Lite 98 is pulling the old team back together for a re-launch, after recently parting ways with morning show co-hosts Chris Parker and Kris Taylor -- who replaced longtime local favorites Bill Bevins and Shelly Perkins. In today's station announcement, iHeartMedia announced that the FM station will change Monday, Dec. 28, to MIX 98.1, Today’s Variety.
Christmas music has filled the station's airwaves since Nov. 13, while the program changes took place behind the scenes. The station was temporarily renamed “Christmas 98.1 Richmond’s Christmas Station” to celebrate the season.
The station says its new music format will include artists such as Taylor Swift, Maroon 5, Adele, Bruno Mars and Pink. As for the talent on board, it includes a throwback to its sister station Q94, as well as a late-'90s radio host from B-103, now Play 103.7, which is owned by Summit Media.
Former Q94 morning radio personality Jeff Wicker, who also was a host in the late '90s, will host Mix 98.1’s new morning show from 5:30-9:30. Jackie Cunningham, formerly of B-103 in Richmond, is returning to town from Seattle, where she's been part of “Jackie and Bender” on 106.1 KISS. While she handles the 9 a.m. to noon slot, Lite 98's Kat Simons, an 18-year Richmond radio staple, will DJ the noon to 3 p.m. block. And Billy Surf, another well-known name from Q94's late-'90s years, will join the team.
The changes come after the contemporary radio station dipped in the ratings, with Parker and Taylor unable to lift its overall morning numbers.
In the station's announcement, iHeartMedia Richmond's senior vice president of programming, who goes by A.J., said: "I am super excited to launch MIX 98.1 and am so fortunate to have been able to assemble a team of talent that has so much Richmond history and popularity. This new on-air team will instantly deliver over 35 combined years on the radio in Richmond. That's huge!"