65 Unnoticed iHeart Firings That Foretell the Future

As insane as it is to call mass firings “dislocations” and their replacements emanating from  “excellence centers”, here’s a significant series of firings that portends even more trouble ahead at iHeartMedia.

The math shows over 1,000 firings in a few days a little over a week ago.

Most of the victims were in programming, operations or were talent.

But not all – iHeart used the programming RIFs as a cover to eliminate other big salaries such as that of Jerry Schemmel, the ten-year veteran of Colorado Rockies play-by-play.  Obviously, Schemmel cannot be replaced by an “excellence center” or digital technology.

But there’s more.

Right in the midst of this massive programming RIF, iHeart chipped away at another source of unnecessary salaries and nobody has noticed.

Until now.

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The SiriusXM Model Coming to iHeart

Liberty Media already owns a significant amount of iHeartMedia’s debt that will translate into equity.

Liberty will be the new controlling owner of iHeart unless the DOJ gets in the way and that isn’t expected.

The more than 1,000 iHeart “dislocations” were just the start of a massive downsizing that will be more in line with how Liberty runs SiriusXM and Pandora.

From 12,500 employees (including part-timers) before the “dislocations” to an estimated 6,000 or fewer setting it up for Liberty Media to run.

This affects their new philosophy on part-timers, talent (especially revenue producing morning shows), local programming and the people who oversee it, cluster and regional management and a new direction in sales.

Not to mention what will happen to all their studios – Liberty has a plan for that, too.

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iHeart To Use Technology for Next Round of Firings

When Bob Pittman and Rich Bressler emailed the iHeart staff about firing over 1,000 live employees, they referred to artificial intelligence (AI) and technology that enabled them to thin the ranks of employees and make surviving employees work better.

In the one week since, over 1,000 employees were eliminated and that’s just the beginning.

iHeart is reportedly preparing to reduce its workforce further by employing technology and AI.

This is a giant leap into an area that up until now has been foreign to radio.

What technology is iHeart sitting on that will be used to reduce its current 12,500 workforce by one-half?

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iHeart Set to Disrupt Market Managers

With over 1,000 programming “dislocations” complete, iHeart has a reportedly disconcerting plan for 150 markets where they operate 850+ stations.

The programming firings were not the last – there will be more.

iHeart has approximately 12,000 employees (including part-timers) and they are under pressure to drastically reduce that number ahead of a Liberty Media takeover.

Market managers are their most expensive employees except for a few talent contracts so they reportedly have a plan to not only thin the ranks but totally upend the position of market manager for the first time in decades.

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iHeart Firings Expanded

Bob Pittman must be tone deaf to even allow the use of the term “employment dislocation” to describe the mass firings iHeart initiated this week.

Yesterday, he put three additional new “division” PDs in place to join the existing group that will in effect program iHeart stations without local program directors and talent.

Now that the firings are mounting, it appears that the initial estimate of casualties was too low.

Based on what is unfolding, the number of RIFed programming personnel will be much higher.

We’ve done the math and plugged in their new management structure and it’s not pretty. 

Keep in mind this is only round one and it is still in progress this morning.

This week’s iHeart mass firings is turning out to be deeper than originally thought.

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