Clear Channel Media and Entertainment has started another round of downsizing at their radio properties across the United States. These are the company's first major cuts in personnel since October.
While the total number of people let go was not clear at press time, initial reports include upwards of 40 people, primarily from the programming and online content areas, as well as heavy cuts in the company's traffic-reporting division, Total Traffic.
Some of the most notable names to surface so far include: top 40 WKQI/Detroit midday host and imaging director Joe Rosati, who also handled imaging for sister classic rock WDTW; news/talk WLAC/Nashville program director Tom Peace; St. Louis operations manager and top 40 KSLZ PD Jeff McHugh; and country KXXY/Oklahoma City morning co-host Dan Stroud, who leaves after 31 years with the station.
Other markets where cuts were made at the programming level include Cincinnati, West Palm Beach and Jacksonville, Fla.
Some of the more surprising cuts came in the area of online content and sales, which has been a focal point for the company. In Cincinnati, Mark Bianchi, the cluster's digital sales manager, is reportedly out while internet-related staff members in Nashville and St. Louis were also let go.
Another area that was trimmed back heavily is the company's Total Traffic service. Reports indicate that several regional operations including branches in Minneapolis, Milwaukee, St. Louis and Salt Lake City have been either almost or completely shut down with nearby larger market operations picking up the slack.
Clear Channel spokesperson Angel Aristone said in a statement: "We are constantly evaluating our organization and structure to make sure we are as well positioned as possible to continue to lead in the evolving marketplace. These decisions are never easy to make. Like every successful business, our strategy continues to evolve as we move forward as a company and that creates some new jobs, and unfortunately eliminates others."