Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Clear Channel Cleveland's Second Job Cut Wave

UPDATE 9:26 AM 4/28/09: Reliable OMW sources at Oak Tree confirm that WMVX's Brian and Joe have indeed left the building, and were let go earlier this morning...


On Inauguration Day this past January 20th, radio giant Clear Channel cut some 1,800 employees nationwide...part of its effort to pay less money to less people, due to its financial situation, the economy, advertising revenue falling through the proverbial floor, a heavy debt load, and so forth.

Among those shown through the We Can't Afford You Door at Clear Channel's Cleveland cluster on Oak Tree Boulevard in January - a reported number well over 50 employees, many of them in the sales and promotions areas.

Among other staffers, it looks to be job cut time for on-air personalities in this second wave.

And it appears more evident by the hour that the layoffs of talk WTAM/1100 afternoon producer/sidekicks and station veterans Paul Rado and Marty "Big Daddy" Allen on Monday are apparently only just the first ones we've learned about at Oak Tree.

We hear rumblings of as many as four high-profile air personalities on the FM side of Oak Tree's operation. And though we haven't confirmed any of them, yet...we have heard evidence that could lean in that direction on the air.

Hot AC WMVX/106.5 "Mix 106-5" morning team Brian and Joe are nowhere to be found on the station this morning.

As of this writing, WMVX is running an automated, er, "mix" of music, complete with the station's trademark recorded female back announce voice, and non-introduced recorded traffic and weather...joined by other generic station liners.

There are no station liners announcing "Brian and Joe", and there's no other air personality "filling in" for the 22 year local broadcast veterans.

We're hearing rumblings of the departures of at least two other full-time air personalities from Oak Tree's FM stations, though as we said, we're not able to confirm it right now. For that matter, we can't confirm the employment status of WMVX's "Brian and Joe", though it sure sounds like they're gone from listening to the station.

As of this writing, it's before 9 AM, and WMVX has not - yet, we guess - performed the Soviet Style Purge of Brian and Joe from the "Mix 106-5" website.

OMW is also hearing that the cuts in this second wave won't be limited to on-air types, with (again, unconfirmed) rumblings that office staff and engineering employees could be hit with layoffs as well.

This one will develop all day, so keep looking in...as a number of members of Northeast Ohio's broadcasting community are in shock at this latest Clear Channel layoff wave.

And we don't yet have word of cuts at other Clear Channel operations, though we leave you with this from Radio-Info.com news columnist Tom Taylor's update this morning:

Clear Channel’s “Second Wave” of cuts may strike today.

In programming. And in back-office functions like traffic, continuity and the business office. (The hub-and-spoke principle can apply to more than just programming, you know.) If today’s the day for Second Wave (my name, not San Antonio’s) it would follow the formula of First Wave. That happened on a Tuesday, two weeks after the January 6 managers meetings in Dallas. Fast-forward to this month, and CC managers were in Dallas again, exactly two weeks ago.

We don't want to unnecessarily worry Clear Channel employees who haven't heard anything about this in their own clusters yet.

But based on what we're hearing out of Oak Tree...it does sound like something's happening...at least there, at any rate...


andrew727 said...

So what do trained announcers and engineers do in a depressed radio and television market when they are sent out to pasture where everyone else is being layed off in radio-tv business?

Announcers get jobs as 'Greeters' at WalMart.

Engineers become 'Janitors' at Target.

Salesmen become hobo's down by the rapid tracks on East 55th Street.

Sad to say, everyone is getting 'canned' in this recession - you can blame this on Bush, Cheney and Rush Limbaugh!

- Andrew, MALL727.net -

Anonymous said...

everyone is getting 'canned' in this recession - you can blame this on Bush, Cheney and Rush Limbaugh!

- Andrew, MALL727.net -


Is this your attempt to get your foot in the door just in case "Air America" returns?

Dark Knight said...

"On Inauguration Day this past January 20th, radio giant Clear Channel cut some 1,800 employees nationwide" Andrew that would be the inauguration of your false messiah Obama, not Bush.

andrew727 said...

The problems began well before January 20th, 2009. It was only announced on that date possibly to embarras Obama, and as a bad publicity stunt for Clear Channel at the cost of their employees.

- Andrew, MALL727.net -

andrew727 said...

No, no interest in doing 'Air America', just the smarts to realize that it takes some detail behind the scenes before an announcement is made. This is a result of G.W. Bush Economics 101.

- Andrew, MALL727.net -

Anonymous said...

This is a result of G.W. Bush Economics 101.

So it couldn't have anything to do with media companies lust to hire (and contract) overpaid, high profile "talent", and businesses finding out that the ROI for the $$$'s being commanded by an outlet with diminishing listenership wasn't very good.

Since Al Gore invented the internet, I guess anything is possible.

In Andrew's world, George Bush must have invented Satellite Radio, the iPod, and TiVO.

andrew727 said...

Lets just say there are a lot of issues involved. However, it was under the George W. Bush administration that ownership restrictions of radio stations were pretty much lifted - including clusters of stations owned in the same market. By reducing ownership of stations by allowing mega-corporations to own an unlimited amount put too many stations into so few hands. With a recession, Clear Channel has a literal network on its hands - making it easy to get rid of on-air and support staff while importing day parts from a few stations to feed the many. When I worked at WERE NewsTalk 1300, ABC installed a little black box on a shelf under a console. It allowed the network to control local playing of spots - with an automation system, it did away with the need for local talk show hosts. It also proved technology can pretty much take anyone's job. Only thing is, listeners were turned off, and the station thined its market share - eventually GCC Communications spun off both stations. Clear Channel owns so many clusters in set markets, that even if a listener switches stations, its likely they will simply turn to another Clear Channel station in their market. Granted, with a recession as bad as this - its a business decision based on survival due to lower revenues per station. For Clear Channel, dumping on-air talent and support staff where possible, means more money in the corporate coffers. We really need to limit a corporations to the old '7' rule - total of seven each of AM, FM and TV stations, and only one of each in those seven markets.

- Andrew, MALL727.net -

daleosborn said...


And Congress, being the one to, you know, actually PASS economic legislation, controlled by Pelosi / Reed, had NOTHING to do with our current state. Include in that equation the fact that President Bush wanted Congress to change the subprime loan situation and Dodd / Frank said there was no problem.

andrew727 said...

Republican verses Democrat, or in my case, an independent. May I say that Barack Obama was elected by a wide majority - and he inherited this mess from the Bush Administration. Enough said, now go back and kiss Limbaugh buns;-)

- Andrew, MALL727.net -

Ohio Media Watch said...

Due to the fact that the comments here have basically turned this into the online version of a political talk radio show, we've closed comments here.

If you wish to continue to talk about the Clear Channel layoffs, please use another related item. Goodness knows we have enough of them in the hopper.

Any further political comments will be deleted from our items.

There are plenty of places online to kick around the usual political discussion.

-The Management