COVID-19 continues to take its toll on companies, big and small, across the United States. From mom-and-pop restaurants that have had to limit capacity for months to Disney which announced it was laying off 28,000 employees this morning. Radio is no different.
CEO Bob Pittman and CFO Richard Bressler informed iHeart employees this week that some employees that were furloughed earlier in the year will not be returning. COVID-19 was the reason given. “The downturn has been deeper and longer than originally expected and while some furloughed employees have been brought back, the jobs of others on furlough will be eliminated.”
The exact number of positions being eliminated was not mentioned in the memo.
The new work-from-home reality is also contributing to a changing workplace, according to Pittman and Bressler. “It is also apparent that, as a result of changed work habits and so much work still being done from home, we will not need all the jobs we once had; we will be working in new ways going forward and must align our organization with the future.”
iHeart began to restructure the company back in February before the virus gripped the nation. Beasley, Cumulus and Entercom announced furloughs and layoffs in April, Hubbard made cuts in May, other companies in the industry followed. It will be nearly impossible to calculate how many total jobs were lost due to the virus and how many did or will return. There’s no doubt that every company has figured out how to operate more efficiently as a result of the pandemic and that will most likely continue for many of them into the future.