Cumulus names Marv Nyren boss of Chicago stations

Marv Nyren

Marv Nyren, who headed classic rock WLUP FM 97.9 and alternative rock WKQX FM 101.1 for seven years under Emmis Communications, is back in charge of both stations, now owned by Cumulus Media.

As the new vice president and market manager of Cumulus Media Chicago, Nyren will be running The Loop and 101WKQX in addition to news/talk WLS AM 890 and classic hits WLS FM 94.7, the company announced Wednesday. He succeeds Peter Bowen, who was released in September.

Nyren most recently was vice president of corporate sponsorship for Chicago Public Media WBEZ FM 91.5, post he held since February 2016. He resigned Monday.

Dave Milner, executive vice president of operations for Cumulus, who has been overseeing the stations since Bowen’s departure, introduced Nyren to the staff Wednesday. “Marv brings a wealth of experience and drive to Cumulus Chicago,” Milner said. “He is a smart, competitive operator focused on building strong cultures that support and empower the team to succeed.”

Before joining Chicago Public Media, Nyren worked for Tribune Broadcasting as director of group sales and marketing. His previous stint in Chicago as regional vice president and market manager for Emmis Communications ended in 2011 when the company sold its stations to Merlin Media. He later worked for Total Traffic Network and iHeartMedia radio stations in Jacksonville, Florida. His resume also includes stints in Phoenix and Atlanta.

"As a native Chicagoan, I feel so fortunate to have the opportunity to be part of these legendary stations and strong team,” Nyren said. “Cumulus’s continued focus on improving its product, culture and revenue makes me very excited about the next chapter in my career.”

Mancow Muller

One of the first to react to the news was Mancow Muller, morning personality on The Loop. Nyren was general manager of Q101 in 2006 when “Mancow’s Morning Madhouse” was dropped by Emmis Communications after six years. “If you’ve ever watched ‘American Psycho’ and thought Patrick Bateman would be a perfect boss, then you’d love Marv Nyren,” Muller said Wednesday.

Nyren’s appointment comes one week after Cumulus filed with the FCC to acquire the licenses of The Loop and 101WKQX from Merlin Media. Since 2014 Cumulus has been operating the two stations under a local marketing agreement with Merlin.

All four Cumulus Chicago stations have seen better days. In the latest Nielsen Audio survey, The Loop and 101WKQX tied for 12th place with a 2.9 share, WLS FM was in 15th place with a 2.8 share, and WLS AM was in 26th place with a 1.5 share. WLS AM is the radio home of Chicago Bulls basketball and Chicago White Sox baseball.