February can’t get here soon enough for the OKC radio community.
On January 17th – just a few days after iHeart radio laid off a bunch of on-air talent in the OKC market – Cumulus Media made some staff cuts, parting ways with WILD 104.9 morning show hosts Mike Ipong and Maggie Flores, and other behind the scenes folks.
In addition to that, Jake “Opa” Trotter
and former TLO alumnus Royce Young* were notified they would no longer be compensated for their call-in radio segments on The Sports Animal, which is probably why you no longer hear them calling into The Sports Animal.
This news was followed by locally owned radio conglomerate Tyler Media conducting a round of layoffs at their OKC radio properties yesterday.
According to The Ogle Mole Network, 107.7 The Franchise parted ways with morning show co-host Andrew Gilman, afternoon drive co-host Colby Daniels, and a former Thunder player with an extensive OSCN file – Desmond Mason.
Tyler also laid off its entire air staff at its AM news channel 1520 KOKC. Yeah, that’s right. Oklahoma City had a local talk radio station. Here’s Jack Elliot’s Facebook post about it:
That sucks, especially for Mac Mullings. As I’ve mentioned in the past, we were pals back in high school at Putnam City West. Ironically enough, we were practicing a corporate layoff skit in this 1996 yearbook photograph:
I wish I still had that Blazers jersey. I think it was signed by Alan Perry and Smokin’ Joe Burton. I could probably sell it for $50 now at some hipster vintage clothing store.
For the most part, I try to keep a safe distance from the media folks I have to cover that are not attractive news women, but I’ve also gotten to know Andrew Gilman and Colby Daniels a little bit over the past few years. They’re both nice guys, and I wish them – and everyone affected by these layoffs – good fortune landing on their feet.
Sadly, I don’t think this will be the end of local radio layoffs. Radio is currently fighting the same demon that the newspaper industry battled a decade ago – a dark cloud of cheap, easy to access, easier to produce, virtually infinite content that’s conveniently located in your pocket and bought and sold by the world’s largest and evilest corporations. That fight didn’t end well for newspapers, and I worry radio is suffering the same fate.
Anyway, while we wait for my next article about media layoffs, I’d like to once again offer my condolences to everyone affected by these latest rifs. We wish you the best of luck finding a new job. LYLAS.
Editor’s Note: I was notified today by a very very well-placed source that Royce, after being let go, has since been brought back to The Sports Animal.