Cumulus Media layoffs hit traffic reporters at WLS

WLS Studio

Cumulus Media cut at least six jobs at its Chicago radio stations Friday, including four on-air traffic reporters.

Sources said the employees included traffic reporters Jen DeSalvo, Christina Filiaggi, JoAnn Genette and Marti Jones. In most cases, they doubled as sidekicks or contributing personalities to morning or afternoon drive-time shows.

Jen DeSalvo

In Chicago, Cumulus Media owns news/talk WLS AM 890 and classic hits WLS FM 94.7. It also operates classic rock WLUP FM 97.9 and alternative rock WKQX FM 101.1.

Peter Bowen, vice president and Chicago market manager of Cumulus Media, declined to comment on the layoffs.

Sources said traffic information supplied by United States Traffic Network (formerly Radiate Media) would continue to be provided by news anchors or others on the respective stations.

Christina Filiaggi

Also cut Friday, according to insiders, were Rachel Brady, sports reporter on WLS, and Jeremy Peterson, known on air as Pyke, who hosted from 7 p.m. to midnight on The Loop. Evenings on The Loop now will be voice-tracked by James VanOsdol.

The second largest radio operator in the country, Cumulus Media owns 454 stations in 90 markets.

Update: Also cut Friday was Scott Dirks, longtime production director and ubiquitous commercial voice on WLS. He was just a few weeks short of 20 years at the station.