Mary Ellen Kachinske, one of Chicago radio’s longest-tenured and most successful program directors, is out after more than 18 years at WTMX 101.9-FM, the Hubbard Radio hot adult-contemporary station.
Jeff England, vice president and market manager of Hubbard Radio Chicago, told staffers Monday that Kachinske has left the company effective immediately.
“We thank Mary Ellen for her contributions to the success of Mix 101.9 and wish her the best for the future,” England said in a statement. “Our search for the next great programming leader for Mix 101.9 begins today.”
Nikki Chuminatto, music director of The Mix, will serve as interim program director.
Kachinske did not respond to a request for comment.
No reason was cited for Kachinske’s departure, but the move coincides with a recent dip in audience ratings for The Mix. In the latest Nielsen Audio survey, the station ranked fifth overall with a 4.6 percent share. Among listeners between 25 and 54, The Mix fell behind Univision regional Mexican WOJO 105.1-FM for the first time.
Kachinske joined The Mix as assistant program director in 2000 from WQAL in Cleveland. She was promoted to program director in 2002.