For the first time in 25 years there’s an opening for a new morning host at WTMX 101.9-FM.
The job posting by Hubbard Radio Chicago comes two weeks after Eric Ferguson stepped down from the hot adult-contemporary station in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations and multiple lawsuits by former co-workers.
Following a settlement on his contract, Ferguson's departure was barely acknowledged by the company. But every reference that he ever worked there has been scrubbed from the station's media. Now Hubbard Radio CEO Ginny Morris seems to be in a big hurry to move on — and to salvage the station and the brand that once were the company's crown jewel.
Since 1996 Ferguson had hosted mornings at The Mix, becoming Chicago's highest-paid radio personality and landing a place in the Radio Hall of Fame (with former co-host Kathy Hart).
"This position creates and performs live shows which are entertaining and informative, projecting the company's desired on-air image, and achieve maximum audience appeal measured in Nielsen PPM [Portable People Meter] ratings performance," the job listing states. "This is a live 5 day a week show from 5:30AM-10AM which concentrates all strategy, preparation and execution on our brand achieving 25-54 adult dominance."
Jimmy Steal, vice president of brand and content at Hubbard Radio Chicago, declined to elaborate Monday.
Earlier Steal was quoted about the opening by the trade publication AllAccess.com: “101.9 The Mix gives you the platforms for your world class content to make a dent in the universe in market No. 3! IF this is REALLY YOU, please send us your utterly crazy, great, undeniably impossible to ignore, original, engaging, break-thru content! Please no ‘DJs.’ You must be an awesome multi-platform collaborative content creator who understands PPM deploying content driving listening occasions!”
If Steal does go outside the company to replace Ferguson, he'll be passing over the current morning show occupants at The Mix — Nikki Chuminatto, Brian Paruch and Violeta Podrumedic — who previously worked with Ferguson. He'll also be passing over the afternoon duo at The Mix — Chris Petlak and Lisa Allen.
In the latest Nielsen Audio survey, mornings on The Mix tied for ninth place with a 3.8 percent share and cumulative weekly audience of 394,600.
Hubbard Radio Chicago also just posted an opening for a new afternoon host and music director at adult contemporary WSHE 100.3-FM.
Jay Styles, who has held the job since 2018, has been traded to Hubbard's KQMV in Seattle, where he will serve as afternoon host, assistant program director and music director.
Styles joined WSHE 100.3 in 2016 as local producer of Brooke Fox and Jubal Flagg's syndicated morning show before he shifted to afternoons.
In the latest Nielsen Audio survey, afternoons on SHE 100.3 tied for 21st with a 2.0 percent share and cumulative weekly audience of 357,000.
Friday’s comment of the day: Mark Edwards Edelstein: A hearty congratulations to the National Association of Broadcasters for allowing WTMX to receive a coveted Marconi Award (again) in the midst of all of the issues with their staff. The award is for community service and being a good citizen, among other things. That being said, maybe the NAB could have benched that station for a year as I'm sure they will apply for the award as they do every year. Even the NAB should know that a fish stinks from the head and should have thought twice about their decision, however, history proves that thinking twice is rarely part of the NAB modus operandi.