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Success doesn't mean security at WYRK-FM 106.5

The country station topped the last Arbitron ratings period in local radio but all that earned Rusty Carr, the station's program director, was a pink slip.

Carr, whose real name is Mark Lindrow, was let go by the station, said Jeff Silver, WYRK's general manager and vice president of CBS Radio, which owns the station. "It had nothing to do with (ratings) numbers," Silver said, but would not elaborate. Carr was unavailable for comment.

During the fall Arbitron ratings, WYRK finished first with a 10.5 average quarterly hour share for an overall audience over the age of 12.

John Paul, current program director at WBUF-FM 92.9 Dancing Oldies, will assume the duties at WYRK.

"Basically, John's going to program both stations," Silver said. "He had been with WYRK as assistant program director. He knows the station and he knows the music. He's earned the additional responsibilities."

CBS owns both stations and combining the programming jobs is another sign how media concentration affects the employees and programming at local stations. Three companies run virtually every major commercial station in this market, and program directors can be responsible for more than one station.

WYRK has dominated local radio ratings for the past decade, but the station continues to make changes. Generally, older, higher-paid personalities are eased out, usually replaced by younger, lower-salaried employees.

Gail Ann Huber, long time member of the WYRK morning team, left the station a few months ago, replaced by C.J. Lee. Tom Campbell left the morning show over a year ago, replaced by Clay Moden.

"These have been positive changes," Silver said. "We freshened up the morning show and the ratings have improved"

Craig Matthews, popular air personality who last month was dropped by oldies station WHTT-FM 104.1, will do part-time work for WYRK. He has been working evening shifts on weekends and playing the Dixie Chicks instead of the Beatles.

"I've gone country and I love it," Matthews said. "This is something I've always wanted to do.

Matthews works Saturdays from 6 p.m. until midnight and Sundays from 3 to 7 p.m. He will be filling in today from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.

"What's good about this job is that I enjoy the music and the station," he said.

Matthews is also doing promotional work for WBUF.

Static: Bill Davis, former general manager at WBFO-FM 88.7, has been named chief executive officer of the Southern California Public Radio. Davis, who was at WBFO from 1988-90, had been vice president of programming for National Public Radio.

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