Evanov Halifax undergoes staff exodus following Jewel rebrand

A photo of the Evanov Radio Group's Cogswell Street studios in Halifax, prior to the 2018 rebrand of Live 105.

Evanov Halifax has undergone a mid-ratings staff exodus following the January rebrand of Rock 105 (CKHY-FM) to Lite AC format Jewel 105.

Jason “JD” Desrosiers

Program director Jason “JD” Desrosiers, who had been with the station since 2015; afternoon drive host Mike McFarland; and promotions coordinator Katie Gordon have all given their notice. McFarland and Gordon had been with Evanov since 2017. Lexi Hirtle, the midday host on sister station Hot Country 103.5 (CKHZ-FM) has also left to take a job outside the industry.

The format flip to Jewel, which Evanov has had success with in seven other markets, came almost six months to the day the station rebranded to Rock 105 – a tweak of its predecessor Alternative/Active Rock LIVE 105.

An internal source told Broadcast Dialogue that the initial format flip last August, made in a bid to take on Stingray-owned Classic Rock powerhouse Q104 (CFRQ-FM), was “poorly handled” and compounded ongoing morale issues.

The latest departures follow turnover in other positions, including the cell’s general sales manager role, which was assumed by broadcast sales veteran Adriana Steele in January. Denyse Sibley, a well-known voice in the market and longtime host on FX 101.9 (CHFX-FM), took on morning show duties on Jewel 105 in February.

Gary Gamble, director of operations for the Evanov Radio Group, told Broadcast Dialogue that with ratings for Rock 105 flat, the recent format flip was a necessary move.

With that format change some members of our staff decided to move on, including JD Desrosiers, Katie Gordon and Mike McFarland. We are currently in the process of filling those positions,” said Gamble. “We look forward to our new staff additions and wish those who have left all the best in the future.”

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