Lisa Dent, who's been synonymous with country music radio in Chicago for nearly two decades, never got to say goodbye to her fans.
As midday personality at WEBG 95.5-FM, Dent was among the casualties when iHeartMedia pulled the plug on the station's country format Thursday and switched to rock. It's now branded as "Rock 95 Five."
"I’m so thankful to all of my diehard fans who follow me from station to station, listen in their car everyday and support the businesses I endorse," Dent told me. "I see them, hear them and carry so much gratitude for their love.
"Unfortunately, less than 4,000 people determine the radio ratings for over 9 million radio listeners in Chicagoland, so their voice is never heard. They simply don’t get a vote on what Chicago radio should sound like. It’s a crazy business but I still love it and working with the crew at iHeart Chicago was a blast!"
Dent learned she lost her job while she was at a hospital standing vigil with her mother, who has been in an intensive care unit for an undisclosed ailment.
"But honestly, it’s probably harder to give that news than to receive it," she added.
Dent grew up in Rockford and worked in Minneapolis, San Diego and Seattle before joining Entercom country WUSN 99.5-FM as midday host in 2002. From 2006 to 2016 she co-hosted mornings at US99 with Ramblin’ Ray Stevens. In 2016 she was inducted in the Country Radio Hall of Fame.
She joined Big 95.5 in 2018 as weekend and fill-in host and was promoted to middays later that year.
In the latest Nielsen Audio survey, middays on Big 95.5 tied for 19th place overall with a 2.0 percent share and a cumulative weekly audience of 275,600.