More than a dozen full-time staffers at San Francisco’s KGO Radio and KFOG 104.5 FM were laid off on Thursday (March 31) by parent company Cumulus Radio in what was described as a restructuring effort. According to the San Francisco Examiner, at least 20 staffers, maybe more, were let go, including the entire staff of KFOG, the iconic Bay Area rock station that went jockless on Thursday in what was described as an “evolution” slated to fully manifest on April 20.
Reportedly let go in the process were such popular on-air KFOG hosts as morning team No Name, Renee and Irish Greg, midday host Annalisa, afternoon host Bill Webster and nighttime DJ Dred Scott. ABC 7 reported that KGO — one of the last remaining for-profit news stations in San Francisco — lost popular talker Ronn Owens, in addition to news anchor Jennifer Jones, sports anchor Rich Walcoff, business and tech reporter Jason Middleton, traffic reporter Mark Nieto, reporter Kristin Hanes, production director Mike Amatori and veteran anchor Jon Bristow.
With the loss of its entire news team, ABC 7 quoted unnamed employees as saying that the station is planning a shift from straight news to a “talk” format. A spokesperson for Cumulus told Billboard that the company does not comment on employee matters and that information is forthcoming on the new programming strategy in the “next few days or weeks.”
Billboard also obtained a memo to employees from Cumulus vice president Justin Wittmayer, who announced the changes and the hiring of programming veteran Bryan Schock as the new OM/PD of KFOG and KSAN, while informing the staff, “Our goal is to reposition these two stations for future growth and strength through new and enhanced programming. Unfortunately, to achieve that goal we had the difficult but necessary task today of restructuring our KGO and KFOG station staffs.”
Below is a copy of the memo in full:
— Matthew Keys (@MatthewKeysLive) March 31, 2016