Clear Channel Cleveland’s Second Job Cut Wave

UPDATE 9:26 AM 4/28/09: Reliable OMW sources at Oak Tree confirm that WMVX’s Brian and Joe have indeed left the building, and were let go earlier this morning…


On Inauguration Day this past January 20th, radio giant Clear Channel cut some 1,800 employees nationwide…part of its effort to pay less money to less people, due to its financial situation, the economy, advertising revenue falling through the proverbial floor, a heavy debt load, and so forth.

Among those shown through the We Can’t Afford You Door at Clear Channel’s Cleveland cluster on Oak Tree Boulevard in January – a reported number well over 50 employees, many of them in the sales and promotions areas.

Among other staffers, it looks to be job cut time for on-air personalities in this second wave.

And it appears more evident by the hour that the layoffs of talk WTAM/1100 afternoon producer/sidekicks and station veterans Paul Rado and Marty “Big Daddy” Allen on Monday are apparently only just the first ones we’ve learned about at Oak Tree.

We hear rumblings of as many as four high-profile air personalities on the FM side of Oak Tree’s operation. And though we haven’t confirmed any of them, yet…we have heard evidence that could lean in that direction on the air.

Hot AC WMVX/106.5 “Mix 106-5” morning team Brian and Joe are nowhere to be found on the station this morning.

As of this writing, WMVX is running an automated, er, “mix” of music, complete with the station’s trademark recorded female back announce voice, and non-introduced recorded traffic and weather…joined by other generic station liners.

There are no station liners announcing “Brian and Joe”, and there’s no other air personality “filling in” for the 22 year local broadcast veterans.

We’re hearing rumblings of the departures of at least two other full-time air personalities from Oak Tree’s FM stations, though as we said, we’re not able to confirm it right now. For that matter, we can’t confirm the employment status of WMVX’s “Brian and Joe”, though it sure sounds like they’re gone from listening to the station.

As of this writing, it’s before 9 AM, and WMVX has not – yet, we guess – performed the Soviet Style Purge of Brian and Joe from the “Mix 106-5” website.

OMW is also hearing that the cuts in this second wave won’t be limited to on-air types, with (again, unconfirmed) rumblings that office staff and engineering employees could be hit with layoffs as well.

This one will develop all day, so keep looking in…as a number of members of Northeast Ohio’s broadcasting community are in shock at this latest Clear Channel layoff wave.

And we don’t yet have word of cuts at other Clear Channel operations, though we leave you with this from news columnist Tom Taylor’s update this morning:

Clear Channel’s “Second Wave” of cuts may strike today.

In programming. And in back-office functions like traffic, continuity and the business office. (The hub-and-spoke principle can apply to more than just programming, you know.) If today’s the day for Second Wave (my name, not San Antonio’s) it would follow the formula of First Wave. That happened on a Tuesday, two weeks after the January 6 managers meetings in Dallas. Fast-forward to this month, and CC managers were in Dallas again, exactly two weeks ago.

We don’t want to unnecessarily worry Clear Channel employees who haven’t heard anything about this in their own clusters yet.

But based on what we’re hearing out of Oak Tree…it does sound like something’s happening…at least there, at any rate…


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