CC Orders Q1 Company-Wide Hiring Freeze

From Media Week:
Katy Bachman

JANUARY 28, 2008 –

As the company prepares to go private, Clear Channel Friday ordered company-wide budget cuts and a hiring freeze for first quarter, possibly longer. In a memo to all managers, John Hogan, president and CEO of Clear Channel Radio called for immediate expense reductions in research, advertising and promotion, new sales hire guarantees, new hires, even discretionary travel and entertainment.

The freeze follows expense and staff reductions made in fourth quarter. Apparently, those adjustments weren’t enough to offset the continued weakness in the radio market. Preliminary figures from the Radio Advertising Bureau showed radio down 6 percent in December, with a four percent drop in local and 12 percent drop in national. Many Wall Street analysts are predicting that radio groups will not hit fourth quarter earnings estimates.

“No one anticipated how challenging Q1 would be for us and while the plans we put in place last Fall made sense then, clearly we are operating in a different environment,” Hogan said in a Jan. 25 internal memo.

How much will these cuts effect daily business of individual stations?


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