its morning show personality Lisa Dent, who has been with the station for eight years. The "Lisa Dent & Ramblin' Ray Morning Show" debuted three years ago on WUSN, and is among the more popular morning drive efforts in the Chicago market. "Lisa is one of the premier talents in the country," said Bill Gamble, program director at WUSN, adding "not only is she a remarkable interviewer, she has incredible relationships within the Nashville community, especially with artists." "I grew up around here, and being on the radio in Chicago is like hanging out with my friends," said Dent. With an average 1.2 million weekly listeners, WUSN is the most-listened-to country radio station in America.

There's just about nothing -- and we mean NOTHING -- that has gone unshuffled in the Chicago radio business over the course of the past seven or eight months. And though the frequency of the shuffling has markedly decreased in recent weeks, it isn't gone altogether.

The latest rounds occurred Tuesday in the sales departments of four CBS Radio outlets in Chicago under the direction of Market Manager Rod Zimmerman. In essence, Zimmerman decided to merge what had been four discrete sales units repping four, differently-formatted radio stations into just two units, with each sales unit responsible for selling two radio outlets. Zimmerman has merged the sales forces of all-news WBBM-AM (780) and adult hits WJMK-FM (104.3) and made Mark Day the general sales manager in charge.

The previously separate sales teams repping country WUSN-FM (99.5) and adult contemporary WCFS-FM (105.9) were also combined, with Gabe Tartaglia the general sales manager in charge.

While the synergies of joining sales forces for WBBM and WJMK are less obvious, Zimmerman said that because of the strong core female demo for both WUSN and WCFS, the sales force merger made a lot of sense. Zimmerman believes the overall restructuring will offer greater efficiency and make for quicker responses to client needs. But for the local CBS Radio staffers involved, the best aspect of this latest restructuring is that it meant no reduction in forces -- a minor miracle, everything considered.



About the blogger

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

About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the WUSN-FM category.

WTTW-Channel 11 is the previous category.

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