Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Clear Channel Layoffs Day 2

OK, as much as we tried to put it off, we have to dig in and share the fallout from the massive Clear Channel restructuring - and how it affects Ohio, as news of yesterday's 9% layoff at the radio giant continues to trickle down.

Or, as the trade website AllAccess headline says: "Now, 1850 People Have To Restructure Their Lives"...

YOUNGSTOWN: We have some word of the cuts made Tuesday at Clear Channel's South Avenue compound in suburban Youngstown.

OMW hears two on-air names let go were actually reported on NBC affiliate WFMJ/21's late newscast on Monday, and one is a long-time veteran of Mahoning Valley radio.

We hear that standards WNIO/1390 has parted company with Vince Camp, who was most recently heard doing the 2-5 PM afternoon shift for the station - as well as hosting WNIO's Sunday "Italian Hour".

We don't have Vince's resume memorized, but an older WNIO web page we found in a Google search says he started at WNIO in 1967. (We'll assume that's the former WNIO incarnation at 1540 in Niles, which is today's Beacon Media Christian contemporary WRTK/1540 "Freq 1540".) We seem to remember him from a stint at WBBW/1240, which is today's Cumulus Media sports talker "ESPN 1240", but we could be wrong.

Also reported to be out at South Avenue is hot AC WMXY/98.9 "Mix 98.9" afternooner Dana Jordan, and a still undetermined number of off-air staffers...

TOLEDO: In addition to the previously reported exit of part-time WSPD/1370 staffer Glenn Forbes, OMW hears that Clear Channel's Toledo cluster sustained 22 job cuts, 10 full-time and 12 part-time.

As with the other layoffs, we're told that the bulk of the impact in Toledo was felt in the sales, production and promotions departments, like this one mentioned in AllAccess' Clear Channel Restructuring List Of Doom:

STEVE “VANDAM” DAMSCHRODER exits as Promotions Director for CC/TOLEDO after two years.

DETROIT: No, we didn't misplace the state border, or start writing for Mike Austerman's excellent Michiguide. But there's a big change in Clear Channel's Detroit cluster that merits a Northeast Ohio sidebar.

Clear Channel has basically thrown in the locker room towel on its once-iconic sports talker there, WDFN/1130 - long known as "The Fan".

The Detroit News is among many outlets reporting that Tuesday's job cut wave resulted in the end of all locally-produced sports talk shows on WDFN. The station is reported to be airing FOX Sports Radio full-time, along with continuing to fulfill its 2008-2009 Detroit Pistons contract.

WDFN's demise is sudden, but the station has faced major competition from CBS Radio's rejuvenated sports competitor, WXYT "The Ticket". That station moved to 97.1 FM a while back, and still simulcasts on its old home of 1270 AM.

When WXYT was only on 1270, it was a tough competition between the two sports outlets in Detroit. But the move to the FM dial seems to have rocketed WXYT far above its now emaciated competitor.

The Northeast Ohio connection?

The Detroit News article mentions that Pepper Pike native Matt Dery will continue to be employed by what's left of WDFN:

Other on-air staffers such as Matt Dery and Rob Otto will remain to handle quarter-hour local updates and the Pistons pre- and post-game shows.

Dery was a staffer with the old WHK/1420 sports format in the 1990s, "The Voice of the Fan", and is still occasionally heard providing the Detroit perspective on local sports talk radio shows, particularly when local teams play Detroit squads.

And he gets mentioned occasionally in the rumor mill as a potential replacement for Cavaliers' radio legend Joe Tait, whenever Tait walks away from the microphone.

After what happened when Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert replaced Fox Sports Ohio TV voice Michael Reghi with Pistons TV voice Fred McLeod, Gilbert rather pointedly announced at Tait's latest contract renewal that Joe has the Cavaliers' radio play-by-play job "as long as he wants it".

WDFN was one of two large market Clear Channel sports stations basically wiped off the local programming map on Tuesday.

There's another Northeast Ohio connection here, as the other station was San Diego's KLSD/1360 "XTRA Sports"...which cut loose nearly all of its local talk hosts.

But former WHLO/640 Akron sports talk host and World Hockey Association Cleveland Crusaders radio voice (via then WWWE/1100) Lee "Hacksaw" Hamilton wasn't listed in Tuesday's job cuts, as he's been out of the building for some time. He had already been let go in an earlier round of budget cuts...

AND MORE FROM ALLACCESS: There are more layoffs reported in Cincinnati, according to AllAccess:

Talk WLW-A morning news anchor SCOTT SPRINGER and reporter PERRY SCHIABLE, production staffer ADAM CAMPBELL, and Rock WEBN morning co-host JENNI HUSS are out at the company's CINCINNATI cluster.

We'll assume that our friends over at Tri-State Media Watch will have any more. We haven't really been covering Southwest Ohio now that it has its own, dedicated blog...


Chuck Patterson said...

Is there a reason you don't spend many keystrokes on CC Columbus? I hear they lost Ben Johnson and Colin Smith (on air staff) as well as some promotions and sales people. Not nearly as many as some markets but worth a mention.

Ohio Media Watch said...


Check the item right below this - we mentioned both Ben and Colin very early on. For a while, they were the only two names we had.

This item was the pickup for "day 2" of news about the effects of the CC massive layoffs.

-The Management

ghz said...

A little clarification on Vince Camp....yes he worked at the original WNIO in the late 60's. WNIO was top 40 at the time and competing with WHOT 1330. Vince later worked for years at WBBW in Youngstown. I believe Vince hosted WBBW's "Tradio" a flea market of the air in the 70's and 80's....and I remember Vince hosting a recipie show on WBBW.....people would call in and give their recipies, ingrediant by ingrediant, and Vince would dutifully repeat them....."Thats two cups of sugar".....

Vince may have worked for WFMJ or WHOT AM 1390 for awhile too. Not sure on that but later on in the mid 90's he came to work with us at WNIO, 1540 in Niles along with Johnny Kay and Dick Thompson when the station was programming Adult Standards with that Legendary Youngstown airstaff. I believe Vince stayed with WNIO through the Jacor/Clear Channel purchase and made the move with the call letters to 1390.

Vince had quite a long run in Youngstown radio, starting with and most recently with the WNIO call letters. There were many changes and stops in between though, the most lengthy probably at WBBW in the local ownership/pre Cumulus days.