Connect with us
Jim Cutler Demos

Sports Radio News

Entercom Announces Nationwide Layoffs, Pay Cuts

“Staffs are being trimmed, and full-time employees earning over $50K annually are taking 10-20% pay cuts.”

Barrett Sports Media

Published

on

Entercom joined the growing list of radio companies that have made significant cuts in expenses during the coronavirus pandemic. According to the Radio and Television Business Report, Entercom’s President and CEO sent an internal memo to staffers on Thursday morning announcing that many employees were being either laid off or furloughed.

“We are fortunate to work in an industry that plays such an important role in our country at a time of crisis, providing a critically important and trusted local voice for news and information as well as entertainment, companionship and respite during these uncertain times,” Field wrote.

But that important role isn’t enough to save a lot of people’s paychecks. Field called the moves “deeply painful” and “necessary under the circumstances.”

In an internal memo obtained by Radio Insight, Field justified the cuts by pointing out “This is having a very large impact on advertising revenues. We must take hard but necessary actions to ensure that we endure the crisis and emerge as a strong, healthy and competitive company.”

Entercom is also forcing all full-time employees earning over $50,000 annually to take 10% or 20% pay cuts. Field will take a 30% pay cut himself, making him the latest radio company executive to forego part of his own salary in solidarity with his staff. Previously, Beasley Media Group announced that Caroline Beasley would take a 20% pay cut. iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman will give up his salary for the remainder of the year.

Among the affected by the layoffs are two sports radio hosts in Milwaukee. Afternoon host Bill Schmid, who had worked on The Big Show with Steve ‘Sparky’ Fifer, Leroy Butler and Gary Ellerson has been let go. He confirmed his departure via Twitter.

Longtime host Chuck Freimund who spent over a decade with 105.7 The Fan and had been teaming with Bart Winkler in mornings was also let go. He also shared the news of his exit on Twitter.

On a positive note, Freimund returned to social media two hours later and shared that he’ll have positive news to share soon. It appears that 97.3 The Game in Milwaukee has been in touch about adding him to their operation.

The layoffs also impacted Julie DiCaro in Chicago. She confirmed on Twitter that her position at 670 The Score has been eliminated.

DiCaro isn’t the only Score staffer effected. Midday co-host Connor McKnight confirmed on Twitter that his position was eliminated. The show’s producer Rick Camp says he was also let go. So too was longtime reporter and host David Schuster, and weekend host Maggie Hendricks.

In Detroit, 97.1 The Ticket parted ways with longtime host Dennis Fithian and update anchor Ryan Wooley.

The cuts impacted two notable programmers too. 92.9 The Game PD Terry Foxx, who was voted the 15th best programmer in sports radio as part of the BSM Top 20 of 2019, and helped build Atlanta’s sports station into a ratings winner after doing the same in Pittsburgh at 93.7 The Fan was a victim of the company wide layoffs.

The second programmer impacted was in Sacramento where ESPN 1320 PD Brian Lopez, who also programmed 96.9 The Eagle was laid off. Lopez had been with the company for 27 years.

Longtime update anchor and host Joe Altamonte had his tenure come to an end in Philadelphia. Altamonte spent 22 years contributing to SportsRadio 94WIP and KYW Newsradio.

Also in Philadelphia, longtime anchor and weekend host Rob Charry was let go after three decades with the station. So too was anchor Sue Schilling. The news was first reported by Crossing Broad.

A little further south in Charlotte, WFNZ lost a pair of producers and on-air contributors. Wilson & Parcell’s producer Ryan Chell and Kyle Bailey’s producer Julian Council confirmed they had both been let go.

One sports station that Entercom has tried to avoid hitting with cutbacks is WFAN. Andrew Marchand of The New York Post tweeted that the company has made keeping the station in tact a priority.

However, longtime update anchor John Minko is exiting the station. ‘The Mink Man’ who has been a part of The Fan since July 1987, accepted a contract buyout. He’ll continue to call St. Johns University games.

Longtime update anchor Harris Allen chose to follow Minko out the door, announcing his retirement from WFAN as well. Allen had been with the station since 2006.

WFAN also lost its digital managing editor. Ryan Chatelain confirmed on Twitter that he was out of work.

https://twitter.com/ryanchatelain/status/1245837388208730114?s=21

According to a report from Marchand, Entercom asked Mike Francesa, Boomer Esiason and Gregg Giannotti to take 20% pay cuts and forgo bonuses through near the end of July. Station employees making $100,000 to $250,000 will be asked to take a 15% reduction in pay. Those in the $50,000 to $100,000 range will be asked to give up 10%.

WFAN and the CBS Sports Radio network already had their lineups altered on the weekends. Full-time staffers from both outlets are pulling Saturday and Sunday shifts. That includes Francesa. The weekend lineup is being simulcast across both WFAN and CBS Sports Radio.

In Houston, producer Brian McDonald confirmed he was laid off from his job at Sports Radio 610. McDonald had worked for the station for 6 years.

BSM also learned that Zack Duarte, Trevor Murray and Kevin Rogers were affected by the Entercom layoffs in Miami. They had contributed to 790 The Ticket/560 The Joe (WQAM), both owned locally by Entercom.

In San Francisco, KCBS Sports Reporter Joe Salvatore was notified of his release. Salvatore spent two decades working for the legendary station.

Buffalo sports station WGR lost Sabres reporter Paul Hamilton. Radio.com Sports took a hit as well with producer Joey Gelman being let go.

As more details become available we’ll continue to update this story so be sure to check back.

Sign up for the BSM 8@8

The Top 8 Sports Media Stories of the Day, sent directly to your inbox, every morning at 8am ET.

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Sports Radio News

Mike Missanelli: 97.5 The Fanatic ‘Made Me an Offer’ In the Last Couple of Months

“I can’t tell you much more about that, because if the offer was satisfactory to me, I probably would be on the radio.”

Barrett Sports Media

Published

on

Logo for 97.5 The Fanatic and The Mike Missanelli Podcast

Back in March of this year, rumors started to circulate that Mike Missanelli, who had been with 97.5 The Fanatic for 15 years before he exited in May 2022, might be on his way back to the station. Station owner Beasley Media Group recently made a change at the top in the market as Paul Blake, formerly the market’s Vice President and Director of Sales, took over as the cluster’s manager. Kevin Kinkead of Crossing Broad wondered if the change at the top could lead to Missanelli coming back. He also posted something Missanelli said at the end of a recent podcast episode:

“One other thing that people have been asking me about. My old station fired their general manager. This was the same general manager that decided not to renew my contract two years ago, almost to the day. He’s gone. I don’t know what’s going to happen at that station. I will tell you this, however – that station, in the last couple of months, has made me an offer. I can’t tell you much more about that, because if the offer was satisfactory to me, I probably would be on the radio. But at this point, it is not. So with new management coming in, I have no idea what will happen here. I just want to say this – I am committed to this podcast and I am going to do this podcast for a really long period of time and the other stuff really doesn’t matter to me. If it happens it happens, if it doesn’t, I’m good, because I like spending time with you here on the podcast.”

When the idea of Missannelli comin back was brought up three months ago, new station Program Director Scott Masteller had said at the time, “Mike’s name has come up. He’s a great talent, and we’ll just have to wait and see what happens. A lot of people are interested in the radio station right now. So I’ll leave it at that.”

As for where Missanelli might fit in should he return, the midday show, Mid-Days with Bob Cooney has been using various hosts since Cooney moved to the 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. show a few months ago. Bill Colarulo and Amy Faddol have been two of the people who have worked with Cooney recently.

Sign up for the BSM 8@8

The Top 8 Sports Media Stories of the Day, sent directly to your inbox, every morning at 8am ET.

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Continue Reading

Sports Radio News

Chris Curtis: Boston Had a 17.7 Rating for the 2024 NBA Finals

“So Boston was a 17.7; Providence was a 12. Just very interesting – I don’t know what it means.”

Barrett Sports Media

Published

on

NBA Finals Logo

The 2024 NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and Dallas Mavericks averaged 11.31 million viewers across the five-game series on ABC, including a simulcast of Game 3 on ESPN, down 3% in year-over-year viewership. Additionally, the series had a 5.8 rating, representing a 5% year-over-year decline in this category. Excluding the 2020 and 2021 NBA Finals, this series was the lowest-rated on record and the least-watched since the San Antonio Spurs faced the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2007, according to Jon Lewis of Sports Media Watch. Chris Curtis, producer of The Greg Hill Show on WEEI, revealed more information about the NBA Finals ratings during the program’s live show on Friday morning.

Curtis discovered that the Boston market had a 17.7 rating throughout the five-game NBA Finals series, which he explained compiles linear viewership and streaming data. Drawing a comparison against other significant Boston sports games in the last five years, he mentioned how the Boston Red Sox championship victory against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 5 of the 2018 World Series had a 43.2 share in the marketplace. Although Nielsen Media Research was tracking out-of-home viewership at the time, it did not begin implementing the metric into its viewership estimates until 2020. Curtis also said the 2018 AFC Championship Game between the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs garnered a 58.5 rating in Boston.

“With baseball, it’s the only sport we ever talk about how their ratings are declining and the sport’s dying,” Curtis continued. “If Major League Baseball just had these [NBA] Finals [as] their World Series, it would be the pullout national story about it, but because it’s not baseball, we just don’t talk about it. The Red Sox last playoff run in 2021, the one-game Wild Card against the Yankees, did a 19.8, so the one-game play-in to the playoffs did a higher number than the average rating of the five NBA Finals games in Boston.”

Greg Hill asked Curtis for his reasoning behind the phenomenon, to which he replied that he was not sure. In fact, he thought that the nine-day buildup to the first game of the NBA Finals would have an anticipation resembling the Super Bowl. One possibility could be that the series was not always the most competitive, although he immediately stated that he still had no idea.

“I think that the Celtics were so much better than Dallas, people were like, ‘This series is not going to be good,’” co-host Jermaine Wiggins said.

“But if you’re Boston, you want to see that,” co-host Courtney Cox replied. “You want to see them be dominant, so that’s why I don’t know why the Boston number was just so low.”

Show producer Chris Scheim wondered if the 8:30 p.m. EST start time for the games could have an impact. Curtis did not believe this to be the case and revealed additional ratings data related to the five-game series in the process.

“Every one of these games in the Finals and the World Series and the playoffs have all been 8:30 starts, and Providence did a 12,” Curtis said. “So Boston was a 17.7; Providence was a 12. Just very interesting – I don’t know what it means.”

Sign up for the BSM 8@8

The Top 8 Sports Media Stories of the Day, sent directly to your inbox, every morning at 8am ET.

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Continue Reading

Sports Radio News

Chris Kinard Named Audacy Sports Format Vice President

“I’m thrilled for the opportunity to lead our best-in-class local sports radio stations.”

Barrett Sports Media

Published

on

L:ogo for Audacy and a photo of sports format vice president Chris Kinard
Photo Courtesy: Audacy

Chris Kinard has been named the new Sports Format Vice President for Audacy. Kinard will add those responsibilities to his duties as Vice President of Sports Programming and Cluster Director of Operations for Audacy Washington D.C., which includes 106.7 The Fan and The Team 980.

As part of his new responsibilities, Kinard will oversee the development and implementation of brand and format strategies for the company’s Sports division. He will also work closely with Vice President of Sports Danny Freisinger to execute the company’s multiplatform content strategy and production. Kinard takes over for Spike Eskin who recently left WFAN to serve as afternoon drive co-host on Audacy’s SportsRadio 94WIP in Philadelphia.

“We are privileged at Audacy to benefit from the best local sports content thought leaders in the country and Chris has distinguished himself through his leadership of WFJK-FM and WTEM-AM in D.C. over many years,” said Jeff Sottolano, Executive Vice President and Head of Programming, Audacy in a release. “I am excited to see Chris take on this new role and partner with our local and central leadership on further strengthening our unrivaled position in sports.”

“I’m thrilled for the opportunity to lead our best-in-class local sports radio stations,” said Kinard. “Audacy is home to the most-listened-to brands and the most impactful local voices in sports, and we have an exciting future ahead. I’m thankful to Jeff Sottolano, Dave Richards and Danny Freisinger for this opportunity.” 

Kinard joined 106.7 The Fan in 1998 as an intern and worked his way up to become a producer until 2007. From there, he took on the role of Brand Manager and has held that position since then. In 2019, he also took on the role of Operations Manager for Audacy Washington D.C., overseeing multiple stations including Classic Hits 94.7 The Drive, The Team 980, and Connecting Vets.

Sign up for the BSM 8@8

The Top 8 Sports Media Stories of the Day, sent directly to your inbox, every morning at 8am ET.

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Continue Reading
Advertisement

Advertisement

Upcoming Events

Barrett Media Writers

Copyright © 2024 Barrett Media.