Friday, January 23, 2009

Radio giant Clear Channel reduces its national workforce, some cuts hit home

Texas-based broadcasting company Clear Channel on Tuesday cut 1,850 jobs, or about 9 percent of its total work force, according to a memo Chief Executive Officer Mark Mays sent to employees.

The company is making a "significant portion" of the cuts in its ad-sales department as it reacts to the current recession, Mays said. However, he added that the pullback spans all departments in its corporate, radio and outdoor advertising divisions."As I've mentioned previously, we are facing an unprecedented time of distress in the general economy - and the ripple effects have hit some of our largest customers hard," Mays said in the memo. "Today, we had the unpleasant task of bringing our Outdoor and Radio business' staffing in line with these challenging economic conditions."

The company didn't release any specific information on its restructuring effort or disclose how many workers in each market were laid off. But sources familiar with the local situation said Clear Channel laid off some people at its Boston stations. Most of the job cuts were sales and promotions positions where account executives and sales managers were let go. One longtime promotions/marketing person was let go and as well as some of the promotions part-timers. No programming or on-air changes were made. Locally, Clear Channel owns four radio stations it operates in Medford. The stations are WXKS/Kiss 108, WJMN/Jamn 94.5, WKOX/Rumba 1200 and WXKS AM 1430/Rumba 1200.

Last week, both the Wall Street Journal and New York Post reported that the company planned to lay off workers as it looked to trim $400 million in expenses. Both papers citied unnamed people familiar with the situation.Clear Channel's owners Bain Capital Partners and Thomas H. Lee Partners spent more than $18 billion to take over the company in July. Like others in the media industry, the company has struggled with diminished ad revenues as the economy keeps floundering.

1 comment:

jvwalt said...

Yeah, yeah, diminishing ad revenues. There are two bigger reasons why CC and other media giants are struggling:

-- The massive debt load they assumed during their orgy of takeovers. Just like homeowners who bought too much house or borrowed against their home's value, they overleveraged during good times and are now paying the price.

-- CC and other radio giants have made the medium unlistenable. And now they wonder why ratings and ad revenues are falling.