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Entercom Announces Nationwide Layoffs, Pay Cuts

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

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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.

Sports Radio News

Pat McAfee: ‘People Are Going To Miss The Manningcast’

“The access that Peyton and Eli Manning get to the coaches, to the players, to the training staff, to whoever, I assume is going to be better than what Levy, Riddick, Griese and Lisa do.”

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Eli and Peyton Manning have a lot of fans in the broadcasting world. That has become clear over the last three weeks as ESPN’s Manningcast of Monday Night Football has seen its audience steadily grow. One of those fans is Pat McAfee. He said on his show on Tuesday that the alternate broadcast has become his preferred way to watch Monday night’s game.

The Manning brothers are taking a three week break. That means the millions that have choosen ESPN2 for Monday Night Football will have no choice but to watch Steve Levy, Louis Riddick and Brian Griese on ESPN. McAfee wonders how shocked the audience will be.

“They are getting probably a pretty new crowd on Monday night. That is a vastly different way to watch a game,” he said.

Pat McAfee was clear with his message. Sure, the Manningcast features interviews and informal banter that can make it hard to pay attention to all the action on the field (he pointed to how compelling the conversation with LeBron James was this past week), but the Mannings offer a level of access the traditional broadcast can’t match.

“The access that Peyton and Eli Manning get to the coaches, to the players, to the training staff, to whoever, I assume is going to be better than what Levy, Riddick, Griese and Lisa do.”

McAfee expects Steve Levy, Louis Riddick and Brian Griese to take their share of criticism online for the next month as people complain that the broadcast is less fun and not as informative.

“We will obviously probably follow the game much closer, but I think people are going to miss the Manningcast the next three weeks.”

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Sports Radio News

Jaime Jarrín Retiring After 64 Years As Dodgers’ Spanish Voice

“Jarrín and Dodger baseball have gone hand in hand since first joining the team in 1959.”

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Courtesy: Los Angeles Dodgers YouTube

The Los Angeles Dodgers bid farewell to their legendary English radio voice, Vin Scully, in 2016, and now they are sending off Spanish-language voice Jaime Jarrín in a similar fashion.

Jarrín and the organization announced that 2022 is the 85-year old’s final season as the Spanish-language voice of the Dodgers.

“I’m grateful to the Dodgers — the best organization in baseball — for giving me the opportunity to do what I love most for 64 years,” Jarrín said in a team statement. “As much as I’ll miss my baseball family at Dodger Stadium and across the country, I’m looking forward to spending more time with my sons Jorge and Mauricio and my grandchildren and nurturing my love of travel.”

Jarrín and Dodger baseball have gone hand in hand since first joining the team in 1959. Jarrín has been with them ever since that second year playing in Los Angeles and is a fan-favorite in the Latino community.

Scully wished his longtime co-worker well as he embarks on a well-deserved farewell tour.

“Los Angeles has been so lucky to have enjoyed the talents of Jaime Jarrín for over six decades,” Scully, 93, Tweeted on Tuesday. “I’m thrilled my dear pal will get to spend precious time with his family in retirement. All the best to you Jaime.”

Jarrín had been calling games with his son, Jorge, who retired from the broadcast in February. Next up is Jamie, who has called three Perfect Games throughout his career. He has also been a part of 30 World Series and 30 All-Star Games, all while being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1998.

The broadcaster’s talents extended beyond the baseball diamond. Jarrín was the Spanish-language broadcaster for the 1984 Summer Olympics and the “Thrilla in Manilla.”

The Dodgers plan to honor during the 2022 season at an unannounced date.

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Sports Radio News

Lance Zierlein: Manningcast Is What People Have Wanted For Years

“Zierlein showered the alternate broadcast with praise for not only the guests but the football lingo as well.”

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Courtesy: NFL.com

Most of the country seems to be catching Manning Fever, and Lance Zierlein of ESPN Houston is no different. The sports talk host discussed the third edition of the “ManningCast” with his co-host John Granato on Tuesday’s episode of The Bench.

The Mannings rolled out another star-studded guestlist on Monday night that included, Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford, NBA superstar Lebron James, Alabama Football head coach Nick Saban, and retired NFL defensive end Chris Long. 

Zierlein showered the alternate broadcast with praise for not only the guests but the football lingo as well.

“I called my dad up (Lance’s father is a former NFL coach),” Zierlein said. “I’ve been telling my dad for years that fans want more advanced football stuff. I was telling him this eight years ago, I said, ‘getting more advanced X’s and O’s stuff out there is a big deal because more and more people want that,’ well that’s what this is.”

If anyone can take the pulse of sports fans at large and NFL fans, in particular, it’s Zierlein. The host also helps lead NFL.com’s NFL prospect coverage during draft season. Zierlein is responsible for 500-plus player evaluations leading up to the big day every April.

“They ask questions of each other that obviously, they are going to know the answers to because they’re setting it up for them to tell fans,” Zierlein continued. “Listening to them talk about safety play and certain looks and protections and stuff. Golly! From a football standpoint, it’s awesome.”

His co-host agreed, and sees this type of broadcast as the way of the future.

“I’m telling you,” Granato said. “I think this is the future… this couldn’t be a better idea, because those guys are entertaining and informative.”

Zierlien pointed out that ESPN could employ the model in coverage of other sports too in the future. He suggested former Rockets and Knicks head coach Jeff Van Gundy to lead an NBA version of a conversational, X-and-O heavy broadcast.

ESPN went all in on this idea for that exact combination of traits, and fans now have to wait through a three-week hiatus before the Manning brothers return in Week 7.

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