Published on Tuesday, 31 August 2010 09:03
It seems the only constant is change when it comes to NextMedia's suburban stations. Among the latest changes is the abrupt departure of Roger Piper, the General Sales Manager for the company's Joliet/Aurora cluster of stations. Piper's exit happened at the end of the day on Friday. He had been a GSM for MextMedia for five years.
The change comes on the heels of a change in the General Manager for the same cluster of NextMedia radio stations. At the start of June, NextMedia parted ways with General Manager Todd Elbrink
. At the end of last month, they hired Patrick Pendergast
to be GM of the Joliet/Aurora cluster.
The NextMedia Joliet/Aurora cluster includes Hot AC WSSR-FM, Classic Hits WERV-FM, Country WCCQ-FM, Classic Rock WRXQ-FM and Talk WJOL-AM.
There are shake-ups happening for NextMedia in the northern suburbs, too. WWYW-FM, best known as Y103.9, let go four people at the end of the day Friday, citing budget shortcomings. Morning host of the oldies station for the last five years, Jim Shea is out, as is the station receptionist and at least two sales people. As of this week, afternoon host Jeff James has moved to mornings. Afternoons are now taken over by syndicated host, Tom Kent, himself a former DJ from WLS-AM's music days.
It should be pointed out that NextMedia does not "officially" own WWYW-FM. Earlier this year, NextMedia was forced by the FCC to unload two of their Chicago market stations
due to the ownership changes taking place caused by their bankruptcy (which they have since exited
). The two stations were WZSR-FM/Star 105.5 in Woodstock and WWYW-FM/Y 103.9 in Dundee/Crystal Lake. Officially, the stations are operated by Media Venture Partners broker Elliot Evers, operating as Trustee with The Mile Station Trust LLC. Unofficially, NextMedia is still running the stations as they always have, until a buyer can be found for them.
Locally, NextMedia "officially" owns and operates only five FM and two AM radio stations in the Chicago suburbs (the maximum allowed by the FCC): WKRS-AM/1220 WKRS in Waukegan, WXLC-FM/102.3 XLC in Waukegan, and the five stations mentioned above as the Joliet/Aurora cluster. Unofficially, NextMedia's Chicago branch also operates the two stations that are in a trust, along with WIIL-FM/95WIILRock and WLIP-AM/AM 1050, both in in Pleasant Prairie, WI, but NextMedia convinced the FCC that those stations are officially not Chicago market stations, even though the majority of their listeners are indeed within the Chicago market.
NextMedia Group is headquartered in Greenwood Village, Colorado. It owns and/or operates 33 radio stations nationwide.