New Cumulus CEO Mary Berner is shaking up how programming decisions are made at the company. She says she is giving PDs more control over the day-to-day programming of their stations, “which has not been the case in the past.” The new structure will be built under Mike McVay and includes new hires with resumes from companies like Nielsen, iHeartMedia, CBS Radio, and Cipolla Analytics.
In a press release sent out Tuesday, Berner said: “Who knows their markets better than the people who live and work there? We believe that the injection of more local insight and more effective corporate support into our programming decisions will drive improved ratings outcomes for our stations. Cumulus program directors will now report to market managers and will have control over the day-to-day programming of their stations, which has not been the case in the past.
And here are the new hires and promotions:
Dr. Ed Cohen, Vice President, Ratings and Research
Cohen joins Cumulus from Nielsen Audio, where he led Nielsen’s connected-car streaming audio research initiative as Vice President, Measurement Innovation. Cohen was previously Vice President, Measurement Innovation for Arbitron, following five years as Vice President, Research Policy and Communication and eight years as Vice President, Domestic Radio Research for Arbitron. Prior to that, Cohen was Vice President, Research for iHeart Media/Clear Channel, and held research positions for the National Association of Broadcasters and Birch/Scarborough Research. He holds a Ph.D. in Mass Media from Michigan State University and an MBA from the University of South Carolina.
Doug Hamand, Vice President, Programming Operations
Hamand (right) joins Cumulus from iHeart Media, where he was Senior Vice President, Programming and served iHeart Media/Clear Channel in various senior programming posts, including Regional Vice President, Programming, Tampa/St. Petersburg, FL, for over 21 years.
Cat Thomas, Vice President, CHR and Hot AC
Cat Thomas joins Cumulus following a 27-year career with CBS Radio, where he was Vice President, Programming for CBS Las Vegas’ six-station group. Thomas served as Program Director of 98.5 KLUC Las Vegas for 20 years, following seven years on-air and as Music Director at KLUC.
Ralph Cipolla, Vice President, Analytics
Cipolla (right) joins Cumulus from Cipolla Analytics, LLC, a performance analytics consultancy founded by Cipolla in 2013, following a decade as a multi-platform Strategy, Branding, Research and Talent Consultant at Jacobs Media and jacapps Mobile, where he worked with stations of all formats and market sizes across the U.S. and Canada. Prior to that, Cipolla was Operations Manager and Program Director for 15 years, serving stations in Detroit, Jacksonville, FL, and Buffalo, NY.
Ken Johnson, Vice President, Urban
Johnson joins the Cumulus corporate programming support team from Cumulus station WUHT in Birmingham, AL, where he served as Operations Manager. He was also Program Director for the Touch Urban AC format for Westwood One. Johnson’s 20-year programming career includes 13 years as a programmer and consultant to Cumulus Media, and programming posts in Boston, Washington, D.C., New York, Philadelphia, Dallas, Atlanta, and Wilmington, NC. He has hosted morning shows in Washington, D.C. and Boston.