As first reported by Robert Feder Wednesday morning, WLS-FM program director Jan Jeffries is leaving the Cumulus-owned station but is being transferred instead to another Culumus outlet: contemporary-hit station WRQX in Washington D.C.
The shift comes as ratings for the Classic Hits station has softened in the last year, losing ground to CBS’ K-Hits (WJMK), who has an identical format. In the recent PPM report for June, K-Hits opened up a huge lead on its rival and the gap between the two is even wider among adults 25-54.
Despite being transferred to Cumulus’ Washington D.C. station, Jeffries will retain his title as Cumulus Senior Vice President of Programming. No replacement has been named for the position he vacated at WLS-FM.
Since returning to the Chicago market four years ago (he worked at the former WAGO and at WLS/WYTZ-FM in the 1980’s), Jeffries has made some unpopular moves – notably shifting radio legend Dick Biondi to 11 p.m. and limiting the amount of the station personalities’ airtime. WLS also flipped to Classic Hits during Jeffries’ tenure here, ending a six-year run as an oldies station and adding to the dizzying number of format changes the 94.7 frequency has gone though in its lifetime.
And with Jeffries gone, there’s no doubt you’ll hear rumors of yet another format switch, the 8,134th since the station signed on in the 1950’s.