Tuesday, July 14, 2015

CBS Bloodbath

CBS Radio, my old employer, fired 200 employees yesterday nationwide. I've been trying to find a list of the people fired, but all I can find is that they were mostly off-air people. Larz at Chicagoland Radio & Media got a few of the names from Chicago, including the production director and morning producer at US-99, but there are reportedly ten more.

The moves were ordered by a bean counter in New York.

As a listener, you won't feel these moves immediately. But just know this, the quality of radio, which you have noticed has been going steadily downhill for years, will go down even more. The shareholders will be happy for a day or two, and the bean counter in New York will be patted on the back by his corporate bosses, but 200 people are out of work now and looking for a job in a medium that doesn't value behind-the-scenes contributions at all anymore.

What does a production director do? He or she records the radio commercials. Pencil in twelve minutes of painful listening every hour now. What does a radio producer do? I think there was a whole book written on the subject. I hope the handful of people still doing the job in this country appreciate it. Many of the others who were fired came from promotions and sales. What does a promotion department do? They reach out to the listeners...the people that used to matter most to radio bosses. What does sales do? Brings in the money that keeps the stations afloat. I'm clearly not a financial genius, but that would seem to be an important part of the business.

What is one thing that wasn't cut? The bean counter's salary in New York.

I just did a television interview the other day and they asked me if I missed radio. I don't remember exactly how I answered it, but the gist of my answer was that I didn't miss it at all. On days like today, nobody has to wonder why.