“They told us that they are . . . going in another direction with corporate,” says Adam “Lukas” Cox, who was fired when his show finished at 10 a.m. Wednesday.
Cox’s co-host, Careth Beard, also was fired — unlike Harris’ co-host, Tracy Cassidy, who lasted almost two years after he was fired.
KRBB, 97.9-FM, program director and afternoon disc jockey Dave Wilson also was let go Wednesday.
“You know, radio’s such a wild job and career,” Cox says.
The station’s general manager, an iHeartMedia executive who lives in Omaha, could not be reached for comment and no one with B98 returned calls for comment. Wilson could not be reached for comment.
As each person was called in one by one after the show, Cox says they were “blindsided” by the news.
“Last month, we were the number one morning show in Wichita,” he says. “It’s taken me six years to get to number one.”
In the demographic of men and women ages 25 to 54, Cox says, “We had a 15 share, and I think Bobby Bones was second with some kind of a 9 share. He’s been number one in this market forever.”
B98 is still advertising “Lukas & Careth in the Morning” on its website and on social media.
From what Cox can glean from what he was told, he says he believes his show will be replaced with a syndicated one and that other adult contemporary shows throughout the iHeart system nationally will change as well.
What particularly surprises him, Cox says, is that the company would eliminate local talent from B98 because of how involved it is around Wichita.
“I feel like a local morning show is vital especially since B98 is so community oriented.”
Cox came to B98 from out of the market in 2012.
“Why would you live in Wichita?” he says his friends ask.
Though he’s worked in big markets such as New York and Los Angeles, Cox says he wants to remain here, preferably in radio on another show with Beard.
“This is a great place to live. The people here are incredible. I don’t want to move from Wichita.”
Beard, a Derby native, has been at the station for more than four years. While shocked at the company’s decision, especially because “we felt like we had a really good connection to the community,” she says her faith in God is seeing her through the situation.
“I believe that he’s always working something behind the scenes,” she says.
“I have surprisingly a lot of hope right now. I’m really at peace.”
Cox says he is not upset about his dismissal.
“I feel like if we would have been a bad morning show, and we were fired because we didn’t do well . . . then I would be upset.”
Going out on top changes things, he says.
“I can’t keep the smile off my face because I finally achieved what I came here to achieve.”