The radio news business in the United States will take a big blow when Westwood One ceases its news operations next month.
WWO is the national-facing arm of Cumulus Media. It has more than 900 affiliated stations for its news products.
The company declined to make public the number of employees affected by this closure, citing company policy. According to media reports, affiliates got the news last week.
Westwood One News launched in 2015; and two years ago the company was hailing the news operation as “the Edward R. Murrow Award-winning, highly-regarded full-service news division of the largest radio network in the U.S.” At that time it said its affiliates reached more than 25.7 million people, based on Nielsen Audio data; since then its reported number of affiliates has grown.
Now the news operation is set to shutter at the end of next month.
“Given the current necessity to make critical decisions about the deployment of resources, we made the decision to cease WWO news operations on Aug. 30,” a spokeswoman confirmed in a statement.
“We extend our heartfelt thanks to the entire WWO News Team for all that they have accomplished and acknowledge the exceptional leadership of Bart Tessler, who has commanded our admiration and respect throughout his 45-year news career.”
The company said it remains “heavily committed” to its personality driven news/talk programming with brands like Mark Levin, Ben Shapiro, Jim Bohannon and Michael Savage.