chimpanzee, Jay Thomas left Big WAYS/95Q for Chicago, I think maybe Q101, before moving to LA.
You're thinking of Bob Murphy.
Correct. Bob Murphy left WAYS/Charlotte for Q101(WKQX)/Chicago. Murphy In The Morning replaced Jay Thomas, who left for 99X (WXLO)/New York around 1977. IIRC, immediately prior to taking over as PD and morning host at WAYS, Thomas was on nights at the Kaplan's station WAPE/Jacksonville.
And when I went to check this, I got in the middle of a big controversy on Wikipedia. These are fun.