Cumulus Furloughs Likely to be Long

Notice how they’re no longer “layoffs” or ‘dislocations” in the radio industry now.

They’re furloughs – Entercom, Townsquare and iHeart plugging into a term being used by non-radio companies to cut costs and blame it on the coronavirus.

After “Furlough Tuesday” yesterday, Cumulus is not to be outdone.

Cumulus is as bad off as the other radio companies due to their own mistakes when the economy was booming.

We’re beginning to see who is going to get whacked.

And a growing concern by so-called “essential” employees who may survive the week ahead.

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Mass Entercom Firings Starting Today

For the past five years ever since Entercom took over CBS Radio every CBS or Entercom employee feared the last day of a fiscal quarter.

Today, they have real reason.

This is the last day of a terrible quarter for the radio industry and particularly Entercom.

The firings will come fast, the reach will be surprising and the company will eliminate and consolidate expenses to counter its mounting revenue losses.

Make no mistake, this is a large layoff.

A new and different Entercom will emerge.

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iHeart 90-Day Furloughs Could Be Permanent

Yesterday iHeart conducted a “phantom firing” that is shrouded in uncertainty that may be causing more anxiety than even their pre-virus 1,000+ mass “dislocation”.

Publicly, they are saying one thing, but behind the scenes there are a lot of concerns about just who is non-essential and whether they are in fact expendable after the 90 days are up.

This typical smoke and mirrors approach for iHeart is reportedly massive now.

And a handful of draconian cutbacks that probably don’t have anything to do with the effects of the coronavirus on their company – some absolutely jaw dropping.

No one believes the radio industry will come back even when the virus goes away so the real question is – what exactly did iHeart just pull off in the name of the coronavirus.

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Townsquare RIFs 65, Concerns for Digital

Townsquare joined Entercom and iHeart today to initiate cutbacks in time for the end of the first quarter – there is a reason for this timing.

Other benefits are being suspended.

Townsquare is going even further preparing the workforce for a long-term and severe financial crisis.

Future expected firings will be based on data analysis putting 2,200 Townsquare employees in harm’s way.

And the worst news for the industry – not just Townsquare – is what they are saying about radio’s digital business.

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iHeart Suspend Benefits, Entercom Fires Part-Timers

Now the benefits are going.

Part-timers being fired in large numbers – one radio group reportedly fired over 60 of them in one market late last week.

The CEOs of General Motors, Delta Airlines and Southwest among others have taken pay cuts while asking employees to take pay cuts, which radio CEOs are thinking about doing the same?

Great numbers of advertisers are bailing on April ad schedules. 

More firings are being planned on a new time schedule.

We’re now beginning to see not only the “dislocations” but cost savings that will affect the survivors.

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Low on Money, iHeart Readies More Mass “Dislocations”

Everyone knew this was coming but not this soon.

If the 1,000+ January firings didn’t make a dent in iHeart’s money problems, they are planning a series of firings that will.

iHeart is moving to shore up its failing financial situation made worse by the effects of the coronavirus on the economy.

The next “dislocations” are reportedly being moved up because they are burning through cash so fast several doomsday scenarios are now up for consideration.

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Lee Abrams: AM/FM Slowly Destructing

Lee Abrams thinks we are in a new era of audio entertainment and radio is losing the battle.

Yet there are tools and thinking that can powerfully fight the war for the ears of America.  

Radio might be boring itself out of relevance fueled by denial, clichés and dated architecture while its share of the listening pie is shrinking and requires aggressive action to rethink and reimagine itself.  

While other technologies are focused on the future, radio is painfully mired in old techniques and denial.

There are solutions for news/talk, production, voices, image enhancers, visual identity, leadership and local but they require extreme imagination and a retooling of thinking.

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Cumulus Teetering on Another Bankruptcy

Of all the radio groups, Cumulus is the one company that reportedly cannot survive the decline in radio advertising.

They have sold off their iconic major market stations to raise quick cash, sold or are selling real estate and are trying for a second time to unload their towers.

But sources reveal why no one wanted their tower real estate previously.

Ad revenue is plummeting, Westwood One is now reduced to a clearinghouse for cheap remnant ads and podcasting was a red herring all along.

Now it’s down to a few final options.

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Multi-Group Layoffs Start Within a Week

Radio groups can’t survive the advertising implosion based on the coronavirus and the resulting shaky economy that is expected to impact radio for at least the rest of the year.

So, radio groups are moving up the dates of planned layoffs.

These are going to be brutal.

This time, there will be rolling layoffs targeting things that have been previously off-limits as the list of “dislocators” is growing.

What’s troubling is that the coronavirus and sputtering economy are handing failing radio groups a big gift  to quickly do what they’ve wanted to do all along.

Shrink radio.

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Entercom’s Local Revenue Crisis

How can a company this good be doing this poorly?

Its stock is officially less than two-buck chuck and local ad revenue continues to erode.

Begging the question what do investors know who voted with their money to take Entercom from $16 a share to a buck fifty after the CBS merger?

You see why David Field always changes the topic to podcasting?

But recent critical information shows the kind of urgency that Entercom is trying to cover up.

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