Longtime JR Country (CJJR-FM) Vancouver morning show duo Clay & Karen have officially announced their retirement from the station, with their last day on-air to be Friday, April 22.
Clay St. Thomas has been hosting the morning show for 25 years, alongside Karen Daniels for 22 of those years. Graeme Gordon joined the show more recently in late 2017.
“I’ve always spoke from the bible of Kenny Rogers – you’ve got know when to hold ’em and know when to fold ’em,” said Daniels, during the duo’s announcement of their pending departure on Monday morning. “We’ve reached a lot of goals that we set out to achieve and we’re still young enough, you know in our fifties, that we can still go out and travel and discover some stuff in the world and it’s time to do that.”
“And we always said we’d leave together,” continued St. Thomas. “It’s been 22 years we’ve been doing this show together and we felt joined at the hip a long time ago already…so, you first started making noises 18 months ago during the pandemic, like it’s time to wrap it up.”
Daniels revealed she’d given notice last June, more than 10 months ago, with the duo joking that they’d been “mailing it in” over the past year despite the show and station achieving their highest-ever ratings.
In the Winter PPM Ratings from Numeris, JR Country achieved an overall 9.3 share, 12+, making them the the #1 music station and third in the market overall behind 980 CKNW and CBC Radio One. The Pattison Media station also took top spot with women 25-54, with a 15.7% share (up from 11.5%), as well as women 18-34, earning a 12.8% share in that demo.
“Let that be a little note to broadcasters out there that maybe just letting your hair down…,” said Daniels.
“It’s of course a truly sad day for JR Country and the staff,” Program Director Dustin Collins told Broadcast Dialogue. “Those two have been the heartbeat of JR Country for two-thirds of the station’s existence and this is absolutely the biggest change the station has ever been through since launching.”
St. Thomas, who prior to joining JR Country, hosted at CKZZ-FM Vancouver, 89X (CIMX-FM) Windsor, and CKRA-FM and 92.5 KING FM (CKNG-FM) Edmonton, among other stations, said while he’s leaving the station, he will be seeking a new opportunity elsewhere.
JR Country was named Station of the Year – Major Market in the 2021 Canadian Radio Awards.
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