Chris Booker, who spent more than a decade on Entercom’s Los Angeles top 40 outlet 97.1 Amp (KAMP-FM) before exiting in February, is returning to the market — but via a crosstown rival.
Booker has been hired as the new afternoon host on iHeartRadio’s Alt 98.7 (KYSR-FM), replacing Andrew Harms, who exited earlier this month to join Amazon Music as its U.S. rock and alternative programmer.
“I’m pretty sure that I now know what it’s like to make the All-Star team now that I work for iHeartRadio,” said Booker in an announcement. “This is such an incredible opportunity, and I’m so excited to work side by side with my friends Lisa and Woody. Let’s get it ALT 98.7!”
Booker is currently heard on Entercom’s New York alternative outlet Alt 92.3 (WNYL-FM), which he just joined in September. It was his third tour of duty on the frequency, having previously worked at the station in the 2000s when it was branded “92.3 K-Rock,” and “92.3 Free FM.”
At KYSR, Booker was recruited to iHeart by VP of rock and alternative Lisa Worden, who, as program director of Alt 98.7, has helped oversee the station’s rise in the Los Angeles ratings at the expense of Entercom’s legendary KROQ. (Worden spent two decades at KROQ before defecting to iHeart and KYSR in 2017).
“Our paths have crossed for many years – mostly at The 1975 shows – and we finally found the perfect opportunity to work together,” said Worden. “Chris is a pro with a knack for entertaining and a huge passion for Alternative Rock music. He’s a perfect fit for ALT 98.7, and I could not be more excited for him to join the team!”
As Variety wrote in May, Entercom’s decision to fire KROQ’s longtime morning show and simultaneously change the station’s music mix has led to a tremendous decline in the station’s ratings.
In the Nielsen Audio PPM ratings for November, KYSR averaged a 2.7 share in the Los Angeles market among persons 6 and older, with a 1.1 million cume, while KROQ was far behind with a 1.7 share and 944,100 cume.
Those changes came after Entercom named Los Angeles senior VP of programming Mike Kaplan to take over as brand manager of KROQ. Kaplan had already been away from, coincidentally, KYSR, to serve as Entercom’s alternative format captain; he also serves as brand manager for WNYL.
Booker spent most of his tenure at 97.1 Amp as the station’s afternoon host; he switched to mornings in October 2019. His other stops include Philadelphia’s Q102 and New York’s WNEW. He also hosts SiriusXM Pandora’s weekly “Thumb 20” show, and co-hosts the “Perez Hilton Podcast with Chris Booker.”
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