Gary Spears leaving K-Hits afternoons

Gary Spears

Gary Spears, who first started playing the hits on Chicago radio 35 years ago, is calling it quits.

Spears announced Friday he’s stepping down as afternoon personality on CBS Radio classic hits WJMK FM 104.3 and plans to move to Florida. His last day on the station known as K-Hits will be October 13.

A native of Lafayette, Indiana, Spears was one of the original jocks of the “Hot Hits” format when CBS Radio turned WBBM FM 96.3 into a Top 40 station. His first run there from 1982 to 1984 was followed by a second from 1990 to 1994. He’s been back in Chicago since 2011 at K-Hits, where he signed on as midday host. He moved to afternoons the following year.

“I want to thank the great people in Chicago who have supported me here over the past 6+ years AND my other 2 tours of duty in the 80’s and 90’s at B-96,” Spears wrote on Facebook Friday. “I guess I became a weather snob after living in L.A. for nearly 15 years and the thought of another Midwest winter doesn’t thrill me.”

In the latest Nielsen Audio survey, K-Hits tied for 15th place in afternoons with a 2.6 percent audience share.

Here is the text of Spears’s statement:

So, it’s now official. Those of you who know me know that I been been going to Florida for vacations now for SIX years as I have a house there that I am planning on moving into this October. I want to thank the great people in Chicago who have supported me here over the past 6+ years AND my other 2 tours of duty in the 80’s and 90’s at B-96. I guess I became a weather snob after living in L.A. for nearly 15 years and the thought of another Midwest winter doesn’t thrill me. I have decided to step away from my PM drive show at KHITS which will make October 13th (Friday) my last day on air here. I would also like to thank the good people of CBS Chicago for 6 years of fun and frivolity. Mostly, I want to thank my Chicago Friends and listeners for being there on a daily basis. Onward and upward!