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Rick Cummings Announces Retirement from Emmis Corporation


Rick Cummings
Rick Cummings

Emmis Corporation's Rick Cummings, the programmer behind KPWR (Power 106) in Los Angeles and WQHT (Hot 97) in New York, as well as dozens of other stations and formats across the U.S., will retire from full-time employment, effective September 1, 2023, after 43 years with the company. He will remain a consultant with Emmis.

"Save my immediate family, nothing has given me more joy in life than working for Jeff (Smulyan) and Emmis," said Cummings. "This company has afforded me extraordinary professional and personal opportunities, here and abroad, that no kid from rural Indiana could ever have imagined. I am eternally grateful for this and the future as Emmis allows me to continue in a consulting role. As I told Jeff, 'I'll work for you until they carry one of us out.'"

"Rick and I have been together every day since Emmis started, and we worked together even before that," said Emmis founder and Chairman Jeff Smulyan. "It's hard to describe our relationship, but no one has contributed more to the success of Emmis for 43 years than Rick and no one has been a better friend and partner. It is hard to see Rick wanting to slow down, but he has certainly earned the right to do that. Knowing that he will remain as a consultant means that we will continue to work and laugh together for a long time."

A Cloverdale, Indiana native and Butler University graduate, Cummings became Emmis Broadcasting's first Program Director at flagship WENS-FM in 1981. In 1984, he was named Emmis' National Program Director, launching KPWR in Los Angeles, followed by WQHT in New York, and then the country's first all-sports station WFAN in New York. In 2002, he became President of the Radio Division of Emmis Communications, overseeing more than 20 radio stations. In 2008, he became President of Programming for Emmis' domestic radio group.

Cummings, 72, is a past member of the National Association of Broadcasters and Radio Advertising Bureau boards and is Trustee Emeritus at his alma mater, Butler University.

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