Rock programmer lands ‘dream job’ at the Drive

Curtiss Johnson

Curtiss Johnson

Curtiss Johnson, a former rock radio programmer in Sacramento and Phoenix, has been named program director of Hubbard Radio classic hits WDRV FM 97.1.

Starting Monday, Johnson will succeed Patty Martin, who announced last month that she was stepping down after 13 years at the Drive. Martin, a 34-year veteran of Chicago radio, cited health matters involving her husband, who soon may undergo a kidney transplant.

“Replacing Patty, the only programmer in our 13 rockin’ years, was daunting, but we believe we have hit the jackpot!” Greg Solk, senior vice president of programming at Hubbard Radio, told staffers in a memo Tuesday. “Curtiss is brilliant, but down to earth. He is artsy and scientific. He will not only make a great programming partner for me, but a terrific team player and coach for all of you.”

Until last July, Johnson was director of programming and operations for Entercom Communications in Sacramento, where he oversaw KSEG, KWOD and KRXQ for 18 years. He previously spent 13 years as program director of KUPD and KUKQ in Phoenix. As an on-air personality, he also has handled afternoon, midday and evening shifts in San Diego, Phoenix and Sacramento.

“To work for one of the most highly regarded companies in our industry, programming one of the nation’s premier rock stations in a world class city like Chicago is a dream job,” Johnson said in a statement. “I’m truly honored and humbled by the confidence Greg Solk and [Hubbard Radio executive vice president and chief operating officer] Drew Horowitz have shown in allowing me to be in the next leader of the Drive and its legendary staff.”

In the latest Nielsen Audio report, the Drive tied for 10th place with a 3.5 share and a cumulative weekly audience of 1,391,700. Among men between 25 and 54, the station finished first with a 5.3 share.