Letting Go in San Diego Radio

iHeartMedia, TEGNA, and Entercom have each released a number of San Diego employees in January in order to reduce their count and expenses. iHeartMedia conducted a huge, nationwide, layoff earlier in the month. The migration of listeners to an almost infinite variety of online streaming sources has put the free over-the-air radio advertising industry in a slow decline. One media observer in upstate New York noted its local iHeart market group had more radio stations than on-air employees. More programming is coming from syndicated sources outside any given market. 

TEGNA told its KFMB-AM-FM employees they would have their jobs only until February 7 (with the exception of the sales department). Engineering Supervisor Steve Cilurzo, who has been maintaining their radio division equipment, was spared due to his role in TV engineering down the hall. TEGNA sold KFMB-AM and -FM to Local Media San Diego, operators of XHITZ “Z90”, XETRA “91X” , and XHRM “Magic” 92.5, but the employees were not invited to move as a group to the new owners. LMSD will have to change call letters and begin paying for a lease for tower and transmitter space. Included in the layoffs were morning show personalities Chris Cantore and Meryl Klemow, as well as Robin Roth, Rick Lawrence, Brent Winterble, Mike Slater and Mark Larson. 

iHeartMedia in San Diego laid-off IT specialist Casey Frink and Engineer Drew Hougan. Casey had been there for a total of five years. Drew Hougan was in the market two years, previously with Nexgen (now RCS), the iHeart subsidiary that produces the automation that runs its stations. On the on-air talent side, Coe Lewis, Nina “Ruth 66″ Reeba and Jim McInnes of KGB Radio, Chris Merrill of talk radio station KOGO, Chris “Qui West” of Jam’n 95.7 and Steve Kramer of Channel 93.3 all lost their jobs. 

At Entercom, Bob Bolinger lost his job as Senior VP and Market Manager. A.J. Machado and Sara Perry, co-hosts of the A.J. and Sara Morning Show on KXST Sunny 98.1 were given notice on Jan. 22. Dana DiDonato and Jayson Prim of the morning show on KBZT Alt 94.9 were also sent walking.