O’Connell previously worked as Operations Manager and Program Director for CBS Radio stations in West Palm Beach. Prior to that, he spent 15 years in Boston as a programmer for KISS 108, WBMX and WPBZ and WEEI.
CBS Tampa Senior Vice-President and market manager Ben Hill said in a release, “I have complete confidence in John’s experience and leadership, having worked closely with him over the years. He is confident and ‘walks the walk’ when it comes to achieving results. And the fact that no one can match what we offer when it comes to sports programming will enable John to create a listener experience that is completely driven by the fans.”
98.7 “The Fan” has struggled in the ratings since becoming Tampa Bay’s first FM all-sports station last August. A poor season by the USF football team did not help the station, which is also the flagship of Bulls sports.
Anytime a new program director moves in, changes are inevitable. Don’t be surprised to see an integration of CBS Sports Radio network programming on the FM side in an effort to boost ratings of weak performing locally hosted shows. CBS Sports Radio has well known sports talkers like Jim Rome and Scott Ferrall in its lineup, which could attract more listeners on the FM side of the dial.
O’Connell is slated to take over PD duties on January 22.