Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Buffalo Radio: Market Vet Greg Ried OUT At Entercom Cluster

Last Wednesday, longtime local Entercom radio leader Greg Ried sent a memo to the staffs of seven stations he ran for years, which extolled their recent ratings success stories.

The Buffalo News reports two days later, Ried and sales administrative manager Lynn Hooper, were fired.

According to sources, Ried received a call Friday while on vacation to tell him that he was fired. He had been running the local Entercom stations for about 25 years under two different owners. Hooper had worked at the stations in various roles for more than 30 years.

Tim Holly, the general sales manager, has been named interim general manager of the stations that include WGR, WBEN-AM, WWKB-AM (ESPN 1520), Kiss 98.5 (WKSE-FM), Alternative Buffalo 107.7 (WLKK-FM), Star 102.5 (WTSS-FM) and Classic R&B (107.3 FM, 1400 AM, WWWS-AM).

In his Wednesday memo, Ried wrote the fall Nielsen ratings released showed “the largest combined Entercom Buffalo audience numbers in recent history.” The memo noted Entercom's place ahead of other local station owners TownSquare and Cumulus.

But the numbers were not enough to save Ried at a time that Entercom has been dealing with financial stress. The company, which owns 235 stations in the country, has been making cost-cutting moves of personnel at stations across the nation.

The Buffalo News reported in March that the Federal Communications Commission was looking into a claim that several Entercom Communications radio stations here overcharged a supposed congressional candidate for ads she purchased in 2018. The investigation of that complaint may have sealed the fates of Ried and Hooper.

According to The News' report in March, the complaint contended the stations charged the candidate a higher rate than that paid by commercial advertisers such as law firms and auto dealerships, in violation of federal law. However, the name included in the email, Jackie Drost, did not match that of any candidate for Congress here or elsewhere.

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