CBS Radio laid off several hundred people at properties across the country on Monday, according to multiple reports in the trade press. Although few details are available, informal tallies suggest the number of layoffs may be over 200, with the bulk of them falling on off-air positions, including sales, promotions, and producers, although some on-air positions were also affected.
So far CBS Radio has not commented on the layoffs.
The wave of layoffs included cuts at CBS stations WWFS “Fresh 102.7” in New York City; WUSN 99.5 in Chicago; 102.5 KEZK, KYKY-FM 98.1, and KMOX-AM 1120 in St. Louis; 1060 KYW-A in Philadelphia; WWJ-A 950 in Detroit, and sports station KFNQ-A (AM 1090 “The Fan”) in Seattle, among other major markets around the U.S.
The CBS Radio layoffs are part of a steady trickle of cuts across the radio industry in recent years.
Last August, Walt Disney Co. announced its intention to sell off nearly all its broadcast radio stations and move its audio content distribution to digital platforms. The move included around 200 layoffs.
Also last year, Clear Channel (now iHeartMedia) cut 300 sales employees, while Univision Communications laid off dozens of employees at radio stations across the U.S. as part of an initiative to consolidate programming responsibilities.
In 2014, the U.S. broadcast radio industry employed 91,120 people, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s down about 19% from 112,080 people in 2002. Total radio industry revenues sank from $21.3 billion in 2007 to $17.5 billion in 2014, for an 18% decline over this period.