Wednesday, December 06, 2006

More Cuts

And something that isn't connected to the sale of a certain sports radio outlet:

OMW had been hearing rumblings of cuts last Friday at the now-former CBS Radio outlets in Columbus, which were taken over by Wilks Broadcasting that day.

Unfortunately, those rumblings turned out to be true at the stations, country WHOK/95.5 "K95", rock WLVQ/96.3 "QFM96" and alt-rock WAZU/107.1 "The Big Wazoo".

AllAccess reports that cluster operations manager Dave Cooper is out, along with WHOK news director Kim Taylor and night personality Heather Black, WLVQ traffic reporter "Officer Al" and assistant program director/midday personality Dave Man, along with cluster engineer John Marocchi.

Staying in Columbus, where we were still waiting for confirmation on one reported layoff at the Clear Channel cluster there - WLZT/93.3 "Lite FM" programmer Steve Cherry.

Unfortunately, that appears to have come true, shortly after he became a new father - his wife Anna (middayer at sister 80's rocker WBRW/105.7 "The Brew") gave birth to a new son.

Cherry's name has disappeared from the WLZT website, and the "Program Director" contact info E-Mail now directs to sister WNCI/97.9 programmer Michael McCoy.

Unfortunately, there's even more job loss news in this item.

OMW told you earlier of a number of people let go from Clear Channel's Cincinnati cluster. It appears "a number" wasn't nearly as high as it should have been.

In an item which gave us a lot of pause, Cincinnati Enquirer radio/TV guru John Kiesewetter counted up the forced departures at the Kenwood HQ of the company, and came up with...19 people out the door at eight stations.


If you want the gruesome details, and a list of some of the folks we didn't have, it's at Kiesewetter's blog here.

Kiesewetter notes that the number of 19 layoffs does NOT include, believe it or not, Jerry Springer's producer Stephanie Tyler. The end of her position is tied to that show's demise, not to the station's budget cuts.

And we now wonder why any young person even considers a career in this business in 2006...


Anonymous said...

If true, its sad that a nice guy like Steve Cherry got cut loose. It amazing that anyone would want to work in this business anymore.

Anonymous said...

Don't know why anyone would want to put their head on the block and go into broadasting. I used to teach communications for an Ohio university and would tell the wannabes that they should take a vow of poverty for the first few years until they work up to a better gig. Now, however, the word is just take a vow to get a job you may be sure will be around tomorrow. Mickey Dee's has better security.

Pat Cloonan said...

Actually, I wonder why anyone would want to put their head on the block and go into media, period.

At one time, I prayed a nephew or niece might follow me into journalism.

Today I'd wonder about the mental state of any younger relative who gets such a foolish notion.

(Then again, since few if any of them bother reading a newspaper or listening to broadcast news, I doubt the notion would occur to them.)

sour apples said...

I worked in radio from 1993-1998. I can assure you it does not pay well. Just remember you can always be replaced. There is always someone willing to get into the business to work and for less money than you are already making.

Anonymous said...

What really makes a career radio radio person like me (fortunately still employed) really angry is how unnecessary these cuts are. Clear Channel's (and others) cuts are not about profitability. they're about maintaining ridiculous and unsustainable profit margins to justify obscene executive pay levels. When you look at the reported pay levels of these people relative to the health of our business, you see the source of the problem. The sad thing is, "outsize compensation" has become so commomplace that it seems to be considered normal. I just wish there was some way to pay these people back for the "vision".

Anonymous said...

OMW, I am curious. You might want to talk to the folks at the Ohio School of Broadcasting (or whatever they call it these days) to see if their numbers are down. They may not admit it, but who in their right mind would get into an industry which is rated well below that of the used car business.

I remember a day when you had the Specs Howard School, WIXY School and at least a dozen Career Academies of Broadcasting going great guns with waiting lists for "Big Jack wanna-bees."

There was a time when I promoted the business and encouraged kids to get into it. Today, I go out of my way to talk them out of it.

Chris said...

I am one of those crazy young people who has entered the world of broadcasting. I'm fortunate to work in a small market with local ownership. It's further away from home than I hoped, but a first job out of college none the less. There are a few people I work with in my age group (24-28), and we talk often about the current state of radio, because we all do eventually hope to return to our perspective hometowns to work (mine being Cleveland). Most of us are very familiar with the way radio used to be, despite our ages, because there are many people out there like all of you who do a great job schooling us in the past. Here's more than a few comments from an ignorant whipper snapper (is that how you old people say that?)....

Maybe we're just not thinking clear enough (I think all the hangovers we acquire in college take a few years to fully recover from), but, while most of us know we're underpaid, to us, it's the most money we've ever seen in our lives. Most of us don't have families, and aren't in the process of starting any (in my case I'd have to get a date first), so the money isn't the issue, at least not at the moment. I know many people in my family who NEVER made over $20,000 a year, and they live very comfortably. Are we being taken advantage of? Sure, but that leads to my second point.

We do it for the same reason why some of you entered the business. We love it! Everyone has all sorts of personal reasons why they left the business. If you had to leave to support a family, you have to do what you have to do. But I see a lot of people leave because there's too much work involved for very little pay. Those are the same people I met in college who expect to be the lead announcer, or the DJ with the prime slot just by showing up and saying "hi." Those are also the people I meet who want the quick fix by going to a technical school rather than making the sacrifice of being in debt their entire lives and go to a college.

In fact, if there was anything that annoys me about the media, is they will hire 5 of those guys rather than hire one of me. Once again, I use that for my next point....

Maybe were also a little naive, but there's a lot of us who think that we can change the way things are done. Like the previous poster from OU said, professors are deadly honest with us about what to expect. I was told I could expect to be fired around a dozen times in this field. Knowing that, why should I worry about conforming to how some corporate guy wants things done? Hell, if I'm probably going to be fired within a few years anyways, my feeling is do what you want, and if it helps ratings improve, revenue improve, and I get to keep my job, than great. If I get canned, it's not like it wasn't to be expected. I don't know about other people, but I'm too numb to not be myself.

I think we all take Clear Channel too seriously sometimes. I know that's a difficult thing to swallow for those unfortunate people who have been let go recently, but I think that if we let a bully keep bullying us, we get what we asked for. If we try to fight back, and get our asses kicked, at least we'll have a black eye to show for it.

There are owners who care, even in Ohio. That's why I'm so excited about Karmazin buying KNR. He's a young guy who does things the right way, and a perfect example of what I mean. (damn I think I did all my butt kissing on the wrong comment page) There's a lot of young people out there who are working very hard to burst the doors open. All it takes is one PD to say "screw it, I want the kid who cares. And it will happen, and we will make it happen.

The end.

74WIXYgrad said...

To the anonomyous who questioned broadcasting schools. I can tell you(as the only poster that admits to going to the WIXY School)when I went there, it was made clear that most people attending these schools would not be the next star. The halls of the WIXY School at 3940 Euclid Ave. were lined with framed letters from places such as Welsh, W.Va., Prestonburg, Ky., and Sullivan, Indiana. Most of those people that graduated in the seventies are probably as talented as those who graduate from OCB and get a job in the Cleveland market today. Hopefully the OCB people are being trained for something other than over the air broadcasting.

It Said said...

''we all do eventually hope to return to our hometowns to work''...

Problem #1

There are only so many jobs avaliable in Cleveland right now..and 19 just got wacked in Cincy..those jobs are gone..

I work with people in a midwestern market whose ambition is to work in the station in which they were interns....I've tried explaining that you have to broaden your horizons..from ''sea to shining sea'' if you will..and not to be too disappointed if you fail to reach your inital goal..the United States has four time zones after all..there are plenty of solid major and medium markets to compete in..

Don't get attached to people, or places or things..look at allaccess on a daily basis..always update your aircheck..I've got four CDs already burned from where I am now..cause you just never know when the hammer will fall..and fall it will..