iHeart Media will be extending employee furloughs another 90 days due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on ad revenues. Chief Personnel Officer Lorna Hagen told AllAccess.com that the negative impact on revenue has lasted “far longer than anticipated,” and the company “will not return to full office staffing levels for some time.” Furloughs at the corporation began Apr. 4 but employees continue to receive medical, dental, and vision benefits, and are eligible in most cases for unemployment, although the level of compensation may vary by state.
Meanwhile at the Beasley Media Group, additional rollbacks will be implemented this week. Radio Insight obtained a memo sent to employees by Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley, who announced that the company will extend and make additional financial cutbacks including reducing performance based bonus distributions for bonuses earned in Q3 and Q4, extending the 10% wage cut for salaried full-time employees and extending the 10% reduction in hours for full-time hourly employees through the end of 2020. The company will also be extending all employees currently on furlough through the end of the year, although that may change as some may return sooner based on the needs of each individual market. Caroline Beasley will also continue her own 20% cut in compensation through the end of the year.
A record number of AM & FM stations have left the air since the beginnings of the pandemic earlier this spring. While some have filed temporary “silent STA” status with the FCC, questions remain whether some stations will return to air at all. A number have surrendered their licenses already & given up. In our state, this includes Bustos Media’s AM stations in Auburn/Seattle & Prosser/Tri-Cities.