Clear Channel Overhauls Katz Media Group

Lays Off 122 as Restructures Sales Staff

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NEW YORK ( -- Clear Channel is laying off 122 employees as part of an overhaul of the staff for Katz Media Group, a subsidiary radio rep firm. Katz will lose 8.5% of its employees, primarily in ad sales, coinciding with a restructuring of Clear Channel's sales executives.

Under the new reorganization, Bob McCurdy, former president of Clear Channel radio sales, is being elevated to president of Katz Marketing Solutions. Jeff Howard, Mr. McCurdy's co-president, will act as sole president of Clear Channel radio sales. Other lead sales executives under the new structure include Mark Gray, president of Katz Radio Group; Bonnie Press, president of Katz Advantage; and Jim Beloyianis, president of Katz Television Group. All will report to Stu Olds, CEO of Katz Media Group.

In an interview with Ad Age this week, Mr. Olds said Katz Media Group now represents about 90% of all radio ad inventory, following the demise of competing radio rep firm Interep in late 2008. Katz represents more than 3,000 radio stations and 400 TV stations. In order for the group to continue to grow revenue for the entire radio industry, which was recently projected by Wachovia to decline as much as 13% in 2009, a consolidated approach was necessary.

"The best way to grow our business or CBS or Entercom or anyone else we're in business with is the recognition by all broadcast groups that a rising tide will lift all rather than trying to do it one boat at a time," Mr. Olds said. "We have the ability to bring to agencies, who are going through cuts themselves and reductions in staff, to bring them to an entirely new universe of customized solutions and individual affidavits through Katz Advantage. We have marketing developmental on one side and execution and efficiency on the other side."

Clear Channel's marketing solutions group, headed by Greg Glenday, has been working hard in recent months to create integrated campaigns for the likes of Wal-Mart and Verizon Wireless.

"Quite simply, innovation wins," Mr. McCurdy said. "There's a strong push for new ideas that demonstrate radio's genuine value as an advertising and branding platform, and we're uniquely positioned to help guide marketers through the rapidly expanding opportunities now to open to them."

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