NextMedia Lays Down Axe In Canton

UPDATE 2/13/09 3:35 PM: OMW also hears that there are two part-time staff cuts on the FM side at Market Avenue South – “Mix 94.1” part-time air personalities Richard Nemec and Amanda Leary, bringing the total to eight – six full-time and two part-time – out the door at NextMedia Canton. The part-timers may still do holiday fill-in, but are losing regular work.

We also aren’t sure if Sam Bourqin’s new afternoon drive show will be sports-related, or general issues talk. Via the 1480 stream, we confirm that Sam is on the air this afternoon in the time slot formerly occupied by Jim Albright. It doesn’t sound like a sports-only show so far.

A caller asked Bourquin where Albright was, and Bourquin was forthright – “Jim is no longer with the station”, and talked openly about the state of the radio business and the economy…”lots of good people are losing their jobs, not just here, it’s hitting the business everywhere”…saying today was “one of the tougher days in the business”.

Our original item is below…

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OMW hears that NextMedia has taken out the budget axe in Canton, and it’s cut into the company’s talk WHBC/1480 “NewsTalk 1480”.

We’re hearing that a total of six staffers at NextMedia’s Canton cluster are now out of work, including afternoon drive talk host Jim Albright, his producer Don Guisinger, midday talk producer/”Tradio” host Tom Jarrett, production director John Knoblach, and production staffer Doug Ankerman were tabbed in the cutbacks.

And out the door along with the other five is another WHBC veteran, assistant news director Steve Luke, who we’re told is “leaving on his own”. (We haven’t heard yet which lifeboat Mr. Luke found out of Market Avenue South.)

OMW hears that a new afternoon drive local show hosted by sports director Sam Bourquin will take the place of Albright’s show…though as of this writing, we don’t know if Sam will take the airwaves as soon as, well, about 15 minutes from now.

At the moment, we don’t know if the job cuts also affected sister AC WHBC-FM “Mix 94.1″…aside from the staffers it shares with the AM side…

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