Clear Channel Inaugurates Layoffs

Word had it that Clear Channel Communications would chop 7 percent of its staff Jan. 20. The company actually pink-slipped 9 percent.

Most of the 1,850 positions eliminated came from sales but the layoffs were across the board. Rick O’Dell, for instance, a 20-year veteran of WNUA-FM in Chicago, was let go of his 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekday slot as a radio host, according to the Chicago Tribune.

“With the industry being as short-staffed as it is, this might be a case where survivors have it worse than the people let go,” O’Dell told the paper. “The people who are left there, they were overworked to begin with. It’s not going to be a good situation for them.”

Revenue from radio broadcasters fell 7 percent in the third quarter, losing ad sales from automotive, retail and entertainment, according to Clear Channel’s earnings statement.

“Everyone in our investor group, on the board and in the executive leadership team remains bullish about the long-term growth prospects for Clear Channel,” Mark P. Mays, Clear Channel’s CEO, wrote in an memorandum to employees obtained by the New York Times. “Clear Channel Communications has more resources than any of our peers. The tools are here. The support is here.”