Inside iHeartMedia’s recent job cuts, which laid-off employees say sacrificed local radio programming

IHeartMedia recently announced a round of layoffs, saying it was part of a “modernization” process for the company, as it relies increasingly on technological investments to power operations.Laid-off employees from local iHeartMedia radio stations told Business Insider they were caught off guard by the cuts, especially of those who worked in high-performing markets.IHeartMedia is the…

Inside iHeartMedia’s recent job cuts, which laid-off employees say sacrificed local radio programming

IHeartMedia recently announced a round of layoffs, saying it was part of a “modernization” process for the company, as it relies increasingly on technological investments to power operations.Laid-off employees from local iHeartMedia radio stations told Business Insider they were caught off guard by the cuts, especially of those who worked in high-performing markets.IHeartMedia is the largest radio network in the US, and the reorganization suggests the company will rely more on central programming and syndication for local stations. Business Insider spoke with 12 laid-off employees who described how they received the news and what they think was behind their layoffs.Click here for more BI Prime articles.Adam Diaz first started listening to iHeartRadio when he was in the hospital recovering from a back injury that resulted in his medical retirement from the US Coast Guard.Seven years later, he was hired as a part-time board operator at one of the company’s local radio stations in the Delaware area, where he went on to work as an executive producer for country music show “Nashville’s Next with Benny.”Diaz said he loved his industry, his company, and his job.But when iHeartMedia announced this week that it would reorganize to keep up with the modernization of audio, he became one of many local radio workers laid off at the largest radio network in the US.AllAccess, a radio industry news site, published lists of employees who were laid off, and their count shows more than 100 were let go. Business Insider spoke with 12 laid-off employees, some of whom reported hearing that thousands could be laid off. IHeartMedia has 12,500 employees in all, and the company said in a statement to Business Insider the number of layoffs was “relatively small” but wouldn’t give an exact figure.But whatever the exact number, a handful of former employees said the loss of on-air hosts and program directors around the country was already noticeable in local markets.”I hope the best for the company’s and radio’s future, but I’m afraid this move will prove damaging to the emotion that makes radio successful, to the culture and soul of the industry,” Diaz said.IHeartMedia insiders were surprised by the layoffs, although some said a recent managerial meeting was an omenSome former employees who worked at iHeartMedia for decades — since the days when the company was known as Clear Channel — said morale has been declining for several years as traditional radio struggled to maintain audiences who are turning to streaming and podcasting. Still, despite red flags, former employees who spok
Read More From Publisher