In this week’s issue… Revenue drops from pandemic cost Entercom jobs – MA jock dies of COVID-19 – Remembering VT’s Adams, NH’s Mikey Martel – Promotion for NY engineer – STL collapse silences NB trio
By SCOTT FYBUSH
*When Boston’s WMJX signed on way back in 1982, Nancy Quill was part of the inaugural “Magic” airstaff. As the station changed hands from Greater Media to Beasley to Entercom, Quill remained its midday fixture.
A few hours to the south, John Minko was part of the inaugural airstaff when Emmis launched WFAN as the first all-sports station at 1050 on the New York dial back in 1987. The “Mink Man” became a fixture there, too, as the station changed hands to Infinity, CBS Radio and eventually Entercom.
Now both of those veterans are gone from their radio stations, along with dozens of their colleagues, in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic’s deep hit to Entercom’s revenues at a time when the company was already struggling with the expenses of its acquisition of CBS Radio two years ago.
As RadioInsight reported, the cuts were deep and often affected the most experienced and longest-running staffers at each Entercom cluster.
In Boston, it was more than just Quill signing off from her 38 years at WMJX on Friday. Down the hall at sister station WODS (103.3 AMP Radio), TJ Taormina and Loren Raye are gone, as is the entire “TJ Show” in morning drive – and as we write this on Sunday, we have no idea what will be on the air Monday morning.
(Both the TJ Show and Quill got to say goodbye on the air Friday, at least – a sign of goodwill from local management, perhaps? Or simply of benign neglect without much management in the building these days?)
In Hartford, Nancy Barrow began as a sidekick on Sebastian’s morning show at WZMX (93.7) back in 1999, when the station was doing an all-70s format. She outlived the format, and Sebastian, eventually taking on solo morning duties at what became urban “Hot 93.7.” She was out, too, after her shift Friday morning – and so was Dean Richards down the hall at AC WRCH (100.5), leaving his evening airshift and music director duties after 28 years with “Lite.”
Minko wasn’t the only familiar WFAN voice to depart (in his case, by taking a buyout offer); on Friday afternoon, he hit the airwaves along with colleague Harris Allen as both said their farewells. Upstairs at WCBS (880), sports anchor Jay Berman is also out.
(And remember Chris Booker from his time in New York during WNEW’s “Blink” era and several incarnations of 92.3? He’d moved to LA to do mornings at Entercom’s “AMP” station there, KAMP – at least until Friday, when he was let go.)
In Philadelphia, morning host Casey Reed is out after just a few months at top-40 WTDY (96.5), while Andrea Duffy is gone after seven years in midday on AC sister WBEB (B101.1).
In Pittsburgh, Brian Kostek (aka “Wookie”) is gone from WDSY (Y108), where he was APD/MD and afternoon host.
In Buffalo, DJ Anthony held down nights on WKSE (Kiss 98.5) for two decades, until Friday, anyway; down the hall, sports talker WGR (550) is without the services of Sabres beat reporter Paul Hamilton, though his absence may be a furlough and not an outright job cut, reports the Buffalo News.
*For those remaining with Entercom, there’s pain, too – temporary salary cuts of between 10% and 20% for employees making $50,000 a year or more. The company has suspended its 401(k) match, and it’s not alone in that; we’re told iHeart has done the same, with furloughs happening there as well.
It’s a painful time, indeed.
(We’re trying to provide some help with special editions of our Top of the Tower podcast – if you missed them last week, check out our latest episodes, talking with DC lawyer Melodie Virtue about FCC regulatory compliance during the pandemic, and to Yellowtec’s Jeff Williams about how his company’s iXm recording mic can sound like a studio, in handheld form.)
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