HUNTINGTON — As iHeartMedia announced a new organizational structure last week, the news also came with layoffs at several of its radio stations across the country, including three local on-air personalities in Huntington.
Over 1,000 jobs have been eliminated and they included Mark “Woody” Wood and Jon Brannon. The two were part of B97’s morning team “The Woody Show” prior to being laid off Tuesday morning.
iHeartMedia said in a statement, “During a transition like this, it’s reasonable to expect that there will be some shifts in jobs — some by location and some by function. But the number is relatively small given our overall employee base of 12,500. That said, we recognize that the loss of any job is significant; we take that responsibility seriously and have been thoughtful in the process.”
Brannon said he worked for the station for eight years.
“I did ‘The Woody Show’ for four or five,” Brannon said. “It was a big shock to everyone. I worked with great people, and everyone’s support has been genuinely overwhelming.”
Wood worked for the station for 18 years.
“I love the people I worked with,” he said. “We are a big, happy family in Huntington. I have absolutely no ill will toward anyone.”
Local social media was buzzing with listeners voicing their displeasure with the layoffs.
“I’m sorry to hear about these layoffs,” Barboursville Mayor Chris Tatum posted on Facebook. “It seems people don’t matter to this company. There are some fantastic people still there, but I imagine with the events recently, and over the past few years, they are uneasy about their future at best. It is another sad day for radio.”
Brannon said he never assumed anyone would care.
“We were wrong,” he said. “I appreciate all the kind thoughts. My only regret is not getting to make a formal goodbye. Everyone who ever listened is special in a way that can’t be expressed in a Facebook post. God love every one of you.”
Wood said he was humbled by the response of listeners of the show.
“I had no clue we had that kind of impact on their lives,” he said. “But life goes on.”
Brannon said they have some plans for the future.
“Woody and I are still fighting with each other as usual, and we’ve got some plans that we can’t yet discuss,” he said. “When we know some concrete plans, we will make sure everyone who misses us knows where to go.”
Also laid off was WTCR-FM’s Nick Kuhn, who was a program director and on-air personality.
Kuhn posted on his Facebook page that he spent the largest portion of his adult life and some of his teenage years employed at iHeartMedia/Clear Channel Communications.
“Thank you Tri-State for allowing me to be a part of your drive home every day,” part of Kuhn’s post said. “Thank you for allowing me to do a job I loved and cared about.”