Lance Venta reports in today’s Radio Insight the latest broadcasting corporations making cuts as the viral effects of the financial downturn are as bad as the pandemic virus itself. Cumulus Media will forgo lay-offs for now but is implementing a round of what they call “rolling furloughs”. Employees will be split into one of three groups. The majority of employees will take 3 weeks of furlough spread out over 15 weeks starting April 20. Others will have a 90 day pay cut instituted while a others will be placed on a 90 day furlough. Cumulus executives are taking a 25 percent pay cut and will forgo all incentive packages, with CEO Mary Berner taking a 50 percent reduction in salary. SAG-AFTRA has objected to Cumulus’ intentions that they “cannot unilaterally implement changes upon union represented staff.”
Radio Insight also notes today that Urban 1’s Radio One & Reach Media divisions have experienced significant advertising cancellations for the second quarter and new business is coming in at a trickling rate. While commenting that they hope to bring many employees back once the crisis ends, they are unwilling to commit to that or even when due to all of the uncertainties. The cuts extended beyond Radio One to parent Urban 1’s digital and television properties as well. Cuts affect programming & on-air staff in Houston, Indianapolis, Atlanta, St. Louis & Raleigh NC.