Chris Jones cutback at Bluegrass Junction

Chris JonesChanges at Sirius-XM will severely cut popular disc jockey Chris Jones’ air time on Bluegrass Junction, Channel 61.

Jones announced “with some sadness” on Facebook that it would be his last weekday show. “Because of changes there, my schedule will now be reduced to Saturdays only, plus my ‘Truegrass’ show,” he wrote. “I’m not at liberty to elaborate on the reasons or circumstances, what little I know.”

Jones has been on the air at Sirius-XM for more than 12 years, outlasting managers and owners who nurtured the channel and those who downplayed it. Subscriptions have been up, along with the company’s stock price, so the move comes as something as a surprise.

Sources familiar with the changes say Sirius-XM employees Kyle Cantrell and Joey Black were apparently not affected by the shakeup. Ned Luberecki will continue to host Derailed. It wasn’t immediately known how the changes would affect the rest of his schedule.

The changes won’t affect the channel’s schedule of bluegrass music but no hires are expected. So you can still count on hearing music when Jones would usually be on the air, but without the banter and background discussions that have helped make the channel a must-listen destination for many bluegrassers.

Jones and Luberecki, who play together in Chris Jones and the Night Drivers, could not be reached for comment. We’re reaching out to Sirius-XM brass for comment as well, and will post an update when we learn more.

Sirius XM Holdings Inc. is scheduled to announce its fourth-quarter 2013 earnings before Tuesday morning’s opening bell of the stock market. The company is controlled by Liberty Media, which owns about 53 percent of Sirius stock and is in talks to acquire the rest.

There is no direct evidence that the cuts at Bluegrass Junction are in any way related to the business developments, but the timing is curious to say the least.

Editor’s Note: Jones was on the air this morning (2/4), filling in for Kyle Cantrell, who is ill.

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About the Author

David Morris

David Morris, an award-winning songwriter and journalist, has written for Bluegrass Today since its inception. He joined its predecessor, The Bluegrass Blog, in 2010. His 40-year career in journalism included more than 13 years with The Associated Press, a stint as chief White House correspondent for Bloomberg News, and several top editing jobs in Washington, D.C. He is a life member of IBMA and the DC Bluegrass Union. He and co-writers won the bluegrass category in the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at MerleFest in 2015.