Thursday, December 6, 2012

Clear Channel Is The Grinch..RIFs Reported

Officials at the San Antonio, Texas-based media company did not offer specifics on the layoffs. LIST.  A statement issued by the company said they were part of Clear Channel's strategy to "operate as effectively and efficiently as possible."
"Like every successful business, our strategy continues to evolve as we move forward as a company; this creates some new jobs, and unfortunately eliminates others. These are never easy decisions to make," the statement said. "In the process of making these recent changes, some employees were affected. We thank them for their service and wish them all the best for the future."
Clear Channel isn't confirming any names and the following list is not 'official', we've compiled this list from a number of sources:

Steve Versnick
Tampa: Steve Versnick, PD at 970 WFLA, WDAE
             Hannah’s Boy Stu, AT at WBTP
             Jenny Dean, AT co-host PM Drive At WFUS
             Ryan Nelson, Midday at WKUS
             Ty Demeza, Promotion Coordinator

Orlando: Ken Payne, PD/AT at WMGF 107.7 FM
             Katherine Brown, PD at N/T WFLF, Talk WTKS.
             "LT", Air Talent on WJRR
             Bull, Midday producer WTKS
             'Cabin Boy' from  SBK Show WTKS evenings gone as
                       Soul Brother Kevin moves to  Monsters Morning
                       Show. He'll replace Daniel Dennis, who departed
                       last week.
              "Some" from the promotions dept. in Orlando also out.
               Signe Huff, Program Assistant to OM

Ken Payne
Riverside/San Bernardino: Bob Ridzak, Market Manager
                                          Jesse Duran, Progrmmer

Chicago: Angie Zdanowski, Marketing & Promotions Manager
               Glenn Cosby, AT WVAZ
               Effie Rolfe, AT WGRB/WVAZ

Columbus:  Andy Clark, AT at 93.3 Oldies WODC
                 John Boy Crenshaw, at 93.9 Oldies WODC
                 Amy Donovan, AT 93.3 Oldies WODC
                 Kevin Kirschner, AT 93.3 Oldies WODC

Joel Moss

Cincinnati: Jay Gilbert, AT WEBN
                  Joey, AT WKFS
                  Joel Moss, Producer

Cleveland:  Kasper, AT WAKS

Dallas:    Josh Venable, AT KDGE
              Adrian Humme, KDGE Producer

Denver:   Uncle Nasty, AT KBPI
              Joe Niko, Weekender
              Eddie Barella, KBPI, KEGL Imaging
              Julie Hayden, AT Weekends KOA
              Chuck Bonniwell, AT Weekends KOA
              Joanne Ostrow, AT KBCO
              Chris Griff, Producer
              1 Receptionist

Eric Chase
Detroit:  Eric Chase, PD/AT WDFN
             JAG, AT WKQI
            Frankie Darcell, AT WMXD
            Kristin Burns, AT WNIC      
            Jenna Cork & Dan Watkins, AM Drive hosts WNIC
            Dave Dhamer, AT WDTW
            Dan Watkins, WNIC Morning Cast
            Jenna Cork, Morning Show Producer
            Danielle Car, AT Weekends WNIC

Atlanta:  Tim Michaels, Mid-days AT at WUBL
             Primo Mickey, AT WBZY
             Miquel Aguilar, AT WBZY PM Drive

Austin:   Joel Burke at KASE.KVET
              Keith Carlyle, Promotions

Walton, Johnson
Houston:  Walton & Johnson, Morning show hosts KKRW
                Josh Reno, Morning Show Producer
                Paul Christy, AT KKRW

Los Angeles:  Stella Pardo, PD at KOST (after 20 years at the station)
                    Joel Elliott, Board Op 4 Stations
                    Trevor Trent, AT KYSR
                    Monica Medina, AT KOST, KBIG
                    Doc Bailey, Commercial Production
                    Christine Martindale, AT KOST
                    Lindsey Sopp-Kovar, KOST Producer
                    DJ Joe Vinyl, KBIG Producer
                    Robert Lyles, KOST/KBIG Marketing Director

Miami:    Michael Yo, PM Drive WHYI
               Rich Minaya, AT WIOD

Philadelphia:  Bob Stei, weekender

Mike Morris
Pittsburgh:  Flick, APD/MD/PM Drive Host 86,1 KISS-FM

Seattle:   Josh Sabrowsky, KJR A/F Producer

San Diego:  Don Ayers, KOGO AM Show Producer

Minneapolis:  Thorn, Middays/MD at  KTCZ
                    Mike Morris, AM Drive Co-host KXFN-F

San Diego:   Don Ayers, Producer for Chip Franklin
                    Jorge Espinoza, Board Op
                    Jeff Moore,  Producer for LaDona Harvey
                    Scottie Morache, Sales

Tom's Take 12/07/12 Update:  A Few 'Day-after' thoughts...
  • All known RIFs were in large and upper medium markets.  You know CC isn't finished. Another round at the smaller markets could be next.  Nothing like have a target on your back.
  • I know of at least one market when a regional programming VP is now doing day-to-day duties for two stations.  Will this be the "new normal"?
  • Most (but not all) RIFed were veterans, read that "older", employees.  Those affected had to sign-away the right to file age discrimination suits in order to get severance.  No thought time was allowed.
  • Just discarded PD Steve Versnick at N/T Tampa had just started the process of looking for a local & live talent to replace market vet Todd Schnitt. His announced last local show is 12/18.  Odds are Sean Hannity will be moved into the PM Drive shift.
  • That leaves just one local show on formally-highly rated WFLA.  Looks like just one L&L show is the "new normal" at Clear Channel.
  • When does Cumulus pounce on their larger markets?

Tom's Take:  Having been on one of these lists about three years, I have empathy for everyone.  Boy, that traded out Holiday Party next week is gonna be a ton of fun, eh?


  1. Tom, you are exactly right. CC's smaller markets will be hit soon. Then, it'll be Cumulus.
    And, its not just the air talent. These companies are also dumping their SALES talent.
    Soon, we'll have a return to the early 90's, when station owners began dumping properties, because they weren't making any money. In my opinion, that'll be a good thing. Equity investment is a good thing, but its no the ONLY thing. The same thing will happen to TV.
    But, its not just broadcasting. THere are many industries that are financed by equity investment groups. They don't care about the product, they just want a return on their investment.
    This is a house of cards that will not be able to continue. To use the parlance of the day, its not "sustainable".
    Art Morris

  2. Art, the bloodletting has already begun at tightly run TV stations owned by investment companies. They aren't "high profile" like CC so you don't hear about them unless it is a big name that is let go. Behind the scenes both out bound lanes are full of "ex" employees, middle management and blue collar. Several news directors and GMs were let go just last week around the nation. And it is going to get worse next year when the economy tanks.

  3. At first I was surprised to see that long-timers in music formats were let go. Often, these have been Clear Channel's sacred cows. The previous RIF's have always showed CC's top brass' true feelings: They hate spoken-word formats because they cost so much (read: staff is needed).

    But then I realized: They're out of news talent to cut. They're mostly already gone.

    1. How did this market get stuck with Clear Channel owning the biggest stations?