KBPI’s Uncle Nasty, KBCO’s Keefer fired by Clear Channel

KBPI’s Uncle Nasty (Gregg Stone) was fired by Clear Channel Thursday from KBPI 106.7 FM and Keefer and others were let go at KBCO 97.3 FM in what has become an end-of-year rite affecting the company’s stations in markets nationally. Keefer, who held the 3-8 p.m. shift at KBCO, was let go along with the morning producer and receptionist. Stone and an imaging technician were let go at KBPI.


Check for updates on the Denver Post’s blogs.

“They eliminated my position. We’re already pretty streamlined here,” Stone said. “It will all be piped in.”

In another round of year-end staff reductions, management decided to reduce staff and put more syndicated fare on the air as a cost-cutting measure. Stone echoed the expectation nationally, that Clear Channel intends to rely more on the company’s Premium Choice syndicated service, which offers more than a dozen musical formats.

After 15 years with the company, Stone said he was offered “an insulting severance package” and was in and out of the boss’ office “in 13 minutes.” Stone blamed what he called “reactionary” decisions from the top — “talk more, don’t talk, play more music…” — for the station’s ratings woes. The company has pushed the “iheartradio” app as the next big thing but, Stone said, “without terrestrial radio there’s no cash flow.”

The company’s statement:

We are constantly looking at all aspects of our business to ensure that it reflects how the best organizations work today, taking advantage of the latest cutting-edge technology and organizational structure so we can continue to operate as effectively and efficiently as possible.

Like every successful business, our strategy continues to evolve as we move forward as a company; this creates some new jobs, and unfortunately eliminates others. These are never easy decisions to make.

In the process of making these recent changes, some employees were affected. We thank them for their service and wish them all the best for the future.

On Wednesday, radio trade publications reported Moody’s analysts believe Clear Channel may have a tough time refinancing more than $10 billion in debt obligations due in 2016. Industry observers speculate that Clear Channel may have to consider a merger or a sell off of some of its assets. The company was acquired by Bain Capital in 2008.

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