ITHACA/CORTLAND — After more than 25 years of service with Ithaca’s dominant radio cluster, Cayuga Radio Group GM Susan Johnston says she’s looking forward to retirement. Her last day with the cluster, owned by Saga Communications, will be sometime near the end of March.
Johnston’s employment with the cluster dates back to October 1986, the same year Eagle Broadcasting purchased WHCU-AM/FM from Cornell University. “What I imagined in 1986 to be a 2-3 year ‘start-up and turn around’ for Eagle Broadcasting, turned into a life changing experience,” Johnston said in a written statement today. She explained, “I fell in love with radio; its intimacy and power and the effect that well managed radio stations filled with caring, passionate people can have on the community it serves.”
A press release from the cluster says Johnston has been GM since 2005, when current owner Saga Communucations acquired Eagle Broadcasting. The cluster has grown quite a bit since 1986: it now includes two AM stations, three FM stations and what the station describes as “two experimental HD stations.” (Those would be 98.7 The Vine and Hits 103.3, both originating on FM translators which are simulcast on the HD subchannels of WYXL-FM.)
As of yet, no word on who might be taking over for Johnston after her departure. The job hasn’t even been posted yet on Saga’s corporate web site, but Saga still lists two earlier job openings: for a traffic assistant and for a news anchor/reporter.
We’re told Johnston and her husband Jim plan to stick around in the Ithaca area. We wish them all the best!