OKC iHeartMedia Stations rocked by layoffs…

Global radio conglomerate iHeartMedia – the corporate owner of KJ-103, 101.9 the Twister, 96.1 KXY, News Radio 1000 KTOK, and a few other local stations that you probably haven’t listened to in a long time – conducted a nationwide rif yesterday, parting ways with radio talent from all over the country.

Oklahoma City was not immune from the layoffs, with several notable local radio personalities losing their jobs. For example, the venerable Frito from KJ-103 is now looking for a new bowl of chili to call home:

That sucks. I don’t think I’ve consciously listened to KJ-103 since I won a Cactus Jack’s Party Pack after winning the Hot 8 at Eight in 1992, but it’s still sad to see nice guys like Frito go.

According to a high level Ogle Mole, 10 people in Oklahoma City were part of the layoffs. Other notable  personalities to part ways include:

• Bill Reed and Shawn Carey with KXY

• Kathi Yeager w/ Twister


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A post shared by Kathi Yeager (@kathiyeagerontheradio) on

According to another Mole, Kathi’s husband – Tom Travis, Senior Vice President of Programming – got cut, as did other behind the scenes guys like Mike Gannon, Tom Miller and Steven Rosen. The Mole added that KXY is going full automation.

Anyway, I’m going to close this post with the same anecdotal message that I always use when I cover layoffs – I lost my job in a rif in 2011. It really sucked, but it also opened the door for me to try to turn this stupid little website into a fledgling small business that, at times, feels about as secure and wise as working for a radio station. We wish all the people affected by the layoffs the best of luck.

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51 Responses

  1. It would be hilarious if KXY’s new automated system became stuck on “You’re the reason God made Oklahoma” . I miss Dan Stroud 🙁

    1. I miss Dan too!! He was a great guy. His son played in The Pride OU Marching Band with my daughter. I got to talk to him several times. There will never be another morning radio show like Dave & Dan. Those were the days!

      1. Even better when the late Patti Garrett was with them.

        1. True!!!! Sorry, I forgot about Patti. They were a great team!

    2. This is not the first 96.1 has gone automated.

    3. Like it did when it changed form rockmto country years ago

  2. How in the Hell does that goofy gun-hugger Lee Matthews retain his job at KTOK? He should’ve been shown the door when Mark Shannon passed away.

    1. Maybe he works cheap? It certainly isnt due to newscasting excellence. Sorry, Lee.

    2. Lee kept his job because real Americans listw. To him and we all love our guns. Dont be so hateful.

      1. So, if I don’t agree I’m not a “true American”?

  3. Canned personalities for canned programming.

    I do like a local element to radio for the 2 days I listen to non public radio.

    1. Non public radio=radio that actually supports itself, instead of suckling the peoples’ teet.

      1. Wrong answer. Listeners like me pay for public radio. I pay about $250 a year to the various stations I listen to. Advertisers pay for commercial radio, meaning you’re the product being sold. Moo a little louder for us, won’t you?

        1. I support public radio too (although not as generously as El Ojo does). It’s well worth the money. I listen to it literally every day.

          I haven’t heard any commercial radio worth listening to in years and years. My move away from it began in the early 1990s when my favorite station changed its format to 100% right-wing talk shows. 🤮 I deleted that button on my car radio. 🙂

          El Ojo snailed it: with commercial radio, the advertisers are the valued customers and YOU are the product they are selling.

          It’s hard to guess whether mass media layoffs like this are a sign of declining audiences and declining revenues, or if it’s simply corporate ownership trying to squeeze out the last possible drops of profit.

          1. Actually it is neither. Audiences are as strong as you living in the ‘90s and better than NPR. Actually we all pay for NOR whether we listen or not.

        2. I’ll be damned if I’ll ever pay for radio. That’s just plain STUPID!!

          1. But maybe you don’t mind paying for TV (cable)?

        3. I’ll moo while you look up the CPB.

          1. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) is an American non-profit corporation created in 1967 by an act of the United States Congress and funded by the federal government to promote and help support public broadcasting.[3] The corporation’s mission is to ensure universal access to non-commercial, high-quality content and telecommunications services. It does so by distributing more than 70 percent of its funding to more than 1,400 locally owned public radio and television stations

          2. Less than 10% of a public radio station’s budget comes from public money.

      2. non public radio=radio that suckles the corporate teet and felates its corporate genitalia.

  4. Please don’t let them adopt some recorded station id bit like KQOB: We’re Alice; we play anything. No you don’t!! I’ve never heard jazz or classical or gospel on your station.

    1. KOSU “The Spy” is pretty good at having a diverse playlist in its non-NPR hours. But if you’re into streaming, try KXT out of Dallas. When they say they play anything, they really do.


      1. Gotta love the Paul Slavens Show!

      2. I’d like to add some other streaming options in addition to KXT. At least in my little world, those include–in this order–
        * The Current (thecurrent.org, from Minnesota Public Radio–also responsible for some EXCELLENT podcasts in recent years)
        * KEXP (kexp.org, in Seattle), and
        * WFMU (wfmu.org, the venerable New York freeform station).
        And I don’t get to listen to any of them THAT much because KOSU pretty much fills my radio needs — NPR/PRI/APM programming on the dayside, cool and diverse music — including local music — at night. Works for me.

        No, really, I gave up on commercial mainstream radio about 30 years ago. I don’t miss the screaming ads for car dealers, furniture stores, and miracle erectile drugs. I also don’t miss the lack of diversity in ANY corporate-radio music format.

        1. Thanks for the suggestions! I’ve heard KEXP before. Didn’t know about the other two.

        2. Your last paragraph is exactly why I DO pay for radio (Sirius XM). My choice of stations/music genres/etc, with no commercials.

          As much as I’m in the car, it’s well worth the $12/month.

      3. Or the IHeart app where you can listen to just about any station in the country.

  5. Wow. Finally made “The Lost Ogle”, but not for the reason’s I wanted to (but then again, maybe I’m lucky that I never had you guys making fun of me for some form of jackassery I displayed on the radio??)

    Thank you for the kind words. Life is different, but it’s not over. Keep doing what you’re doing, TLO!

    1. Amen. It’s just the end of one of many chapters we are lucky enough to have.

    2. If you get hired by another radio station, that’s awesome. But I have a friend from back in Missouri who has bounced from station to station, and now does weekends at some little nightlight station out of nowhere, just so he can still be “on the radio” – don’t be that guy. It’s kind of pathetic.

      There’s plenty of money to be made in the corporate world. I use my (former) radio voice to sell things now. It isn’t media, but it’s money.

      Best of luck in finding your future path.

  6. Look, times are changing, its not fun for those who were negatively effected by the layoffs, but consider this…. You all are reading a post made on the internet, what about the fact that this post is the reason the daily Oklahoman is what it is… The fact that everyone can share their feelings about this in a public forum like this is an advancement in technology the fact that most of us get the news on our phones in real time makes it to where we don’t need to pay for a paper to show up at our door. How many paper delivery drivers lost their jobs, how many writers lost their jobs, As technology continues to advance we all benefit from it in some way but some of us at some point are negatively effected, its just the way of life.

    1. The old business model of newspapers doesn’t work anymore. We already know what happened yesterday, and don’t need to wait for the newspaper to arrive to find out about it.

      The only value left in a local NEWS paper in a medium or small-sized town is investigative state or local journalism. Sadly, that’s what the newspapers cut back on first when attempting to save themselves. That’s part of a death spiral.

      1. All local news ultimately comes from one of a couple places. It either comes from a newspaper somewhere, or it comes from a local broadcast station. Broadcast is good for “police news” and sometimes for feel-good stories, but pretty much everything else either comes from a wire service or a newspaper (or a wire service that originally got it from a newspaper)

        The news that comes from that outmoded, old fashioned business model is usually the only thing that stands between us and having to rely on whatever the powers that be tell us.

        1. “Broadcast is good for “police news” and sometimes for feel-good stories”… or as I call it.. More stories about crimes and puppies.

          1. Yup.

  7. I blame Steve Jobs and Apple and all those file sharing sites for killing radio and turning music into a business instead of an art form.

    1. And I blame Henry Ford for killing the buggy-building industry.

    2. It started with their relaxing the cross-ownership rules until now one or two companies can own nearly every station in the market. There are no more public service requirements. No more equal time rule. No more fairness doctrine. Not even a requirement for stations to be manned and monitored anymore.

  8. Nothing will be left but a Chief Engineer covering several automated stations. The duopoly laws were the worst thing to ever happen to broadcast TV and radio stations.

    1. Exactly!

  9. Radio is following right along in the footsteps of the newspaper. Like an earlier comment said, the listeners ears are being sold to advertisers. That’s why newspapers are failing, because advertisers no longer pay for something that has such a low ROI. Kids these days not only get most of their news and information online, but that’s the only place they get their music.

  10. I haven’t listened to terrestrial radio in years. I became so sick of the auto dealer commercials every 3 minutes, I couldn’t take it anymore.



      I sat next to a woman who listened to the radio constantly. It was torture listening to the car ads. It’s getting that bad on local tv.

  11. This is just the first sign of Mike Hostys foretelling “In the future all music will be made by… robots.”

    1. Autotune was the beginning of the end.

  12. Sorry when anyone loses a job but I have no idea who any of these people are. Maybe that’s their problem. Too many consultants and too much autotune ruined music radio.

    Danny Williams is dead and I don’t feel too good myself.

  13. Many fine communications folks lost their jobs due to this business decision. Gwin Lippert among them. Serious, informed, balanced and hard working besides being a fine human being. I know it’s just business but I thought the economy is just booming, jobs galore, profits awash, so what gives? Yep radio may be going the way of newspapers so soon we’ll just have blogs and bullshit to inform us about the most important issues in the world. And of course we’ll all separate even more into our camps and listen to or read what we agree with and nothing else.

  14. Faulkner is the missing middle name. My fault.

  15. “Video killed the radio star!”
    Okay so man be not video, cooperate radio….. There’s nothing personal about radio these days. Whatever happened to calling a request line asking for a song hearing your request over the waves and getting the song on the air.
    Someone please make it personal again!
    With that said all of those layed off have great talent, talent that will travel to other stations with better opportunities- Good luck to all of you….

  16. Even worse it should be spelled Falconer.

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