iHeartRadio大流行期間資遣顯示,挑戰不僅僅在於失去廣告

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  • iHeartRadio大流行期間資遣顯示,挑戰不僅僅在於失去廣告

      202103/1611:22

    ◎全球最大的廣播公司iHeartMedia自從今年一月份大流行以來,已經進行了三輪裁員。最近一次是在十一月,當時它在底特律和費城等主要市場上裁掉至少120名節目總監,音樂總監和製作總監。資遣是該公司承諾通過削減成本和現代化計劃(包括自動廣告銷售)節省2.5億美元的一部分。
    ◎大流行病嚴重打擊了所有廣告業務,iHeart的850個電視台的廣播收入在2020年第三季與去年同期相比下降了29%。媒體經紀人(George Reed)表示,由於其他原因,廣播電台也在萎縮,而且iHeart似乎正在利用廣告業務下滑作為掩護,以語音和聯播取替昂貴的廣播工作人員。
    ◎隨著廣告商增加線上支出,廣播遭受了損失。廣播分析師(Borrell Associates)的最新研究顯示,2020年,有20%的廣告商提高了社群媒體預算,其中五分之一削減了廣播預算。
    ◎最新一波無線電人才失業中,例如(Temple Hancock)(11月失去WNRQ Nashville的晨間節目製作人和Rock Temple播客的主持),現在將在萎縮的市場中尋找工作。(Hancock)擁有32年的業界經驗,她可能會尋求兼職製作語音(一個DJ可以向多個電台提供內容),而這種工作很少會帶來好處。她說:“我有兩個十幾歲的孩子,他們沒有聽廣播電台,這似乎是行業的發展方向。“大流行使事情更快地發生了。”

    詳細全文:

    Steve Latart was shopping at Home Depot when his radio-station manager called with bad news: Latart had lost his job of 15 years in iHeartMedia's latest layoffs. "The pandemic messes up the bottom line for everybody," says the former executive producer for Minneapolis top 40 station KDWB's morning show. "But on top of that, they're figuring out what they're trying to do next."
    Since January, the world's biggest broadcaster has had three rounds of job cuts — most recently in November, when it let go at least 120 program directors, music directors and production directors in major markets like Detroit and Philadelphia. The layoffs are part of a company pledge to save $250 million through cost-cutting and "modernization initiatives," including automated ad sales.
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    The pandemic has hit every advertising business hard, and iHeart's broadcast revenue from its 850 stations was down 29% in the third quarter of 2020, compared with the same time last year. But radio is also shrinking for other reasons, and iHeart seems to be using its advertising decline to "basically provide cover" to replace its expensive broadcast staffers with voice-tracking and syndicated content, says George Reed, a media broker who also owns 11 small stations in Virginia.
    "They're able to sell nationally and don't seem to be at all focused on trying to grow their local business," Reed says. "The independent broadcasters, Townsquare, Beasley and others, have a real opportunity: iHeart has fewer sellers on the street and it hurts on the local sales."
    As advertisers increase online spending, radio has suffered. A recent study by radio analysts Borrell Associates says 20% of advertisers boosted their social media budgets and one-fifth of those cut their radio budgets during 2020. Last year, three stations per week "went dark," says Gordon Borrell, the company's CEO, and this year that number has roughly doubled: "It's easy to call [iHeart] a heartless bastard because they're cutting, but that's what it takes to stay afloat." (IHeart is saddled with roughly $6 billion in debt left over after its 2019 Chapter 11 restructuring.)
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    The company appears to be shifting from more expensive, live and local programming to syndicated shows and content from its central office, as laid-off employees predicted in January. One recently laid-off employee, who requested anonymity, said his station developed a more efficient method to spread out the production of advertising spots among a number of producers -- allowing the station to cut "a good number of us" who were focusing more deeply on individual ads.
    The changes to iHeart's business will ensure that "our best people can serve more communities with great locally focused programming," a company representative said in a statement. "Listeners care about what our personalities are saying, not where they're sitting."
    Newly jobless radio talent, like Temple Hancock — who in November lost her job as WNRQ Nashville's morning show producer and host of the Temple of Rock podcast — will now face a job search in a shrinking market. A 32-year industry veteran, Hancock says she might seek part-time work as a voice-tracker — a DJ who provides content to multiple stations — which rarely offers benefits. "I have two teenagers, and they are not listening to broadcast radio — that seems to be the way the industry is going," she says. "The pandemic just made things happen quicker."

     

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