Clear Channel Media and Entertainment is going through another round of layoffs, this time with cuts taking place at many of the company's major market clusters. According to reports, the cuts have effected stations in Los Angeles, Dallas, Miami, Detroit, Denver, Cleveland, Orlando, Austin and others.
The cuts appear to include people at all levels of station operations, including several program directors and hosts who have been with the company for many years such as Adult Contemporary KOST Los Angeles PD Stella Prado, who had been with the station for over 20 years, and Mainstream Top 40 WHYI (Y100) Miami afternoon host Michael Yo, a 12 year veteran.
At the end of November New York Operations Manager and Urban WWPR (Power 105) Program Director Cadillac Jack surprised the industry by stepping down from his position after 22 years with the company, but a Clear Channel spokesperson tells Billboard the two are completely unrelated and that Jack stepped down of his own accord.
The company released the following statement about the cuts:
"We are constantly looking at all aspects of our business to ensure that it reflects how the best organizations work today, taking advantage of the latest cutting-edge technology and organizational structure so we can continue to operate as effectively and efficiently as possible.
"Like every successful business, our strategy continues to evolve as we move forward as a company; this creates some new jobs, and unfortunately eliminates others. These are never easy decisions to make.
"In the process of making these recent changes, some employees were affected. We thank them for their service and wish them all the best for the future."
While probably unrelated, the cuts follow a recent report by Moody's Investor Services that says the company could have a hard time refinancing $10 billion in debt coming due in 2016. Analyst Scott Van Den Bosch is quoted as saying, "If CCU is to have a realistic chance of refinancing $10.1 billion in debt in 2016 its operating performance will need to improve well above current levels." Otherwise, Van Den Bosch says the looming obligations could necessitate some sort of merger or a sale of assets. It's hard to imagine though that, regardless of how deep these cuts go, they would be enough to radically influence how that debt is dealt with.
This is not the first time Clear Channel has adjusted their workforce in the fourth quarter. Last October the company made a round of cuts across their small and medium market properties that were seemingly directed at making better use of bigger name, nationally syndicated hosts. The company also had another round of restructuring back in March of this year.