We received quite a few reader comments about the recent round of layoffs at iHeart. We continuously update our original story and we read all of your comments (and respond to some). Let’s keep the discussion alive.
iHeart announced its division leaders on Wednesday which you can read from their press release HERE.
Here’s our continuously updated coverage of the layoffs taking place around the country:
St. Louis: Maurice Devoe and others were let go according to The Post Dispatch
Milwaukee: The Journal Sentinel reports Mike Lucas is out
Toledo: The Toledo Blade reports 9 people lost their jobs in that market.
Baton Rouge: Four were let go according to WAFB
Erie: YourErie.com says there were many layoffs in that small market.
Poughkeepsie: WPDH’s John Rutigliano is out according to the local paper
Quad Cities: Longtime WOC host Jim Fisher out according to Quad-City Times
Kileen/Waco: “The Babysitter” out after 34 years according to the Killeen Herald
Chicago: Robert Feder reports three on-air hosts were affected.
Indianapolis: The Indianapolis Business Journal reported about WNDE-AM.
Des Moines: KCCI TV reported on several layoffs at KXnO
Syracue & Rochester: Syracuse.com reports on jobs lost in those two markets.
Louisville: The Courier Journal reports about hosts let go in the Louisville market
Lexington: Kentucky.com reports Leland Conway was dismissed as host on WLAP.
Cincinnati: Cincinnati.com reports on the iHeart cluster in that market.
Eau Claire: WQOW reports the morning show in that market will be less one person.
Grand Rapids: Several hosts were let go in Grand Rapids accordint to Channel 8.
Sports: Jason Barrett is keeping a running list of sports hosts who’ve been sacked.
(By Ed Ryan) In a January 2020 Radio Ink cover story, iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman said one of his two major goals was transforming the company “by stressing technology to make this company look and operate as a company that started in this era, instead of 50 years ago.” This week the company took another big step in that direction.
In addition to restructuring divisions and management responsibilities (see next story), it certainly appears the company will also be relying more on automation and syndicated talent. The industry was certainly buzzing Tuesday trying to come up with the actual number of on-air jobs that will be lost as a result of iHeart’s latest announcement. Social media posts from all over the country made it clear many markets were affected and most of the jobs lost are coming from the programming side. The iHeart editorial team is also revamping the company’s websites which, many noticed, had local talent no longer listed on the sites.
Unlike previous years when a lot of radio jobs were cut, this time around it seemed those losing their job were taking it in stride, hardly in shock that they were let go. Perhaps this has become routine to those on the air and they are always aware that they too might hear the words, “we’ve decided to go in another direction.”
As radio turns 100 years old in 2020, it is far from what it once was when the airwaves were filled with local voices and artists tried to sneak into the studio to get their record played. Everyone is glued to their mobile device, artists release songs on YouTube or Spotify, and former local radio hosts are turning more and more to podcasting to try to keep their shows alive and local listeners with them. Radio has to compete for ad dollars with technology behemoths Facebook and Google, which means they have to also claw their way into the programmatic buying game. Ah yes, even more automation.
iHeart says it is helping as many former employees as possible by providing outplacement assistance. If you have lost your position at any radio station and we can help, in any way, please reach out to us by sending an e-mail to [email protected]
This story will be continuously updated