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WTOP Announces Newsroom Contract Buyouts

The contract buyouts are a Voluntary Separation Program for all full-time non-managerial staff

Eduardo Razo

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A photo of the WTOP logo

WTOP announced to staff on Tuesday that the company is offering contract buyouts to staffers who work in the newsroom for the station, website, or website development.

The contract buyouts are a Voluntary Separation Program for all full-time non-managerial staff and are not for the remainder of the station’s departments. Furthermore, they are for staffers 55 years or older and whose tenure with WTOP would add up to 65.

“During the pandemic, in DC and across the country in all Hubbard markets, there was downsizing. WTOP programming did not downsize. We hoped that the economy, radio listening in DC, radio listening at WTOP and our revenue would all come back close to 2019 levels. In 2021 we made some progress, but in 2022 both listening and revenue have gone backwards from 2021 levels, let alone where they were compared to 2019,” Senior Vice President and General Manager Joel Oxley said in a statement (h/t Radio Insight)

“In the past number of months we have reduced controllable costs wherever we were able to in marketing, outside vendors and not replacing personnel. We felt we needed to take this additional step of offering the Program to continue to try to be more in line with the current economic landscape, while giving eligible employees the opportunity to choose whether to accept the separation packages being offered in connection with the Program. Any eligible employee who elects to participate in the Program will receive the specific separation package offered to that employee, subject to the conditions identified in the Program.”

Along with announcing the buyouts, WTOP will also see Director of Content Integration and Operations, Craig Schwalb, leaving the radio station. Schwalb had been with the station since 2020. He had previously programmed WABC in New York, WPRO in Providence, WRBZ in Raleigh and had also worked for CBS Radio and SiriusXM.

WTOP has been one of radio’s top billing stations for years, so the news is likely to leave some in the news/talk radio industry concerned. Station Market Manager Joel Oxley just won the Marconi award for Legendary Radio Manager of the Year at last week’s NAB Show.

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Sid Rosenberg: Maria Bartiromo the Only Sunday Morning Host Worth Watching

“George Stephanopoulos is an absolute disgrace. Kristen Welker? A disgrace. I watched Margaret Brennan take apart Netanyahu yesterday. What a disgrace.”

Barrett News Media

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A photo of Sid Rosenberg
(Photo: 77 WABC)

Many conservative radio hosts have decried the perceived downfall of the Sunday political affairs programs on ABC, CBS, and NBC. Sid Rosenberg has joined that camp, noting that the program hosted by Maria Bartiromo on Fox News is the only show worth watching.

Before welcoming the Fox News host to his show on 77 WABC, Sid Rosenberg mentioned that his weekend routine usually includes sampling of Face the Nation, This Week with George Stephanopoulos, and Meet the Press, but he has recently found admiration for Bartiromo’s program.

“I have my coffee and then I go to the news shows. I have to tell you — I’ve been meaning to say this for a long time. George Stephanopoulos is an absolute disgrace. Kristen Welker? A disgrace. I watched Margaret Brennan take apart (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu yesterday. What a disgrace,” Rosenberg said.

“The only show that’s worth watching on a Sunday morning — because she is far and away the best, it’s not even close — it’s Sunday Futures with Maria Bartiromo. What a spectacular show.”

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Dana Loesch: New FCC Rules On Broadcast Employee Data ‘The Fairness Doctrine Plus DEI’

“Just when you thought it couldn’t get more annoying, ta-da, it did.”

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A photo of Dana Loesch
(Photo: Dana Loesch)

In a recent 3-2 vote, the FCC voted to reinstate a requirement that broadcasters collect data about the race, ethnicity, and gender of their employees. That decision was not a popular one with syndicated host Dana Loesch.

The FCC vote was split along party lines, with the commission ultimately calling the collection of data “critical” to “understand the broadcast industry workforce.”

On Friday, Dana Loesch argued that the commission was motivated to reinstitute the requirements as a way to limit speech among broadcasters.

“Of course it’s always been that, on the pretext of we’re going to make sure that there’s like fairness with all demos,” Loesch said. “That’s just so dumb. And everybody listens differently. And different groups of people and you can even just say old and young even listen differently.

“I’m telling you what this is like Fairness Doctrine plus DEI. Just when you thought it couldn’t get more annoying, ta-da, it did. It got more annoying. It’s gonna get bad. I think it’s gonna get bad and I think depending on what happens in November, it’s gonna get a lot worse.”

Loesch then said it has long been the FCC’s goal to silence and limit the reach of conservative opinions in media.

“They’ve been trying for so long to contain the success of — I don’t want to say just Republican because there are a lot of conservatives that cringe over Republican, and I’m kind of one of them — right-leaning individuals. There’s been this huge effort over the past several decades to curtail their voices online, because in the early days of radio, when radio commentary really took off, those were the people who dominated,” said Loesch.

“The left could not get off the ground. And I do suspect that one of the reasons why they could never get it off the ground is because they were so over-represented elsewhere. If people wanted to go and hear this commentary, they could turn on any network channel. They could read any newspaper, they could go see or read about anybody in Hollywood, so their leftist thought is so oversaturated it’s everywhere. But it’s not like that for people who are more conservative constitutionally minded, those expressions of thought, actually, you have to work a little bit more to get them in full.”

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Megyn Kelly: Keith Olbermann ‘A Sick Person’ For Continually Calling Out Katy Tur

“He continues to raise this story and other stories that he thinks will reflect badly on Katy Tur, who broke his heart or something. Because he is a bitter, bitter man…”

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A photo of Megyn Kelly
(Photo: SiriusXM)

Former cable news host Keith Olbermann used to be romantically involved with MSNBC host Katy Tur. It’s a topic that comes up on his podcast from time to time, but that doesn’t mean Megyn Kelly is happy to hear about it.

On her SiriusXM show Friday, Kelly lambasted Olbermann for how often he brings up his former relationship with Tur.

During his Countdown podcast last week, Olbermann mentioned that in 2016, Tur asked him for help in writing about book about Donald Trump. The former cable news host then shared that he had previously re-written dozens of stories for Tur on NBCNews.com, which he called a “fireable offense”, but because no one would ever look into who actually authored the articles, they were in the clear.

However, he believed that writing a book under Tur’s name would be too noticeable, so he denied the offer.

The revelation, which isnt’ the first time Olbermann has shared the anecdote, didn’t sit well with Kelly.

“He’s such a bastard. Such a bastard,” Kelly reiterated after playing the clip of Olbermann’s story. “This isn’t the first time he’s done this to her. He continues to raise this story and other stories that he thinks will reflect badly on Katy Tur, who broke his heart or something. Because he is a bitter, bitter man, who continues to do this to his ex. Who was his live-in love, for, I think, a period of years. He’s a sick person.”

Kelly concluded her discussion about the former cable news host by saying “The moral of the story is: Do not date Keith Olbermann. For the love of God!”

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