JAZZ.FM91 (CJRT-FM) has announced that Lorie Russell, Vice President and Managing Director, will be leaving the station in mid-December, and that it’s commenced the search for a new General Manager.
Russell, who has held the position since March 2019, is leaving for personal reasons. The former GM of Newcap Radio’s Toronto stations, Russell’s appointment to the position followed the dramatic ouster of the not-for-profit station’s board of directors and senior management after employee allegations of a toxic work culture under former CEO Ross Porter.
“Lorie took the reins at a critical time for JAZZ.FM91. Under her leadership, the station has won back listeners, donors and advertisers, and importantly, the support of local professional jazz musicians,” said Brian Hemming, Chair of JAZZ.FM91. “We are disappointed Lorie is leaving us, but it was her decision alone, which we respect. Fortunately, she leaves us in a stronger position to handle the uncertainty that lies ahead as a result of COVID-19 and other challenges facing the radio broadcast industry.”
Russell said in a statement that while a difficult decision to make, it’s time for her to step away.
“It has been an incredible couple of years – perhaps the most challenging, but in many ways, the most satisfying of my career. The passion of the people who work at the station and those who support it as donors, listeners, advertisers, volunteers and musicians is unbelievable. It has been a family for me, and I will miss them all,” said Russell.
Hemming said the board is now looking for a General Manager who can build on the station’s improved financial and operating status.
“Our General Manager needs to wear several hats and know how to motivate and lead a diverse team at the station as well as attract advertisers, donors and volunteers who are all critical to the station’s success and unique position as Canada’s only 24/7 jazz station,” added Hemming.
Lorie Russell was a guest last September on Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast. Listen here:
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