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Anger follows Cumulus closure of KGO’s South Bay wing

Cumulus media has closed the South Bay bureau for KGO news-talk radio. Just like that, according to the San Jose Mercury News blog Internal Affairs:

“Here at IA, we’re told it was done in a particularly sudden and ugly way: Two officials with Cumulus Media, which bought the station four years ago, showed up last Friday at the station’s offices on Julian Street and told veteran reporters Jennifer Hodges and Jeanne Lynch to pack their belongings and turn in their keys. They were being laid off with severance checks and cash to travel home.”

This cuts local radio coverage to San Jose, California down to two other stations, KCBS and KQED. Cumulus bought KGO in 2011 and caused a veritable listener riot by dumping a host of popular talk show hosts, then dumping some more. Internal Affairs has a quote from San Jose’s mayor Sam Liccardo on the latest retrenchment: “it wouldn’t serve the station well to abandon the region’s biggest city and hope that folks could simply phone it in.”

We just got a press release from SAG-AFTRA, which represents broadcast workers, on the closure. Here’s the release quote from Len Egert, Executive Director of the San Francisco local: “Once again, Cumulus Media has demonstrated its lack of support for local Bay Area communities. We believe that there is a connection between good local jobs and good local media, and our communities would be better served if Cumulus invested more in its local employees.'” The union is running a petition drive asking Cumulus to pay its San Francisco Bay Area employees better wages and not resort to subcontractors for news.

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