Hubbard Radio cuts overnight hosts in year-end layoffs


Eleven positions were eliminated Tuesday in year-end budget cuts at Hubbard Radio Chicago, sources said, including the overnight personalities on hot adult-contemporary WTMX 101.9-FM and adult contemporary WSHE 100.3-FM.

Jeff England, vice president and market manager of Hubbard Radio Chicago, would not confirm the number of full-time and part-time jobs affected, but acknowledged the shift from live broadcasting to voice-tracking during post-midnight hours to save money.

“As technology evolves, we have to look for ways to use it to our advantage,” England said. “The difficult decision to reduce staff is an effort to remain competitive in a very challenging environment.”

Mike Roberts

Among the layoffs were 35-year veteran Mike Roberts of 101.9 The Mix, and Brian Travis of 100.3 WSHE. Through automation, overnight operations on their stations will be handled by Greg Easterling, who'll continue from midnight to 5:30 a.m. on classic rock WDRV 97.1-FM.

Hubbard Radio Chicago had been among the last local station groups to broadcast live around the clock at all of its stations.

Brian Travis

In addition to the two overnight positions, insiders said, nine other full-time and part-time jobs were cut in programming, traffic, support and other areas.

The latest Nielsen Audio survey showed 101.9 The Mix in fifth place with a 4.6 percent audience share, The Drive in seventh with a 4.1 share, and 100.3 WSHE tied for 16th with a 2.6 share.

Tuesday's comment of the day: Mark Quinn: Hiring more bureaucrats with meaningless, feel good titles is a great use of donors' money. I'll have to remember this when I get WTTW's next plea for more dough.