A severe drop in advertising has caused Hubbard Radio to make cuts at its stations across the country, including right here at home.
The St. Paul-based company laid off six people at SKOR North, formerly known as 1500 ESPN, including longtime Twins reporter Derek Wetmore and Vikings reporter Matthew Coller.
The cuts also extended to myTalk 107.1 FM and KS95. Among the casualties: “The Lori and Julia Show” producer Don Michaels (“Donny Love”) and “The Donna and Steve Show” producer Ryan Perpich.
Lori Barghani and Julia Cobbs shared the news about losing Michaels with their fans on Twitter. “Our hearts are broken into a million pieces 2day,” they posted. “We miss u already.”
The myTalk107.1 web page paid tribute to Perpich in a Friday posting.
“In the short few years he’s been here he has become a beloved part of the ‘Donna & Steve Show’ and the ‘little brother’ the myTalk staff didn’t know we needed,” it read. “Ryan is funny and talented and we will miss his big, booming voice in the hallways and on the air at myTalk.”
Dan Seeman, vice president and market manager for Hubbard Radio in the Twin Cities, wouldn’t share how many employees were affected locally, but did confirm that his company had made cuts.
“It’s all COVID- and economy-related. It’s tough out there right now,” he said. “So much of our business is driven by retail and concerts and festivals and events. It’s hard to convince advertisers to spend money when they’re not open.”
Others who were let go at SKOR North were radio co-host Ramie Makhlouf, social media brand manager Seth Auger, promotions manager Ross Brendel and digital contributor Jonathan Harrison.
The layoffs extended to Hubbard’s other stations.
According to robertfeder.com, a total of 12 staffers were let go from the three stations in the Hubbard Radio Chicago family, including several on-air personalities. Allaccess.com has reported cuts at company stations in St. Louis and Washington, D.C.
Hubbard has a presence in eight major markets.
“It looks like this is going to be a slow recovery,” Seeman said. “We needed to adjust our business accordingly.”
The Star Tribune Sports Department contributed to this report.