Industry News

Cumulus Media Promotes Ann Thomas to Program Director for WJR, Detroit

Cumulus Media announces that it is promoting Ann Thomas to program director for heritage news/talk outlet WJR, Detroit. The company says that Thomas becomes the first female program director in the station’s 101-year history. She rises from her previous role as assistant program director and executive producer. Thomas started at WJR as an intern in 1982 and was then hired full-time as producer of a WJR program called, “The Other Side of the News.” She went on to become a WJR news reporter and anchor, winning several Associated Press, United Press International, and Detroit Press Club awards for Breaking News and Auto Negotiations. In 1999, Thomas was named executive producer of the “Paul W. Smith Show.” Thomas also produced the WJR-MSU tailgate shows for 15 years from 2006-2021. She has hosted WJR programs including “The Healthy Woman Show,” “Opportunity Detroit,” “The WJR Gardening Show,” and “Women Who Lead,” which she launched 11 years ago to highlight Michigan women from all walks of life doing great things in the community. Cumulus Media RVP and market manager Steve Finateri says, “Ann Thomas is the heart and soul of WJR and has been deserving of this move for a very long time. Her fingerprints are already all over this heritage, award-winning radio station, but we are all excited to see what the future holds with Ann in the driver’s seat!” At the same time, Cumulus promotes Mike Wheeler from WJR PD to operations manager for Cumulus Detroit/Ann Arbor. In the newly created position, Wheeler will manage operations for the company’s four Detroit stations and four Ann Arbor stations.