Job cuts at Cumulus 'severe,' include WVLK director

LEXINGTON, KY -- Cumulus Broadcasting is "restructuring" its Lexington radio stations and laying off an unspecified number of employees, General Manager Hal Hofman told the Lexington Herald Leader, as reported in its Saturday edition.

He blamed the weakening economy for the layoffs, which have included Robert Lindsey, longtime operations manager and program director forWVLK-AM 590, the company's Lexington flagship, reports the Herald-Leader.

"It's a tough time," Hofman said. "You just have to make hard decisions and say, 'You know what, we are going to have to do things differently.' "

He declined to say how many Cumulus employees will be affected because they are still being notified. "We are in the middle of it," Hofman told the newspaper. .

The downsizing began as Cumulus Media, parent company of Cumulus Broadcasting, announced third-quarter earnings of $6 million, or 14 cents a share, citing "a general weak demand for advertising" in its markets, reports the newspaper.

One year earlier, the Atlanta company reported a loss of $70.5 million, or $1.63 a share.

Cumulus is the nation's second-largest radio company, with 340 stations in 66 U.S. markets, including six stations in Lexington, reports the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Lindsey will not be replaced immediately, Hofman said. "He's a tough guy to replace. We are just absorbing his duties. ... We are really going to miss him."

Lindsey, 50, said his dismissal came as a surprise. He said he has been in radio since he was 16, including 23 years with the Lexington stations that have been owned by Cumulus since 1999, the newspaper reports.

He described the Cumulus job cuts as "quite severe" and noted that similar staff reductions are occurring at stations around the country.

"So many good radio people have lost their jobs through no fault of their own. There may be more to come," Lindsay told the Lexington Heradl-Leader.

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