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More Details on Metro Traffic Layoffs; Bennett and Blanchard Out

Updating a story we reported Wednesday, more names have been added to list of Metro Traffic staffers laid off by Clear Channel this week.

Fred Bennett, a longtime Metro Traffic executive, confirms to FishbowlNY that he has been let go. Veteran traffic reporter Lori Blanchard, FishbowlNY has learned, has also been laid off.

Bennett, spent a combined 17 years with Metro Traffic in two different stints. Bennett, who rejoined Metro in 2006, had been the president and general manager of Metro Television since last year.

Blanchard was a Metro mainstay for 15 years. As her alter ego Carla Quinn, she was the evening traffic reporter on WNYW/Channel 5 newscasts at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. since 2002.

Bennett and Blanchard join Brian Duhaime, Kathy Hogan, and Mike Weinstein as layoff victims at the Rutherford, New Jersey offices.

In April, Clear Channel acquired the Metro Traffic division from Westwood One.

At the time, Wendy Goldberg, Clear Channel EVP of marketing and communications told FishbowlNY that “it’s business as usual.” Goldberg added, though,”in the next few months, we will be assessing how the teams and product work together.”

Clear Channel owns Total Traffic Network.

However earlier this week, Goldberg said, “As part of the integration, we will be eliminating overlapping positions and not filling some vacancies in order to better position our company for growth and so that our employees will have clear lines of responsibility without confusion.” 

And that integration is underway. 

“When [someone] calls now, we are supposed to answer ‘Total Traffic,’” A person with knowledge of the situation tells FishbowlNY. “No more Metro, no more Shadow. [It] makes me sad.”

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