More Grab Bag: Jim Richards exits WLUP, WKQX

Jim Richards.
Jim Richards.

Cedric also leaves Millionaire, but new host already lined up

Fox cancels Almost Human

On Wednesday, Gallup released a poll showing half of Illinois’ residents would move out of the state if they could.

Well, one lucky resident just hit the jackpot.

Jim Richards, who was the operations manager for classic rock WLUP-FM and alternative WKQX, is being transferred in the same capacity to Cumulus’ two San Francisco rock stations: Adult Album Alternative KFOG-FM and classic rock KSAN-FM. In addition, Richards picks up an additional title as he was also named program director of both radio stations.

Cumulus owns the Bay Area stations and operates the Chicago outlets, owned by Merlin.

Richards was named to the OM position two years ago by Merlin CEO Randy Michaels, a person who is more corrupt than Illinois is (yes, it’s entirely possible!) Except for a few stations, Richards spent much of his career working for Michaels.

During Richards short tenure, both WLUP and WKQX saw ratings increases, with WLUP topping the male 25-54 demo, while WKQX leads the pack in the male 18-34 and male 18-49 demo (more proof the FM News crap never should have thought of.)

Richards’ replacement has yet to be named.

The next state finishing behind Illinois in the Gallup poll was Connecticut. But unlike the Land Of Lincoln, where individuals and business are fleeing for the exits, at least TV production are willing to relocate to the Northeastern state, thanks to generous tax breaks. The latest show to move is Disney-ABC’s Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, which is relocating from its New York City studios to Stamford, Conn., a half-hour drive away. Stamford already is home to many media entities, including NBC Universal’s trash talk shows and NBC Sports Group, not to mention long-time resident World Wrestling Entertainment.

But that wasn’t the only change – Millionaire will have yet another new host as Cedric The Entertainer announced he was stepping down as host of the show after only one season. Cedric replaced longtime host Meredith Vieira after she bolted for her own talk show, set to debut next fall. Cedric cited his busy schedule and the move to Connecticut as reasons of his departure.

Now, before you start a pool on who would be the next Millionaire host (Regis Philbin! Jim Parsons! Jay Leno! Brian Urlacher! Mancow!), it looks like he’s already been hired: Terry Crews, who credits range from Are We There Yet and Brooklyn Nine-Nine is seriously being considered as host. Barring any last-minute changes, he’s going to be the guy.

With the upfronts less than two weeks away, the ax is starting to fall on several bubble series: Fox canceled sci-fi drama Almost Human last week after only a few months. The program never did click with its Monday buddy The Following, which was in a ratings freefall itself.

Meanwhile, it looks like CBS’ Friends With Better Lives have taken the lead over The Crazy Ones and Bad Teacher in The Freshman Sitcom Quest To Stay On The Air. Watch this space for more analysis as we get closer – and closer – to the upfronts.