The program director of The Drive is heading for the off-ramp.
Curtiss Johnson announced Tuesday he’s leaving classic hits WDRV FM 97.1, where he has headed programming since June 2014. He’s the seventh program director cut from Hubbard Radio in recent months as the company moves to revitalize its stations across the country.
Johnson said he plans to continue at The Drive “in the near term” while seeking his next career opportunity.
A search for his replacement will begin immediately, according to Greg Solk, senior vice president of programming and operations for Hubbard Radio. Assistant program director Paul Webber is expected to handle some of Johnson’s duties in the interim.
“After many long conversations with Greg regarding the future of The Drive, the decision has been made to part company,” Johnson wrote in an email to staff Tuesday. “I’ve enjoyed my year and half here at The Drive. I’ve never worked with a nicer and more genuinely talented group of people.”
Johnson succeeded Patty Martin, who stepped down in 2014 after 13 years at The Drive. Before that, he had been director of programming and operations for Entercom Communications in Sacramento, California, where he oversaw KSEG, KWOD and KRXQ for 18 years. Earlier in his career, he served as a program director in Phoenix, Arizona, as well as an on-air personality in Phoenix, Sacramento and San Diego, California.
In the latest Nielsen Audio report, The Drive tied for 11th place with a 3.0 percent share and a cumulative weekly audience of 1,139,400. Among men between 25 and 54, the station tied for eighth with a 3.7 share.
Here is the text of Johnson’s email to staff:
After many long conversations with Greg regarding the future of The Drive the decision has been made to part company. I’ve enjoyed my year and half here at The Drive. I’ve never worked with a nicer and more genuinely talented group of people. I will come away from the experience with many true friends, not just friends in the business. It has a been a pleasure. Thank you.
I will remain the day to day program director in the near term while a search is conducted for both my replacement and my next career opportunity.