BY JEFF GOODMAN, Californian staff writer firstname.lastname@example.org
Clear Channel Radio confirmed Tuesday that a round of layoffs has affected employees in Bakersfield.
The cuts come as the media giant continues slashing costs by replacing local shows with nationally syndicated programming.
The company, which released the following statement through a spokeswoman, would not comment on the details of the layoffs: "Clear Channel Radio, as always, is focused on meeting the needs of our audiences and communities.
"We have made some structural changes to extend our best practices across our organization and achieve a higher-quality, more consistent news product for our listeners."
Miranda Whitworth, who was employed locally by Clear Channel for six years, said Tuesday she was laid off last week and that the decision was not made locally.
"No one is happy over there to see the talent pool shrinking," she said. "You get used to hearing people on the radio, and you get to know them. When they're gone, there's a void."
Whitworth joined the company as a programming assistant and eventually became its director of information services in Bakersfield.
Her Facebook page shows that she has since been hired as an associate producer at the local CBS-affiliated television station, KBAK Channel 29.
"You've never worked in radio until you've been fired," Whitworth said. "Being a radio DJ is the best job you can have -- it's so much fun, it's so cool. But there's always a trade-off, and the trade-off is that it can end at any moment."
Jim Bell, the company's general manager in Bakersfield, did not return multiple calls for comment Tuesday.
An on-air personality for KRAB 106.1 FM known as Bruce Wayne was laid off Dec. 8 after a six-year stint. His "Dark Knight Show" was recently replaced with the nationally syndicated "Sixx Sense with Nikki Sixx." Wayne said he could not comment further on the situation.
"Local DJs will be missed," Whitworth said. "But will the new hosts be able to touch the lives of their listeners? You've got to give it time."
Many other staffers have been affected by Clear Channel cuts in the last two years. The San Antonio, Texas-based company laid off nearly 2,000 employees in January 2009 and another 590 about three months later. Clear Channel has more than 800 radio stations and reaches more than 97 million listeners in 45 countries each week, according to its website.
The company operates five local stations, according to the site: KRAB, active rock; KDFO 98.5 FM, "The Fox" classic rock; KHTY 970 AM, sports talk; and two Spanish-language KBFP channels, 800 AM and 105.3 FM.