Lite 98 radio hosts Chris Parker and Kris Taylor -- who replaced long-time local favorites Bill Bevins and Shelly Perkins -- no longer work at the station.
iHeartMedia Richmond’s senior vice president of programming, who goes by A.J., declines to comment on the change, saying it is a personnel matter. Reached by Style, Parker also declines to comment.
A question left by someone last night on the Chris and Kris Facebook page -- "Why aren't you all on the radio this week?" -- was met with a reply that the two no longer worked at Lite 98. The post was later taken down.
The adult contemporary station had hit a low ratings spot recently, at the bottom of Richmond's top 10 morning stations, according to the most recent ratings data from Nielsen, which measures the percentage of listeners ages 12 and older who are tuned in during an average quarter hour. In the 6-10 a.m. block this summer, Lite 98 ranked at a 4 share. A year before, the show held a 4.8 share. At the top is Kiss-FM’s “Tom Joyner Morning Show” (an 8.9 share) followed by “The Steve Harvey Morning Show” on 106.5 The Beat (8.7 share). Tied for third place is Catfish, Lori and Billy D on “K95 Mornings” and “Morning Edition” on WCVE (6.5 shares). (Note: WCVE’s measure comes from a different source.)
Parker and Taylor replaced the popular local duo of Bevins and Perkins in January 2014. Their predecessors had been on Lite 98 for 13 years before their contract expired and they signed off in December 2013. In July, the pair showed up on the new Easy 100.9, owned by crosstown rival Summit Media. There, the morning ratings were a 3.1 share.
The morning-show change comes as Lite 98 launches its long-time tradition of playing Christmas tunes nonstop through the holidays. The station also announced that it will temporarily change its name to “Christmas 98.1 Richmond’s Christmas Station” to celebrate the season.