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Audacy layoffs hit St. Louis radio stations

Philadelphia-based Audacy Inc. said during its second-quarter investors call earlier this month that it would cut expenses.
Credit: snowing12 - stock.adobe.com

ST. LOUIS — Four employees of St. Louis-area radio stations, including news-talk station KMOX, reportedly have lost their jobs as the parent company makes cuts nationwide.

Philadelphia-based Audacy Inc. (NYSE: AUD), the nation’s second-largest radio station owner, said during its second-quarter investors call earlier this month that it would cut expenses. A sister publication, the Philadelphia Business Journal, reported Tuesday that layoffs were underway across all divisions and geographic markets.

Locally, Audacy owns KMOX (1120 AM/98.7 FM), KFTK (97.1 FM), KYKY (98.1 FM), KEZK (102.5 FM), WFUN (96.3 FM) and WHHL (104.1 FM).

Brian Kelly, reporter and weekend host of "Total Information AM" for KMOX, confirmed to the St. Louis Business Journal that he had been let go Tuesday. He had worked at KMOX from 1997 to 2002, then returned again in 2009, according to a bio on the KMOX website. He previously did traffic reports, weekend news anchoring and sports reporting for a Kansas City radio station, among other posts.

Kelly also confirmed that Stel Pontikes was among the layoffs. He had been weekend and overnight host on adult-contemporary music stations KYKY and KEZK and also programmed KEZK's HD3 Christian music station. In a Facebook post Friday, Pontikes noted his more than 44 years in radio without mentioning the details of his departure, saying, "It was a great ride."

"God is in control and I’m ready for whatever He’s got planned for the next chapter on this journey," Pontikes wrote.

Audacy's St. Louis cuts also included Lance Hildebrand, according to trade publication Radio Insights, which first reported that personnel cuts began Tuesday. He most recently was morning and afternoon drive-time traffic reporter for adult-contemporary station KYKY, and spent more than 40 years in radio, according to a bio on the station's website

Click here for the full story from the St. Louis Business Journal.

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