Katz Media Group really dominates the national rep business for radio now that Interep is no more, but even so the severe ad recession has led to layoffs. Katz yesterday cut 8.5% of it sales force, some 122 people, mostly in sales and marketing, and spread throughout the radio, TV and specialty divisions.
The staff cuts at Clear Channel-owned Katz came as managers of Clear Channel Radio wrapped up budget meetings in Dallas. The process of figuring out how to control costs in the current economic downturn is ongoing at the radio station group and Premiere Radio Networks, so it may be weeks before it is clear what cuts will be made in those operations.
The staff reductions at Katz were said to have affected not only the rep firms at Katz Radio Group, which serve clients other than Clear Channel’s own stations, but also at Clear Channel Radio Sales and Clear Channel Katz Advantage, along with the television rep division.
In a related move, Katz announced a restructuring of its marketing efforts, with creation of a new national marketing unit.
RBR/TVBR observation: Katz had been staffing up in recent years as CEO Stu Olds moved aggressively to poach clients from struggling Interep. Now, with tough times upon us, those clients will have to deal with having fewer feet on the street at the national level making pitches to advertisers. Also, the revenue guarantees that Katz made to lure groups in are running out. But Katz can pretty much run its business as it wants because it no longer has a major competitor in the radio rep business.