Agase shifts in radio sales shakeup

Paul Agase

Paul Agase

After 24 years in sales and management positions at CBS Radio Chicago, Paul Agase is changing station identification and jumping to rival Cumulus Media Chicago.

As vice president of sales under Cumulus market manager Donna Baker, Agase will oversee advertising for news/talk WLS AM 890 and classic rock WLUP FM 97.9. He began his career as an account executive and sales manager at WLS in 1981.

Agase most recently was general sales manager at all-news WBBM AM 780/WCFS FM 105.9. His tenure included numerous positions including 12 years as general sales manager of contemporary hit WBBM FM 96.3, director of sales for the Chicago group, and a stint as general manager of sports/talk WSCR AM 670 and album adult alternative WXRT FM 93.1.

Sources said Agase had been under pressure because of declining sales at the Newsradio combo. Although still leading the market at $41.9 million, WBBM/WCFS advertising revenue fell more than 8 percent in 2013, according to Miller, Kaplan, Arase & Co. Overall Chicago radio revenue declined only about 2.5 percent last year.

Rod Zimmerman, senior vice president and market manager of CBS Radio Chicago, thanked Agase in a memo to staff Friday, adding: “I’m sure you join me in wishing Paul success (but not too much) and happiness in his new position.  Seriously, growing radio’s share of the advertising pie is everyone’s first goal, and knowing Paul will still be in Chicago supporting that effort, is a good thing.”

Zimmerman said Mark Day, director of sales for CBS Radio Chicago, would also serve as general sales manager of WBBM Newsradio, effective Monday.

Agase is a son of the late Alex Agase, the legendary head football coach of Northwestern University from 1964 to 1972.