RIF or RIP? Clear Channel seems to be right on time with its annual firings–as regular as clockwork. Do you suppose CC Radio President John Hogan has “firing day” marked on his calendar for sometime in October or November from the beginning of each year?
But it’s more than an annual culling this time. Clear Channel’s “reduction in force” (RIF) is something in the 500-person range. This time around it is affecting programming and on-air talent the most–especially in medium and smaller markets. Clear Channel Traffic and some managers are being cut as well.
Clear Channel reportedly says it is launching a new strategy for its regional market stations that will “improve” local programming in smaller markets by “using assets and resources in those markets that their competitors don’t have. It reflects new approaches to programming, talent, technology and other valuable resources — based on Clear Channel’s most effective and efficient stations…there will be more localization, not less. At the same time, it offers new opportunities for our best on-air and programming talent to be heard in more places and grow their careers.”
That means talent at those stations will be spread even more thinly to the stations affected, in our humble opinion. We’re not sure how cutting local talent could increase localization, but perhaps we’ll all find out.
RBR-TVBR observation: Hey team, let’s throw another $10 million dollar iHeartRadio boondoggle in Las Vegas! Yes, this happened about one month after that expense was incurred in Sin City. No word if it was profitable or not, but the money spent had to come from somewhere. Clear Channel has a lot of debt to service and to make numbers crunch, cuts have to be made sometimes. It’s just too bad it has to be at the expense of those who helped build the company. We guess we can expect streaming radio pumped out over a transmitter, not the other way around, in many markets.
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