Clear Channel Atlanta Changes Reach Back to Ohio

Cluster after cluster, we’ve been reading about Clear Channel groups dumping staff just about everywhere…presumably a massive chain-wide budget cut due to the recent announcement of a sale to private equity funds.

The latest is Atlanta, where various trade websites report what can only be called the wholesale gutting of Clear Channel talk mainstay WGST/640.

And that’s where Ohio comes in.

Though the top item on the list nationally is the exit of veteran morning host Tom Hughes and afternoon host Kim “The Kimmer” Peterson, the top item here concerns the midday shift, where former WSPD/1370 Toledo host Denny Schaffer is out in the evisceration of WGST.

Plus, there’s another Ohio connection, as the move gives WLW/700 Cincinnati-based syndicated host Mike McConnell his first really big market clearance…WGST will pick up McConnell’s program to replace Schaffer.

From the reports, it appears Clear Channel is basically giving up on the talk station they’ve poured money, and talent, into…in a futile attempt to compete with Cox talk powerhouse WSB/750.

It’s so bad, the company is running “Wall Street Journal This Morning” in WGST’s morning drive slot with the departure of Hughes.

That’s not a bad show…local stations like Clear Channel’s WARF/1350 Akron run it.

But not aired once, then repeated THREE TIMES between 5 and 9 AM, with cursory local news/weather/traffic inserts. That’s what WGST is planning to do in Atlanta.

More on WGST’s “new lineup” from program director Randall Bloomquist here.

The Clear Channel budget axe also hit Louisville KY, where six staffers have exited, according to AllAccess.

And no, our item below next to the question mark does not concern Clear Channel’s operations, or for that matter, any other local radio or broadcast TV outlet. (We still haven’t heard, for example, any more names from reported CC budget cutting at the Oak Tree World Domination HQ in Independence.)

We do have some answers, though, on the item we hinted about below, and we’ll share them with you in our next update…

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