Wednesday, February 11, 2009

More Cumulus Youngstown Fallout

The media layoffs these days are not only frequent, and cut deep, but you seemingly can't put them in the past after reporting them.

That's what's going on at Cumulus' Youngstown cluster, where we're getting word of two more on-air personalities losing their jobs in the most recent round of budget-driven layoffs.

And if you're a long-time listener to Youngstown radio, they're names you'll probably recognize.

OMW hears that talk WPIC/790 Sharon PA morning co-host/station manager Bob Popa and standards WSOM/600 afternoon host "Jolly Roger" lost their jobs in this most recent round of job cuts.

Both are market veterans.

Popa had been an air personality on WHOT through the 1980s, by that time at its current dial position at 101.1 FM. He later went to oldies WBBG/then-93.3, and landed at Cumulus' WPIC after Clear Channel bought the former Jacor (previously Connoisseur) stations in Youngstown.

Popa has been co-hosting WPIC's local morning show with another market veteran, newsman Joe Biro, who is now one of just two Cumulus employees remaining at the station's Pine Hollow Road facility in Sharon. Afternoon drive talk host Ron Errett is the other.

The bulk of the Cumulus Youngstown operation is over at Simon Road in Youngstown.

In addition to his WPIC duties, Popa has also been station manager for sister AC WLLF/96.7 Mercer "The River", which carries Dial Global's satellite AC feed full-time.

We don't know what form the WPIC morning show ("Mercer County's #1 morning show", the station proclaims on its website) will take with host Popa's departure - if Biro will go solo, or if he'll be providing local news within a syndicated morning show.

Jolly Roger had earlier retired from a long career in Youngstown, including as program director of WSOM and the former WSOM-FM/105.1 in their days in Salem - of course, 105.1 is today's country WQXK "K105".

He returned to WSOM in 2005, and as we reported at the time, he took over afternoons in 2007 with the retirement of yet another local radio veteran, Johnny Kay.

At the rate these layoffs are going, the number of veteran Youngstown radio personalities still broadcasting in 2009 may be counted on one hand.

Unrelated, except through the economy - OMW hears that those working at another local broadcast cluster in Northeast Ohio is fearing their own next round of layoffs. But in the current climate, is that "news" anymore?

We could probably post that sentence at any time, and it would be valid even if we hadn't heard anything directly...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Anyone want to bet that Howie Chizek is happy he made the decision 4 decades ago to move from the bright lights of Youngstown radio to the little radio engine that could in Kent?