Another Chicago radio bombshell: Doug Stylz and Justin Roman, the highly-rated afternoon duo on Top 40 WBBM FM 96.3 for the past 10 years, are switching to WUSN FM 99.5 as the country music station’s new morning team, CBS Radio announced Thursday.
Effective September 6, they’ll replace Lisa Dent and Ramblin’ Ray Stevens, who parted company with US 99 last week. Stevens moved to Cumulus Media news/talk WLS AM 890 as morning co-host with Big John Howell.
Stylz (whose real name is Doug Bobrowski) and Roman are lifelong Chicagoans who both started as promotion interns at B96 before they were teamed as evening co-hosts in 2004. Two years later they moved up to afternoon drive.
Succeeding the duo in afternoons at B96 will be Eric Tyler, who was just hired as evening host. Tyler, a native of Rockford, Illinois, spent nine years at KBKS in Seattle, Washington, as afternoon personality, assistant program director and music director.
The moves are part of “refreshing” of US 99 under Todd Cavanah, vice president of programming for CBS Radio Chicago, and Jeff Kapugi, program director. Earlier this week, the station rebranded itself “US 99 Chicago’s Hottest Country.” No word yet on a new evening host at US 99 to replace Joel “Jax” Lisinski, who also departed last week.
Noting that Stylz and Roman are part-owners of a country bar in Wrigleyville, Cavanah said he often would see them together at country music concerts sponsored by US 99. “So we knew they could authentically speak the language of the country music fan,” Cavanah said.
“This is a welcome and exciting refresh for this heritage Chicago brand,” Tim Pohlman, CBS Radio Chicago senior vice president and market manager, said in a statement. “Stylz and Roman are quality guys that work hard, play hard and can’t wait to engage the country music fans of Chicago. This is the perfect next step for these two talented personalities. I am very excited about the future of their show and about US 99.”
US 99 faces stiff competition from iHeartMedia’s WEBG FM 95.5, which launched a competing country format in January 2015. In the latest Nielsen Audio survey, US 99 ranked 12th with a 3.0 percent share and cumulative weekly audience of 1,227,200, while Big 95.5 tied for 18th with 2.4 share and 966,400 weekly cume. In mornings US 99 ranked 11th with a 3.1 share, while Big 95.5 ranked 22nd with a 1.9 share.
In afternoons on B96, Stylz and Roman most recently ranked fifth with a 4.3 share and 1,009,700 weekly cume.
In a statement released by CBS Radio, Stylz and Roman were quoted as saying: "Words can't express how excited we are for this new chapter in not only our careers, but our lives as well. We're beyond blessed to be able to move from one legendary station to another . . . this truly is a dream come true!"