Looking At iHeart’s Recent Regional Consolidation Cuts
Over the past few weeks a new round of cuts has taken place at iHeartMedia as the new regional operating structure took effect.
Here’s a rundown of some of the moves that have taken place recently and how they show what the company is doing in this round of cuts:
Austin and San Antonio have seen multiple moves as staffers add duties in both markets. Zac ‘Mayhem’ Wellsandt was named Director of AC/CHR Operations giving him oversight of eight stations: HR “96.7 Kiss-FM” KHFI, “Pride Radio 97.5” K248CU, Urban “102.3 The Beat” KPEZ, and Alternative “103.1 iHeart Austin” K276EL in Austin and CHR “Mix 96.1” KXXM, AC “Q101.9” KQXT, Rhythmic AC “Hot 104.5” KZEP, and Spanish AC “La Preciosa 105.7” K289BN in San Antonio. Country “KJ 97” KAJA San Antonio APD/MD/Midday Host Bree Wagner added APD/MD duties at Austin’s 98.1 KVET-FM and “KASE 101” 100.7 KASE as well as middays at KVET-FM under new Director of Country Operations Travis Moon. Bob Pickett moved from middays to afternoons at KVET-FM replacing former PD/afternoon host Chris Mosser. And starting tomorrow, “1300 The Zone” KVET Austin afternoon show “The Sports Buffet” hosted by Craig Way and Rod Babers will debut on “Ticket 760” KTKR San Antonio replacing the exiting Geoff Sheen.
Northeast Radio Watch reports that Binghamton NY was left with just ten full time employees for its six stations as OM/Classic Rock 92.5 WKGB PD Jim Free, AC 103.3 WMXW/Country 107.5 WBBI/Classic Country 680 WINR PD Tom Scott, Production Director Matt Guido, and Office Manager Michelle Landis all exited leaving WMXW morning host Lori Bradley as the only locally originating airstaffer in the cluster.
The cuts in Binghamton led to Julie Dunn APD/MD/midday host of Hot AC “100.5 The Drive” WDVI and afternoon host of Country “107.3 The Bull” WNBL Rochester to be promoted to PD of WNBL plus WBBI and WINR in Binghamton. Rochester Operations Manager/1180 WHAM morning host JP Hastings gave up the PD duties at WNBL to add them at AC “Y94” 94.5 WYYY Syracuse where Kathy Rowe was let go after more than 30 years as PD/Morning host.
Prior to last week’s format change of Active Rock 93.1 WTFX-FM Louisville to Urban, the company made cuts to combine operations at their Indianapolis, Lexington, and Louisville clusters. Tony ‘TNT’ Tilford moved his base of operations from Lexington to Louisville to oversee 95.7 WQMF Louisville in addition to 104.7 WTUE Dayton OH and 100.1 WKQQ Lexington. Among the people let go were WQMF/WTFX PD Charlie Steele, Country 97.5 WAMZ Louisville/AC “Mix 94.5” WMXL Lexington morning host Chris Randolph and many off-air staffers.
The cuts show how iHeart is reaching as far as it can go to consolidate operations further under the minimal amount of staffers. We’re sure there are other markets where the cuts have taken place under the radar as well as others where they will still take place. It’s a shame to see some markets lose as many local staffers while many of these people have been in their current jobs for decades plus. Hopefully competitors can find room for them and take advantage of having well known local voices to improve their stature in the market up against iHeart’s gutted stations.