Kidd Chris' former program director coming to Now 97.5

John Cook, son of WFIL "Boss Jock" Jay Cook, was just hired as program director of adult-contemporary WNUW (97.5), aka Now 97.5.

Cook was fired early last year from the PD's job at WYSP (94.1) in the fallout from Kidd Chris' airing of a guest's racist song parody. 

Cook's last spot was operations manager of WDAF/KKSN in Kansas City, where it was announced last week that he was coming to Philadelphia for "personal reasons." He previously was PD at KPLX in Dallas, KIIS in Los Angeles and KHKS in Dallas.

Chris is now doing an Internet show.

Reading the tea leaves here, it appears that a major change is in the works at Now 97.5, which has been a serious underperformer for Greater Media, whose WMMR and WMGK are among the top stations in town.

Now 97.5 tried, briefly, to go after market leader B101 by playing softer hits. Over the last few months, its playlist has leaned toward hot adult contemporary.

Since March, Now and sister station WBEN (95.7) had been sharing the programming services of Jules Riley. She returns full time to WBEN.

In June's Arbitron ratings, Now 97.5 was ranked 23d among its target demographic, ages 18-34. To give you an idea how anemic Now's numbers were, consider that 950ESPN -- the sports-talk station also owned by Greater Media -- handily outperformed it, and that station is aimed at men 25-54.

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