DENVER — Those who were accompanied on their drive home by KBPI’s Uncle Nasty or KBCO’s Keefer will now have to find new radio companions. Both were among a plethora of popular Denver radio personalities dismissed by their parent company, Clear Channel Communications, on Thursday.
Also among the casualties was FOX31 Denver reporter Julie Hayden, who co-hosted the KOA weekend morning program “Colorado Weekend” with her husband, Chuck Bonniwell.
“We’re disappointed,” Hayden said. “But we weren’t doing it for the money.”
That likely won’t be the case for many other employees laid off across the country by Clear Channel on Thursday, a day which Uncle Nasty, whose real name is Gregg Stone, referred to as the annual “Clear Channel Firing Day.”
He says the tradition started in 2008, when the company was acquired by Bain Capitol.
“It’s more of the same,” Stone said. “Clear Channel cut backs. They axed quite a few afternoon personalities across the country today. … To tell you the truth, I thought I was pretty safe. I thought I helped their bottom line and their revenue. And, you know, I was a good face for the station.”
That doesn’t mean that Stone, who said he was offered “an insulting severance package,” isn’t abreast to the financial difficulties the terrestrial radio business is experiencing.
With revenue plummeting, Clear Channel has been pushing its “iheartradio” app. But Stone said without the revenue that comes from advertisers on terrestrial radio, that hasn’t produced the sort of cash flow the company was hoping for.
“Without terrestrial radio there’s no cash flow,” Stone said.
With that being the case, Stone thinks Clear Channel is making a mistake by turning to its Premium Choice syndicated services to fill the seats he and others once occupied.
Clear Channel Denver executive Greg Foster did not provide specifics about how many employees lost their jobs on Thursday. Instead, he deferred to the following statement issued by the company:
We are constantly looking at all aspects of our business to ensure that it reflects how the best organizations work today, taking advantage of the latest cutting-edge technology and organizational structure so we can continue to operate as effectively and efficiently as possible.
Like every successful business, our strategy continues to evolve as we move forward as a company; this creates some new jobs, and unfortunately eliminates others. These are never easy decisions to make.
In the process of making these recent changes, some employees were affected. We thank them for their service and wish them all the best for the future.