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Posts Tagged ‘Phil Rosenthal’

Cumulus Purchases Citadel; Possible Layoffs

Cumulus Media has agreed to purchase Citadel Broadcasting, parent company of more than 200 radio stations across the country, for $2.5 billion in cash and stock, reports Phil Rosenthal at Tower Ticker.

Cumulus has already said it expects to find $50 million in “efficiencies” after the deal, which raises the question of how many of Citadel’s 4,000 employees will still be with the company after the dust settles.

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Sun-Times Kills 11 Weeklies, Freelancers, But Not Staffers, Are Cut?

The Sun-Times Media group is discontinuing eleven free weeklies distributed in Chicago suburbs, reports Phil Rosenthal.

The titles had a combined circulation of a quarter million, but they weren’t pulling their weight financially: “It’s the byproduct of our evaluating the market coverage,and the positioning and profitability of those products,” Sun Times media CEO Jeremy Halbreich said yesterday.

He also said that since the papers relied on staff from elsewhere in the company as well as freelancers, this move should not “contribute significantly” to layoffs. (However, elsewhere in the Sun-Times group, staff layoffs have reached the triple digits.)

Sun-Times Employees Between A Rock And A Hard Place

The Chicago Sun-Times could be saved from liquidation if it was sold to a new, non-bankrupt owner. (The Sun-Times Media Group filed for bankruptcy March 31 of this year.)

But the company has said a new union contract that “basically guts” the current contract is a prerequisite to any sale.

The proposed three-year contract:

  • Cuts max severance pay from 50 weeks to four
  • Locks in what was a temporary 15 percent pay cut
  • Freezes the company’s pension plan
  • Erases banked vacation and paid time off accrued before October 2008
  • Eliminates seniority rules and would allow the new owners to “reassign work at will”

According to
Phil Rosenthal at the Chicago Tribune, union leaders are concerned that they would first give up their severance and then be laid off to cut costs further.

An investment group may buy the company for more than $25 million, but only if these concessions are reached in the next three weeks.

Layoffs At WGN Chicago

At least five employees—four from the newsroom—have been cut at WGN 9, Chicago’s CW affiliate. One was Jane Boal, a general assignment and feature reporter perhaps best known for being hit by a car in 1999 while reporting live for the channel, reports Phil Rosenthal at the Chicago Tribune.

The station said it was responding to the economic climate and media revenue picture.

The Tribune Company, which owns both the Chicago Tribune as well as WGN, is still going ahead with its $13 million bonus payments to over 700 employees.