Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tulsa Broadcasters Take a Financial Hit

KTUL's Cindy Morrison, a 12-year veteran at Channel 8, is a victim of the financial downturn. The Tulsa World is reporting this morning that Morrison's contract is not being renewed.

The paper cited Morrison's Twitter and Facebook posts as sources for the news. Her current contract expires June 30.

KTUL laid off 13 employees in October 2008 and a smaller number in January. KOTV Channel 6 has also cut its staff recently as advertising dried up.

The World also reports major losses at Cox Radio, owner of several Tulsa stations, including KRMG, the local home of Rush Limbaugh and other conservative talkers.

Net income for Cox dropped 69 percent for the quarter compared to last year. Cox cited "slower spending on advertising," according to the AP report.


Tulsan said...

Recently on the HuffPo: Limbaugh's Dirty Little Secret of Radio "Success""Rush's show was, and presumably still is, given away for free to many local radio stations.

"This shocker is because of a little-known practice in broadcast syndication called a "barter deal.

"Here's how a barter deal works: To launch the show, Limbaugh's syndicator, Premiere Radio Networks -- the same folks who syndicate wingnut du jour Glen Beck -- gave Limbaugh's three hours away -- that's right, no cash -- to local radio stations, mostly in medium and smaller markets, back in the early 1990's.

"So, a local talk station got Rush's show for zilch. In exchange, Premiere took for itself much of the local station's available advertising time (roughly 15 minutes an hour) and packed the show with national ads it had already pre-sold.

"Think Gold Bond Medicated Powder.

"'It's a very sweet deal for local radio station owners,' explained Bill Exline a respected radio broker (he helped people buy and sell local stations). 'Not only does the local station get three hours of free programming,' Exline explained, 'but that's one less local talk-show host on staff they need. It makes small- and medium-market radio properties more profitable and attractive by cutting down staff expenses.'"

So don't look for less Rush, look for more of his ilk for awhile. Don't look for local jobs at KRMG or KFAQ, either.

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