‘K2’ comes home to lead WGCI

Kenard Karter

Kenard Karter

Ten years after he began his career as a weekend overnight personality and promotions assistant at WGCI FM 107.5, Chicago native Kenard “K2” Karter is returning to the Clear Channel urban contemporary station as program director.

Karter, who rejoins WGCI March 3, spent the last four years as assistant program director and midday personality at Clear Channel’s KMEL FM in San Francisco.

“In this ever-changing industry, Mr. Karter has been able to seamlessly remain a relevant key contributor and player within the cutting edge radio imagery,” Karter says of himself in his online bio. “He prides himself on being a future leader in the transition of the media entertainment platform by impacting ratings, content value and driving social media. . . . He enjoys executing specialized promotional projects and closing strategic partnerships with style and swagger.”

At WGCI, Karter replaces Kris Kelley, who was forced out in December after 15 years with the company. Kelley’s other position as program director of pop contemporary-hit radio WKSC FM 103.5 has been taken over by Tommy Austin, vice president of programming for Clear Channel Media and Entertainment Chicago.

“I’m thrilled Kenard is coming aboard to lead the WGCI team,” Derrick Brown, director of urban programming for Clear Channel Chicago, said in a statement Thursday. “His record of success at KMEL is impressive, and his competitive spirit is infectious.”

In the latest Nielsen Audio survey, WGCI ranked fourth overall with a 4.3 percent share and a cumulative weekly audience of 1,389,700.

A graduate of Illinois State University, Karter joined Clear Channel in 2004 and quickly rose on the air at WGCI (where he called himself “K2”) and behind the scenes as music director of WGCI and Kiss FM, and assistant production director of WGCI, urban adult contemporary WVAZ FM 102.7, and gospel WGRB AM 1390. “I’m proud to have a proven track record of major market ratings success,” Karter said in a statement. “I am a team player with a knack for innovation and collaboration, which I’m excited to bring to Chicago.”

But how excited is he really? As recently as Jan. 5, Karter tweeted a photo of a snow-covered car in his hometown with the message: “Just got this pic of the snow in Chicago . . . and I don't miss it at all!”