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Statements from Clear Channel execs John Hogan and Mark Mays about job cuts

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Yesterday's blog "The Bloodletting Starts at Clear Channel Denver" documents ten layoffs at the Texas corporation's local properties: five FMs -- KTCL/93.3 FM, The Party/95.7 FM, KBCO/97.3 FM, The Fox/103.5 FM and KBPI/106.7 FM -- and three AMs -- KHOW/630 AM, KKZN/760 AM and KOA/850 AM. This morning, an inside source suggests that this is only a portion of the overall cuts. When we get confirmation, we'll post the total here.

Amid the carnage, Clear Channel president and chief executive officer John Hogan (pictured) and fellow executive Mark Mays issued statements explaining the cuts, which took place throughout the firm's U.S. empire, adding up to approximately 1,850 positions, or around 9 percent of the workforce. Sample their spin after the jump.

Statement from John Hogan:


Today has been a difficult day companywide as we addressed the economic realities affecting our country and many other companies. While separating from colleagues is personally difficult, the changes we have made were carefully considered and are necessary and prudent business decisions.

We are choosing to change as the environment around us changes and will begin work today on re-engineering our operations to successfully compete today, tomorrow, and in the future. The challenges will be many -- we continue to see softness in the advertising market; we continue to compete with all forms of media for both audience and advertising dollars; and we continue to have to do both in a way that's smarter, faster and more effective.

But, there are three very important things that we have going for us. Clear Channel Radio has the resources, the will, and the plan to compete going forward. Our deep bench of talent and intellectual capital will drive Clear Channel Radio through this downturn and ensure our ability to emerge from it faster, stronger and better than ever.

In recessions, there is a flight to quality by advertisers, and Clear Channel Radio offers the highest quality by any measure.

Radio continues to have the largest, most desirable audience of any media. Better than broadcast television. Better than cable. Better than newspapers. Clear Channel Radio operates more top-ranked stations and digital sites in our local markets than any other broadcaster. We have the top syndicated talent on the air and online in our Premiere Radio Networks company.

Clear Channel Radio also continues to have the most desirable digital properties in the country. From our streaming broadcasts to our on-demand content to our mobile applications like iheartradio, our brands are gaining audience daily in the most coveted demographics and platforms.

Clear Channel Radio, in partnership with our Premiere Radio Networks and Katz Media Group colleagues, is part of the world's largest and most effective radio advertising network by any measure.

Recessions also favor the forms of marketing and advertising that give the highest return on investment. We clearly have the opportunity to take market share away from broadcast television, cable and newspapers in this economy.

As we move forward, please know that you have the support and commitment of everyone on the Clear Channel Radio management team. We have the best resources of any radio company -- and we have the will to win. Please join me for an important all-staff webinar on Wednesday morning for which your Market Manager will provide details.

Thank you for your efforts and support.

John Hogan Pres. & CEO

Statement from Mark Mays:


As I've mentioned previously, we are facing an unprecedented time of distress in the general economy -- and the ripple effects have hit some of our largest customers hard.

Today, we had the unpleasant task of bringing our Outdoor and Radio businesses' staffing in line with these challenging economic conditions. In doing so, we enter 2009 as a solid company and in the most competitive position possible.

We have thought carefully and at some length about the steps we need to take as a company to succeed during this unprecedented downturn. As a result, we have eliminated approximately 1,850 positions across Corporate, Outdoor and Radio. While a significant portion of these positions represent a realignment in our sales departments, the positions span all departments and represent approximately 9% of the total Clear Channel Communications workforce.

One of the things that has kept Clear Channel strong throughout our history is a willingness to deal with difficult situations in an immediate way -- to make the tough decisions today in order to secure a strong future. It is this trait that has gone furthest in enabling us to weather many difficult downturns in our 37-year history. It always requires clarity, collaboration and courage.

Please know that these have been difficult decisions -- yet necessary ones. We will miss those who are departing -- even as we renew our shared commitment to success among all of us who will stay.

Everyone in our investor group, on the Board, and in the executive leadership team remains bullish about the long-term growth prospects for Clear Channel. We continue to believe that the Outdoor and Radio businesses offer excellent opportunities.

We need to remain highly entrepreneurial and innovative. We also need to remain focused and compassionate. If we continue to manage our business carefully, and invest with discipline in the right strategic opportunities, we will navigate this downturn effectively and emerge even stronger and better positioned when things improve.

Starting now, it is our ability to bring creative thinking to the current business climate -- to focus on the benefits we deliver for customers -- to show extreme focus and commitment -- that will create results.

Clear Channel Communications has more resources than any of our peers. The tools are here. The support is here. It's time to use them to create lasting competitive advantage for our customers -- and for our company.

Please know that we continue to be extraordinarily appreciative of all of the passion and hard work that each of you continues to commit to this phenomenal business. We will get through this together.

We're in this together. We have the best team. And we all have important work to do.

As we head into the New Year, I know we will meet the oncoming challenges with focus, determination and grace.

Please let me or your management team know if you have any questions.

With Regards,

Mark Mays

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