Chicago stations hit in Clear Channel’s latest round of layoffs
As cheery Christmas tunes were playing on The Holiday Lite, the bosses of Clear Channel Media and Entertainment carried out another annual tradition Thursday — a sweeping round of end-of-the-year layoffs.
In Chicago, at least four on-air positions and an unspecified number of jobs in other areas were eliminated as part of a companywide purge that’s become as familiar to employees this time of year as fruitcake and eggnog. Clear Channel operates six stations from studios at 233 North Michigan Avenue.
Among full-time air personalities affected were Glenn Cosby, evening host of The Quiet Storm on urban adult-contemporary WVAZ-FM (102.7), and Effie Rolfe, midday host, assistant program director and music director of gospel WGRB-AM (1390).
Cosby, a Chicago native who began his career as an intern at the former WBMX (a forerunner of V103), was operations manager of ABC Radio Networks when he launched the first urban adult syndicated format in 1990. He joined Clear Channel in 2003. His Quiet Storm from 9pm to 1am weekdays is expected to be replaced by The Sweat Hotel, a syndicated show which now airs from 1 to 5am weekdays.
Rolfe, a 21-year veteran of Inspiration 1390, has held virtually every air shift at the station, most recently hosting from 10am to 2pm weekdays. Her duties are expected to be divided among other employees.
Tony Coles, vice president of programming and operations for Clear Channel Chicago, declined to confirm any specific layoffs or provide any numbers. But he released the following statement from the company: “We are constantly looking at all aspects of our business to insure 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.”
Throughout Thursday, Joel Denver’s AllAccess.com and other trade publications kept a running list of Clear Channel employees who’d been fired in markets across the country. By midday, the list contained dozens of names encompassing a wide variety of positions.