Corporate Killed the Radio Star

Clear Channel laid off 1,800 people this week, including many of its San Diego staffers. Among those who were silenced on local airwaves was KGB's afternoon DJ, Ditch, who sought a way to say goodbye to his listeners. His statement is below -- Ed.

 To those who listened and those who did not:

After four solid years on the air every afternoon at KGB, I was called Tuesday morning at 10:30 and told , “Ditch, it’s layoff day and you're on the list.”

I was to meet HR in the lower lobby of the station at 12:30. It took about 30 minutes to really penetrate what was happening. I had been getting details of mortar shells dropping all around me on the staff at Xtra Sports and many of my friends in the promotions department as well but truly believed I would dodge these shells. I did not.

When I arrived I was told, “We’ll escort you to the studio to gather your stuff and then out of the building” (which was in full lockdown all day). That was reminiscent of the day I was kicked out of junior high school by a security officer for fighting. Although this time, I had done nothing wrong.

“Lay off day” for anyone is a horrible experience and especially when its for no other reason than money or lack of. What’s worse is NOT ever being told why you are actually being let go.

“It’s layoff day and you're on the list” is a bit assumptive and the term “we’re moving in a different direction” is a phrase that every radio veteran has heard a time or two in his/her career. So a couple of days have passed, and the nagging question stills occupies most of my head: “Why?”

Often we loose gigs because new management comes in and wants to “take the show in a different direction” to make the sound of the show fit their personal management abilities. Radio is also a business with many people who are in job-preservation mode and are constantly looking for ways to make changes for the sake of looking like they are doing something.

Many of my colleagues have been through similar experiences in the last 60 days in this town, and I wish them all the very best. I was very fortunate to have been part of a legendary station with an air staff that is one of the most respected in this area and beyond. Thank you to the DSC for their kind words and support and all of you who have called KGB on my behalf these last days. No matter who owns and operates KGB -- and there have been many over the decades -- it’s because of you, the listener, who makes it a one-of-a-kind homegrown station.


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