Responding to the economic upheaval brought on by the Coronavirus pandemic, Beasley Media Group has instituted numerous layoffs, furloughs and temporary pay cuts. The company says it has eliminated a total of 67 positions across the company and furloughed 18 full-time and several part-time employees. “Our company, like other broadcasters and our clients, is being directly impacted by the recent unanticipated economic downturn due to the Coronavirus pandemic,” the company said in a statement late Tuesday. “Like so many others in our industry, we must adjust to the new and unforeseeable circumstances we now face.”
The steps Beasley is taking to protect its financial health cut across virtually all its workforce. CEO Caroline Beasley’s salary will be reduced by 20% for the second quarter, while all salaried full-time employees will take a 10% pay cut for the same time period, the company says, while respecting existing contractual obligations. All full-time hourly employees will see their hours cut from 40 to 36 during Q2.
As earlier reported by Inside Radio, Tra Thomas, one-half of “Farzetta and Tra In the Morning” on sports “97.5 The Fanatic” WPEN Philadelphia was part of the company-wide cuts. Exiting the Tampa cluster are Rich Fields, afternoon host at classic hits WRBQ-FM (104.7) and Mark Baggio, who was recently added to nights at country sister WQYK-FM (995).
The company says it expects to bring back all furloughed employees at the end of the second quarter or sooner if circumstances permit.
“These are very difficult decisions,” the company’s statement said. “We are confident that the steps we take today will allow us to continue to serve our clients, communities and ensure our company will emerge stronger once the crisis abates.”
The cutbacks follow similar moves made by other broadcasters during the past week. On Monday Townsquare Media Group let 65 employees go and nearly 20 senior executives volunteered to take a 10% temporary pay reduction. The same day iHeartMedia announced steps to reduce costs without resorting to permanent layoffs. Last Friday, Adams Radio Group said all its employees agreed to take a 10% temporary pay cut to prevent any downsizing of the company’s staff.