The 2015 Best Program Directors in America

0

The radio mantra over the past few years has been “It’s all about the content.” Without compelling content, radio, they say, will lose the battle for the ear of the consumer as waves of new content delivery systems nibble away at our TSL and prey upon our revenue supply. That means making every break sound compelling, every voicetracked shift, every newscast, every weather report, and on and on. And, oh yes, let’s not forget fitting that all into a format pleasing to the PPM gods. To make all that happen, you must have a programmer who not only gets all of the above, but can multi-task more than ever before. There’s the talent to manage, the events to produce, the brand to protect, the digital, social media, texting — you get the picture.

You’ll recognize most of the names on this list: These highly respected individuals continue to program some of the most brilliant-sounding radio stations in America.

Producing this list isn’t easy. It all starts with a nomination, typically from someone who ranks higher in the company than the nominated PD. We go from there, with a questionnaire and a look at ratings, experience, awards, and several other factors. We reach out to programming experts in the industry for input, in all formats and in all market sizes.

But more important than exactly where each PD ranks on this list is what they can tell us about their jobs, their daily lives, and how they manage to get through their mile-long daily checklists.

We pepper them with questions; this year on whether live and local still matters, what a great-sounding radio station sounds like, and how a young programmer reading this list might wind up in these pages in the years ahead. We’re very excited to present them to our readers: the Best Program Directors in America for 2015.

 

MAJOR MARKETS (1-10)

#1) CHRIS CONLE Y
WLTW/New York
iHeartMedia
[email protected]
Year in Radio: 37
As a PD: 25

#2) JIM RYAN
WCBS-FM/New York
CBS Radio

#3) KEVIN WEATHERLY
KROQ/Los Angeles
CBS Radio

#4) SKIP DILLARD
WBLS & WLIB New York
Emmis Communications
[email protected]
@mixcom
Years as a PD: 22

#5) MIKE THOMAS
WBZ-FM & WZLX-FM/Boston
[email protected]
@mikethomasmt8
Years in Radio: 33
As a PD: 21

#6) MARY ELLEN KACHINSKE
WTMX/Chicago
Hubbard Radio
[email protected]
Years in Radio: 32
As a PD: 21

#7) MARK CHERNOFF
WFAN/New York
CBS Radio
Years in Radio: 40
As a PD: 36

#8) CHUCK KNIGHT
WBEB/Philadelphia
Jerry Lee Radio
[email protected]
@chuckkmedia
Years in Radio: 25
As a PD: 25

#9) BEN MEVORACH
WINS-AM/New York
CBS Radio
[email protected]
@benmevorach
Years in Radio: 30
As a News Director: 15
As a PD: 6

#10) BILL WESTON
WMMR & WMGK/Philadelphia
Greater Media Inc.
[email protected]
@wmmrpd
Years in Radio: 37
As a PD: 21

#11) ANDY BLOOM
WPHT-AM & WIP-FM/Philadelphia
CBS Radio
[email protected]

#12) JEFF KAPUGI
WUSN/Chicago
CBS Radio
[email protected]
@jeffkapugi
Years in Radio: 35
As a PD: 21

#13) TIM SCHELD
WCBS-AM/New York
CBS Radio
[email protected]
Years in Radio: 32 years
As a PD: 12

#14) JOHNNY CHIANG
KHPT, KGLK, KKBQ & KTHT/ Houston
Cox Media Group
[email protected]
@jchiang68
Years in Radio: 25
As a PD: 16

#15) ARTURO SOSA
WSKQ-FM/New York
Spanish Broadcasting System
Years in Radio: 26
As a PD: 17

#16) MIKE BROPHEY
WKLB/Boston
Greater Media
[email protected]
@mikebrophey
Years in Radio: 43
As a PD: 19

#17) LEE HAMMER
KNBR 680 and KNBR 1050/San Francisco
Cumulus Media
[email protected]
Years in Radio: 35
As a PD: 17

#18) PETE SPRIGGS
WSB-AM and WSBB-FM/Atlanta
Cox Media Group
Years in Radio: 33
As a PD: 25

#19) STEVE DAVIS
WIAD-FM & WPGC-FM/Washington, DC
CBS Radio
[email protected]
@sdavis947
Years in Radio
As a PD: 30-plus

#20) MARK McCRAY
KBFB-FM & KSOC-FM/Dallas
Radio One
[email protected]
@mccrazy945
Years in Radio: 24
As a PD: 17

#21) “CADILLAC” JACK McCARTNEY
WBOS-FM, WBQT-FM, WKLB-FM, WMJX-FM & WROR-FM/Boston
Greater Media Inc.
[email protected]
@iamcadillacjack
Years in Radio: 32
As a PD: 21

#22) ROBIN BERTOLUCCI
KFI-AM & KEIB-AM/Los Angeles
iHeartMedia
Years in Radio: 28
As a PD: 20

#23) “HURRICANE DAVE” SMITH
WHAT &WAMJ/Atlanta
Radio One
Years in Radio: 43
As a PD: 20

#24) LESLIE WHITTLE
KRBE/Houston
Cumulus Media
[email protected]
Years in Radio: 20
As a PD: 17

#25) J.R. SHUMANN
KSCS & KPLX/Dallas
Cumulus Media
Year in Radio: 9
As a PD: 5

 

LARGE MARKET (11-25)

#1) KEVIN CALLAHAN
KSON & KBZT/San Diego
Lincoln Financial Media
(Soon to be Entercom)
[email protected]
@kevinbrews
Years as a PD: 19

#2) TIM ROBERTS
WYCD, WOMC & WDZH/Detroit
CBS Radio
[email protected]

#3) PHIL MICHAELS-TRUEBA
WHQT/Miami
Cox Media Group
[email protected]
Years in Radio: 24
As a PD: 16

#4) DAVE RICHARDS
KISW, KNDD, KHTP & KKWF/ Seattle
Entercom Communications
[email protected]
@hairclubkisw
Years in Radio: 33
As a PD: 30

#5) MARK PENNINGTON
WRIF/Detroit
Greater Media
[email protected]
@theriffboss
Years in Radio: 25
As a PD: 7

#6) ROB SIDNEY
WLYF-FM & WLYF-HD2/Miami
Lincoln Financial Media
[email protected]
@rob_sidney
Years in Radio: 36
As a PD: 22

#7) JIMMY POWERS
WXYT-AM & FM/Detroit
CBS Radio
[email protected]
@jppowers2010
Years in Radio: 21
As a PD: 11

#8) JEFF WYAT T
WKKT-FM/Charlotte
iHeartMedia
[email protected]
@radioez
Years in Radio: 43
As a PD: 25

#9) SCOT T JAMESON
KQRS, KXXR & WGVX/Minneapolis
Cumulus Media
[email protected]
@sjamesonmedia
Years in Radio: 35
As a PD: 31

#10) TEE GENTRY
WQYK & WRBQ/Tampa
Beasley Media Group
[email protected]
Years as a PD: 20

 

MEDIUM MARKETS (26-50)

#1) CHARLIE COOK
Cumulus Nashville
[email protected]
@charliecooknash
Years in Radio: 45
As a PD: 40

#2) BOB RICHARDS
Emmis Communications
Indianapolis
[email protected]
@bobathankfm
Years in Radio: 27
As a PD: 25

#3) LISA McKAY
WQDR/Raleigh
Curtis Media
[email protected]
@lisamckay947
Years in Radio: 33
As a PD: 20

#4) KEITH HASTINGS
KISS & KTKX/San Antonio
Cox Media Group
[email protected]
@keithhastings
Years in Radio: 38
As a PD: 29

#5) CHARESE FRUGÉ
CBS Radio
Las Vegas
[email protected]
@charesefruge
Years in Radio: 21
As a PD: 14

#6) CHRIS EDGE
WDCG/Raleigh
iHeartMedia
[email protected]
@chrisedge_
Years in Radio: 26
As a PD: 16

#7) DREW ANDERSSEN
WDBO-AM & FM/Orlando
Cox Media Group
[email protected]
@drewanderssen
Years in Radio: 26
As a PD: 16

#8) SCOTTY MAC
WSPK/Hudson Valley, NY
Pamal Broadcasting
[email protected]
@k104smac

#9) TOSH JACKSON
KHHM-FM & KNTY-FM/ Sacramento
Entravision
[email protected]entravision.com
Years in Radio: 17
As a PD: 6

#10) SCOT T REINHART
WLW-AM/Cincinnati
iHeartMedia
[email protected]
Years in Radio: 21
As a PD: 18

 

SMALL MARKETS (51+)

#1) JEFF DAVIS
WKSF/Asheville, NC
iHeartMedia
Years in Radio: 37
As a PD: 25

#2) M. FL ETCHER BROWN
WXFL-FM/Florence-Muscle
Shoals, AL
Big River Broadcasting
[email protected]
Twitter: @fletch_brown
Years in Radio: 18
As a PD: 9

#3) SCOT T ALLEN
KSTZ & KMYR-FM/Des Moines, IA
Des Moines Radio Group (Saga)
[email protected]
@onairscott
Years in Radio: 17
As a PD: 10

#4) CARL CRAFT
WRAT/Monmouth-Ocean, NJ
Greater Media
Years in Radio: 30
As a PD: 18

#5) ERIC ROSADO
WBTT & WZJZ/Fort Myers-Naples, FL
iHeartMedia
[email protected]
@ericthefunky1
Years in Radio: 19
As a PD: 2

#6) JOE BONADONNA
WHAM & WAIO/Rochester, NY
iHeartMedia
[email protected]
@joebonadonna
Years in Radio: 42

#7) ALEX DURAN
Entravision Radio
McAllen-Brownsville Texas
[email protected]
Years in Radio: 23
As a PD: 17

#8) BOBBY IRWIN
Cumulus Media
Colorado Springs, CO
[email protected]
@bobbyirwin
Years in Radio: 45
As a PD: 35

#9) JEREMY “NIC” NICOLATO
KQXR/Boise, ID
E.W. Scripps
[email protected]
@xrocknic
Years in Radio: 18
As a PD: 8

#10) CATHE BARLOW
WDLT/Mobile, AL
Cumulus Media
[email protected]
@catheb983
Years in Radio: 32
As a PD: 3

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here