On April 16, Clear Channel Music + Entertainment began what they termed an ‘alignment’ of radio station sales staffs at the local market and cluster levels. According to reports, markets of all sizes have been impacted. 22 people were rumored to be affected.
The company, which has gone through several rounds of layoffs in other areas, remains tight-lipped about the number of positions shed. A Clear Channel spokesperson did say, however, that they “are aligning our sales organizations... to give more resources, authority and accountability to the most productive members of our team so we can operate as effectively and efficiently as possible."
According to Clear Channel's annual 10-K SEC filing from Dec. 31, 2013, the company had $20.5 billion of total debt.
The current round of restructuring followed what Clear Channel called a “flattening [of] our senior management organization to reduce overlap.” According to reports, since Bain Capital and Thomas H. Lee Partners’ buyout of the company in 2008, most of the layoffs have not focused on sales departments until now.
While details have not been released, there are reports that staff reductions vary from one market to the next, and that part of the strategy to make sales more efficient involves the creation of call centers in each market. There is also speculation that rep group Katz Media may add regional to their current national sales work for Clear Channel.
The company, which owns 850 radio stations in the U.S. with an estimated 110 million listeners, did not divulge the names of staffers let go, except to say: “In the process some people were negatively impacted.” The only layoffs confirmed to this point have taken place in the Orlando and West Palm Beach, Fla. offices. As of now, the only person known to have been let go was West Palm Beach Account Coordinator Donna Schaneen.