Cumulus Media Announces Programming Leadership Changes for Powerhouse Chicago and Minneapolis Rock Radio Stations

James Kurdziel Appointed Program Director, Q101 – Chicago’s Alternative, and Promoted to VP/Classic Rock and Alternative for Cumulus Media

Wade Linder Named Program Director of 92 KQRS-FM in Minneapolis

ATLANTA, GA – June 20, 2023 — Cumulus Media (NASDAQ: CMLS) announces that it has appointed James Kurdziel as Program Director for Q101/WKQX-FM in Chicago, Cumulus Media’s biggest Alternative station. Cumulus Media also expands Kurdziel’s corporate programming leadership role, upping him from VP, Classic Rock, to the newly created position of VP, Classic Rock and Alternative, for the company. Kurdziel moves to Chicago from Cumulus Minneapolis, where he was Program Director for Classic Rock station KQRS-FM. Before his arrival in the Twin Cities, Kurdziel programmed acclaimed Cumulus Alternative FM, The Edge/WEDG-FM in Buffalo, NY.

Concurrently, Cumulus Media has appointed Wade Linder as Program Director for Classic Rocker 92 KQRS-FM in Minneapolis. In addition to his new role with 92 KQRS-FM, Linder will also continue to handle Special Projects for the Cumulus Corporate Programming team. Linder moves to Cumulus Minneapolis from Cumulus Chicago, where he has been Program Director for Classic Hits station 94.7 WLS-FM since 2018, following four years as Program Director for the former Chicago Classic Rock station WLUP-FM. Prior to that, Linder spent nearly two decades programming Cumulus Minneapolis Rock station 93X/KXXR-FM.

Brian Philips, Chief Content Officer, Cumulus Media and Westwood One, said: “In our careers, we may never again hit upon the perfect alignment of circumstances which made this deal possible. Chicago and Minneapolis-St. Paul have always generously shared people and ideas. We believe we’ve landed the ideal combination of star programmers to ensure the ongoing success of these stations.”

Marv Nyren, Vice President/Market Manager, Cumulus Chicago, said: “One of the benefits of having great talent throughout Cumulus is that when multi-market opportunities like this come up, we create a win-win-win situation. Having an experienced talent like James Kurdziel take over the reins of Q101 couldn’t happen at a better time and the entire staff in Chicago will benefit from his leadership and expertise. While WLS-FM will miss Wade’s knowledge and total professionalism, he gets to go back home and stay within the Cumulus family.”

Shelly Malecha Wilkes, Vice President/Market Manager, Cumulus Minneapolis, said: “Congratulations to James Kurdziel. James has done an outstanding job in Minneapolis and, while we will miss his daily presence, this is a wonderful opportunity and we’re very happy for him. We’re also very excited to have Wade Linder back at Cumulus Minneapolis. Wade was an original architect of KQRS and KXXR. He’s a very strong Program Director and the right guy to lead the legendary KQRS. Welcome home, Wade!”

The appointments are effective immediately.

About Cumulus Media

Cumulus Media (NASDAQ: CMLS) is an audio-first media company delivering premium content to over a quarter billion people every month — wherever and whenever they want it. Cumulus Media engages listeners with high-quality local programming through 404 owned-and-operated radio stations across 85 markets; delivers nationally-syndicated sports, news, talk, and entertainment programming from iconic brands including the NFL, the NCAA, the Masters, CNN, the AP, the Academy of Country Music Awards, and many other world-class partners across more than 9,400 affiliated stations through Westwood One, the largest audio network in America; and inspires listeners through the Cumulus Podcast Network, its rapidly growing network of original podcasts that are smart, entertaining and thought-provoking. Cumulus Media provides advertisers with personal connections, local impact and national reach through broadcast and on-demand digital, mobile, social, and voice-activated platforms, as well as integrated digital marketing services, powerful influencers, full-service audio solutions, industry-leading research and insights, and live event experiences. Cumulus Media is the only audio media company to provide marketers with local and national advertising performance guarantees. For more information visit

Contact: Lisa Dollinger, Dollinger Strategic Communication for Cumulus Media, 512.633.4084,