Massive broadcasting conglomerate iHeartRadio has been slashing staff at its outlets across the U.S. in recent days, and its Denver radio stations have seen cuts, including Colorado Rockies game-caller Jerry Schemmel, and could see more. IHeart's Denver stations include KOA, The Fox, KHOW, KBPI, KBCO, The Party, The Bull, Channel 93.3 and Freedom 93.7.
Terms such as "bloodbath" and "the culling" have been applied to the iHeartRadio cuts, which are likely the largest by a single firm in the history of the industry. One local insider estimates the number of employees affected across the country at 1,500, or more than 10 percent of the company's total workforce.
Here's what readers have to say about the layoffs and iHeart's strategy. Says Jackson:
Maybe after this we can go back to having unique local radio stations instead of a giant corporate conglomerate that owns everything?
I think local radio stations are better anyway.
There was a time when KOA was respected and credible for its 24/7 programming and personalities. Besides the Broncos, Buffs and Rockies games, the news reporting was timely and first-rate. Talk shows were, for the most part, literate, fair and neutral. Then, it seems, station management started pursuing special factions, catering to the fringes with distinctly partisan political content. It was less informing content: it was more confirmation of bias content. Even the after-work drive time block became silly, "inside" stuff. If I can time it to catch the little news summaries at the top of the hour middays, that's about it for me. Baseball is coming and that will be good, but the rest — not so much.
I wish iHeart would disappear altogether. They destroyed KOA. For me, CC/iHeart destroyed broadcast radio, which I used to love. I believe that corporate ownership and radio homogenization led to the demise of my all-time favorite radio personality, Rick Barber. May he rest in peace.
It's funny how a corporation named iHeartRadio has completely destroyed the radio industry. KBCO (K Boulder Colorado) now is in a studio on South Monaco in Denver. Should change its call letters to KSED (K Southeast Denver).
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One source tells of selected employees being marched out of the iHeartRadio headquarters at that location at 4695 South Monaco Street. Another says the folks in the crosshairs mostly work behind the scenes, but acknowledges that there are rumors aplenty about big names potentially headed to the chopping block.
The first to publicly acknowledge his exit was Schemmel, who's gone through worse. In our 2001 profile of Schemmel, penned during the period when he was delivering play-by-play for the Denver Nuggets, he talked in detail about surviving the 1989 crash of United Airlines Flight 232 in Sioux City, Iowa — a calamity that claimed 112 lives. After escaping through a fissure in the fuselage, Schemmel climbed back into the plane to rescue a baby, Sabrina Michaelson, who almost certainly would have perished without his assistance. (He found the child in an overhead luggage compartment.)
While he may have been through worse, his layoff is a definite loss for Denver.
What do you think of iHeart? The layoffs? Let us know in a comment or at email@example.com.