Radio Nowhere: Reports Say Clear Channel Due for "Massive Restructuring"

The Wall Street Journal and The New York Post are reporting today that as early as next week, Clear Channel Communications will "begin implementing a massive restructuring plan that seeks to cut $400 million in costs at the company." Both stories say the layoffs are to begin on Tuesday; says The Post, "Clear Channel managers are hoping they can slip in the layoffs while the press is preoccupied with Inauguration Day festivities."

Clear Channel owns five stations in the Dallas market: KZPS-FM (92.5), KEGL-FM (97.1), KDGE-FM (102.1), KDMX-FM (102.9) and KHKS-FM (106.1). And local Clear Channel employees are, of course, concerned about their futures with the company: The WSJ reports that on Tuesday, it will lay off 1,500 employees, most of whom are considered "low-performing" ad sales reps. And The Post reports that Clear Channel "is also likely to move toward a 'national programming' model that would require less local-level staffing."

Messages have been left for J.D. Freeman, who handles all the Clear Channel Communications stations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. But Deanna Blount, a spokesperson for Clear Channel, tells Unfair Park via e-mail that "the Company is not commenting on the NY Post story." That Clear Channel's new owners, Boston-based Thomas H. Lee Partners and Bain Capital, are tightening belts comes as little surprise; after an attempt to take Clear Channel private failed in 2006, they spent somewhere between $17 and $24 million to buy the San Antonio-based conglomerate last year, and ad revenue is way down. Join the club.

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky