National radio conglomerate Clear Channel continued its apparent mission to run as many Fresno radio stations with as few people as possible, thinning its staff once again on Wednesday. It fired Soft Rock 98.9′s longtime morning show co-hosts Mike Brady and Rose Ortega and (again) sending Koyote packing, this time from 103.7 The Wolf .
Then this morning Davey D — the morning host at Clear Channel competitor Q97 — announced it would be his last show. It wasn’t immediately clear whether he’d been fired or quit, but on the air this morning it sounded like a sudden development.
For Clear Channel — also the owner of B95, Alice 96.7 and various others — the move was part of a national “reduction in force” that hit a number of markets Wednesday. Clear Channel gave radio industry news site All Access a statement full of corporate speak:
“We’re launching a new strategy for our regional market radio stations that will improve local programming in smaller markets by using assets and resources in those markets that their competitors don’t have. It reflects new approaches to programming, talent, technology and other valuable resources — based on Clear Channel most effective and efficient stations.
“The new strategy leverages Clear Channel Radio’s unmatched resources to serve our local listeners, advertisers and communities better — there will be more localization, not less. At the same time, it offers new opportunities for our best on-air and programming talent to be heard in more places and grow their careers. This new strategy is about doing things differently to help our company grow faster.
“We looked at all our regional market stations with a fresh eye to determine how we could respond to the challenges of the marketplace and deliver a much better product to listeners than we have in the past — and better than our competitors can provide. With this new strategy, we’ll also generate higher ratings for our advertisers and marketing partners and give our best people bigger roles.”
What this really means is we’re going to get more of what I call “robot radio.” We’re likely to see an influx of DJs piped in from other markets, giving the stations a faux-local feel.
Look at Clear Channel’s Fresno properties and you’ll notice a lack of local personalities. When Clear Channel killed KRZR and turned it into The Beat, with no on-air personalities, it might have been a signal of what was to come.
Koyote, a former popular KRZR DJ lost his gig then, but was brought back as a country DJ. His firing now means The Wolf has only one local DJ. Same with Soft Rock and Alice 96.7. Hip-hop station B95 has a wealth of riches compared to its sister stations, with a five on-air jocks and a handful of mixers.
DAVEY D OUT AT Q97
Meanwhile at B95′s chief rival, Q97, morning show host Davey D announced today would be his last show at the Visalia-based station. He made it sound like it was his decision — but in the smoke-and-mirrors world of radio, you never really know.
Davey D’s announcement evoked teary reactions from listeners and a flood of posts on his Facebook page. He’d been doing the Q97 morning show for about a year and a half after being brought in to do afternoons in 2009, but seemed to really connect with morning listeners.
Davey D did a little more than half of his show this morning before being pulled off the air, with the mid-day jock eventually taking over early. It’ll be interesting to see whether Q97 will add another local morning show or pipe in something from a different market.