To hear Rod Zimmerman tell it, he's just hired "The Michael Jordan of Adult Contemporary Radio" as program director of WCFS-FM (105.9), the struggling CBS Radio station known as "Fresh 105.9."‚ Hyperbole aside, he's not far off the mark.
Of the seven CBS Radio stations Zimmerman oversees in Chicago, none could use a superstar programmer more than "Fresh 105.9," which has been something of a stinker ever since it replaced ill-fated FM talker WCKG in November 2007. It's currently languishing in 24th‚ place overall and in seventh place among women between the ages of 25 and 54 (the station's target audience), according to Arbitron's Portable People Meters. In other words, it's out of the money.
Taking on what could be the challenge of the year is Jim Ryan, who Monday was named program director of WCFS as well as New York "Fresh" sister station WFFS. (To sweeten the deal, Ryan also was named vice president of adult contemporary programming for all 14 CBS Radio stations in the format nationwide.) Though based in New York, Ryan will spend one or two days of every week in Chicago with hands-on control over the station's programming.
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