A Letter To David Field And The Radio Industry On Today’s New York Accusations

Dear David,

I’m sure you enjoyed waking up this morning to see yet another series of accusations in the New York Post about current employees that you inherited from CBS Radio. Today was supposed to be about the reimaging of WCBS 880 and not the racist and anti-semitic comments of your WCBS-FM midday host and further claims about the toxic nature within your New York cluster.

You’ve already begun a top-down restructuring of the local market management, but now is the time to take further action. Everyone still employed at 345 Hudson Stree that had anything with looking the other way during the CBS Radio ownership of the actions of Dan Taylor, Joe Benigno, or anyone else needs to be suspended until an outside party discovers what role they played in sweeping aside the complaints of Craig Lenti, Lauren Lockwood, Jaclyn Dagnall, Mia Harris, or anyone else that has or WILL come forward. It shouldn’t matter that Mark Chernoff and Jim Ryan have since taken on corporate programming roles for Entercom; if they were protecting their on-air talent over other employees there needs to be some sort of movement to prevent things like this from being accepted at any workplace, let alone a radio station.

You have positioned yourself and Entercom as wanting to be at the forefront of leading the radio industry into the future. Now is the time to take action. Show that Entercom will do what is necessary to make for safe workplaces and eliminate any embarrassment they may bring to the company in the future. If you lead here, it will make it easier to do the same in your other markets and for smaller companies to follow suit.

As I write this Dan Taylor is currently working his usual midday on-air shift on WCBS-FM. He’s been a staple in the New York market for over 30 years, but that means nothing now. Radio has always been a what have you done for me lately industry and if these people are nothing but cancers to your business you need to cure your business regardless of how painful it will be. Get the second opinion from the best investigators there are and find the roots of the cancers in your buildings. There are thousands of talented people ready and willing to step in and provide your audience, advertisers, and business partners with great work without creating more cancers.

Sincerely,

-Lance Venta
Owner/Publisher RadioInsight.com

Since the publishing of this column, I have received an internal memo sent by new Entercom New York Market Manager Susan Larkin to staffers this morning…

NY Team,

As you may have seen, a story was published by the New York Post last night that referenced years-old allegations of inappropriate behavior at some of our stations. It is important to me that I reach out to you directly on this matter as the entire Entercom leadership team and I are deeply offended by this highly misleading piece. I also want to take this opportunity to reaffirm that Entercom is committed to maintaining a culture of respect, and I will never tolerate any less for all employees.

The handful of dated allegations include numerous factual inaccuracies. In addition, all of the allegations were linked to prior ownership and prior management and are in no way representative of what Entercom is today. Most of the allegations are more than six years old, and some stretch back more than a decade. But most appalling is the egregious mischaracterization of our culture that is fundamentally inconsistent with our organization today and the values we share.

Importantly, the story omits key facts about the significant positive changes Entercom made since our merger with CBS Radio closed less than a year ago. Since then, we conducted an employee survey to better understand your views on our culture and areas for improvement. Additionally, since I assumed the role of Market Manager nearly five months ago, we have moved quickly to increase the number of women in leadership and literally knocked down walls to foster a positive culture of collaboration focused on delivering great results. It is also worth noting that, since the merger with CBS Radio, Entercom has significantly increased the number of women in market leadership positions across the country. I am honored to be one of many women in leadership roles in the company and very proud to report to our Chief Operating Officer, Weezie Kramer.

While all of the alleged incidents mentioned in the story occurred well before Entercom assumed operations, we take allegations of this nature very seriously. The Entercom New York leadership team and I appreciate your support and recognition of the collaborative environment we’ve built together since the merger and encourage your continued feedback to help us maintain a culture that values all employees.

On that note, I want to reiterate that my door is always open. Our organization’s ability to maintain our customer focus and productively serve our listeners, partners and the community depends on maintaining a safe and respectful work environment. If you have any questions or would like to raise concerns about behavior that does not live up to our standards, please reach out to me, your manager or a representative from HR at any time. We also have reporting hotlines outlined in our Employee Handbook if you feel more comfortable raising concerns anonymously.

We expect that the Post’s story may generate additional media interest in Entercom New York. As a reminder, please do not respond if you receive any inquiries from media or third parties. Please forward the inquiry to Jennifer Morales at 212-649-9685 or Jennifer.Morales@entercom.com.

I’d like to extend my thanks to each and every one of you for your hard work and dedication. We recognize and value your important contributions to Entercom New York — the exceptional radio experience we deliver to our listeners, partners, and community ensures the vibrant future of our company and our industry.

Best, Susan

I should add that in no means do I blame Entercom management for the sins of what happened under CBS Radio’s oversight, however I stand by my comments that Entercom has the ability to take the lead in preventing such things from taking place again and needs to find out if the people still who have since joined the company during the merger are complicit in what may have occurred under CBS Radio’s watch.

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Lance Venta is the Owner and Publisher of RadioInsight.com and a consultant for RadioBB Networks specializing in integration of radio and the internet. Lance has two decades of experience tracking the audio industry and its use of digital platforms.

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