‘Boss Radio’ Programmer Gene Chenault Dies

Teamed with Bill Drake to syndicate programming
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Gene Chenault, half of the famed Drake-Chenault automated music company team, is dead at the age of 90.

Chenault died Feb. 23 from complications related to lymphoma, according to the Los Angeles Times. He is credited with helping to pioneer the “Boss Radio” format, featuring less talk, more music, and bringing music to FM radio.

He and Bill Drake formed a national radio consulting service in 1974, distributing programming for formats like “Hit Parade” and “Solid Gold” by mailing reel-to-reel tapes to station clients.

Chenault retired in the mid-1980s. The Canoga Park, Calif. company was sold in 1986 to Wagontrain Enterprises, which moved it to Albuquerque, N.M.

D-C eventually merged with Jones Intercable, according to a history of the company written by former Director of Engineering Hank Landsberg at drakechenault.org, which is hosted by his company Henry Engineering.

Drake died in 2008.

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