Citadel's CEO, Farid Suleman
on the warpath as company loses money
It's that time again. After almost all large radio companies reported a loss in 2007 the move is on to cut costs. Latest to announce pink slips is Citadel, who last year bought all the ABC owned stations. Citadel let people like Rhubarb Jones
, 22 years as morning man on WYAY/Eagle 106 in Atlanta, as well as eleven others on both Eagle and Kicks101.5/WKHX-FM. (More here from Rodney Ho in Atlanta)
Citadel also cut John Gambling and his newsman George Weber from WABC in New York. He'll be replaced by Curtis Sliwa who was already on the payroll. In Washington, Citadel dropped jazz on WJZW-FM and will replace it with oldies. Also in Washington, 30 year vet at WMAL, Chris Core, was fired.
At WLS-AM in Chicago
, station news director and Chicago radio news journalist Jennifer Keiper
and longtime City Hall reporter Bill Cameron, were let go, along with several other weekenders, production and sales staff.
Radio is getting hit with a double dose. Not only is it losing ad dollars to new technologies, namely the internet, cell phones and other portable devices, unless you're an oil man or a corn grower, the overall economy is continuing to slide. Suleman said he has an overall positive attitude about the future of his company, but he indicated there will be further cuts and format changes as well.
"The fourth quarter and the year was difficult for the broadcasting industry and the company," Suleman said. "The performance of the larger-market radio stations acquired in the ABC Merger was particularly disappointing."
He promised "a major restructuring of these stations to both improve short-term profitability as well as position them for future growth."
In the meantime, families are uprooted and veterans like Jones and Core find themselves looking for a job for the first time in several decades..and for all those people who now have no income, they also have to face high gas prices, food costs and mortgage rates.