Berner Emphasizes Local in Executive Changes
Cumulus has hired several executives as new CEO Mary Berner re-organizes the company’s programming team.
The additions are meant to support local market operations, adding resources in research, strategy and format-specific expertise that trade upon the company’s national scale.
The changes give market managers and their programmers more day-to-day control, with better on-demand corporate capabilities to support local efforts, according to Berner.
“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. Consistent with this view, 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,” stated Berner.
Mike McVay, SVP Content & Programming, will lead the corporate programming team.
Joining the new Cumulus corporate programming support team are senior programming professionals Dr. Ed Cohen, Vice President, Ratings and Research; Doug Hamand, Vice President, Programming Operations; Cat Thomas, Vice President, CHR and Hot AC; Ralph Cipolla, Vice President, Analytics; and Ken Johnson, Vice President, Urban.
Cohen was most recently VP, Measurement Innovation at Nielsen Audio, where he led Nielsen’s connected car streaming audio research. He previously held that title for the former Arbitron, as well as five years as Vice President, Research Policy and Communication and eight years as Vice President, Domestic Radio Research. Prior, Cohen had research stints for iHeart Media/Clear Channel, NAB and Birch/Scarborough.
Hamand joins Cumulus from iHeart Media, where he was Senior Vice President, Programming and held various senior programming posts, including Regional Vice President, Programming, Tampa/St. Petersburg, FL, for 21 years.
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 was Program Director of 98.5 KLUC Las Vegas for 20 years, following seven years on-air and as Music Director at KLUC.
Cipolla 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. Prior, Cipolla was Operations Manager and Program Director for 15 years, working at stations in Detroit, Jacksonville, FL, and Buffalo, NY.
Johnson joins the Cumulus corporate programming support team from Cumulus station WUHT in Birmingham, AL, where he serves 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, N.C.
Cumulus also promoted nine members of its current programming support team.