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Cumulus Names Two New VP/Market Managers

Also appoints ops manager in Indy and taps fresh PD for WLS

Cumulus Media has named John Lewis as vice president and market manager for its seven-station Huntsville, Ala., cluster, and Stephen Chessare joins the company as VP and market manager for the company’s Bridgeport, Conn., stations. Cumulus also appointed Christopher “Boomer” Layfield as operations manager for its three-station group in Indianapolis, and program director for WFMS(FM). The company also named Wade Linder as program director for WLS(FM) in Chicago.

Lewis fills the vacancy left by Ray Nelson’s retirement.

The appointment marks Lewis’ return to Cumulus Media, where he started his radio career as market manager of Cumulus Media Albany, Ga., in 2009. He was then VP/market manager for Cumulus Media’s Pensacola, Fla.; Lexington, Ky.; and Memphis, Tenn., station groups, and was vice president/regional market manager for Cumulus Media in Chattanooga, Tenn. Lewis rejoins Cumulus from USA Today/Gannett Media, where he was senior director of sales in that company’s in Knoxville, Tenn., operation.

Cumulus Media owns and operates Huntsville, Ala., radio stations: WWFF(FM), WUMP(AM/FM), WHRP(FM), WVNN(AM/FM) and WZYP(FM).

[Read: Cumulus Huntsville VP/Market Manager to Retire]

Chessare has more than 30 years’ experience in radio management and sales and was previously VP/market manager for Greater Media Detroit. Prior to that, he was senior vice president of sales for Westwood One, and also served Clear Channel in New York as General Sales Manager and CBS Radio Sales as VP/GM.

Cumulus Media owns and operates Bridgeport, Conn., radio stations WEBE(FM) and WICC(AM).

Layfield heads to Indianapolis from Charlotte, N.C., where he was PD for iHeartMedia. He has also held programming positions in markets including St. Louis; Richmond, Va.; San Diego; and Nashville, Tenn.

Linder moves to WLS(FM) from WLUP(FM), where he has served as PD since 2014. Prior to that, he was program director for KXXR(FM) in Minneapolis, a station he programmed for nearly two decades. Linder began his radio career in 1990 at KQRS(FM) in Minneapolis, where he was music director and assistant PD. He went on to launch Minneapolis’ KEGE(FM) in 1994, prior to moving to KXXR(FM).