Far and away, Erik Bradley keeps the beat for B96

Erik Bradley

Erik Bradley

The man who’s been calling the musical shots at WBBM FM 96.3 for more than two decades soon will be calling them from a thousand miles away.

Erik Bradley is considered so vital to the success of the CBS Radio Top 40 station that when he told his bosses he was moving to Dallas, they arranged to keep him on the job as music director and assistant program director.

“If anybody deserves it, Erik does,” said B96 program director Todd Cavanah, who hired Bradley to succeed him when Cavanah was promoted to the top job in 1993. They’ve been an inseparable team ever since.

It took eight months to approve the plan for Bradley, 44, to continue working for B96 from CBS Radio offices in Dallas, where he and his partner built a new house. He’ll return to Chicago occasionally to fill in when Cavanah is on vacation and to attend station events.

Calling Bradley “the Michael Jordan of the industry,” Cavanah said: “He’s the best music director in the business. He’s got the cell phones of every artist, every manager and every agent. He’s the man. We’re a better company with Erik Bradley than without him.”

Radio colleagues and music industry executives toasted Bradley at a party Thursday as he embarks on his new arrangement. “A 22-year employee who’s at the top of his game deserves a shot like this,” Cavanah added. “Things are going so well at B96. Why wouldn’t we keep that going?”

In the latest Nielsen Audio survey, B96 ranked seventh overall with a 3.7 percent share and cumulative weekly audience of 2,218,400. Among listeners between 18 and 34, the station ranks third with a 6.8 share and 837,800 weekly cume.