Report: Clear Channel Laying Off 1,500

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Clear Channel Communications Inc, which operates radio stations and outdoor advertising space, plans to lay off about 7 percent of its U.S. staff, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

The newspaper, citing a person familiar with the situation, said the move will affect about 1,500 employees — mostly in ad sales — of the 20,000 work force in the United States.

The report said Clear Channel, the largest U.S. company, by revenue, in both radio and outdoor advertising, was also implementing other cuts aimed at saving close to $400 million.

For example, the company plans to replace more local shows with syndicated content, the newspaper said.

A company spokesman could not immediately be reached on Friday night to comment on the report which appeared on the Journal’s web site.

The cuts will help Clear Channel catch up with other radio companies, which have engaged in layoffs and other cost cuts since early last year, the Journal said. Clear Channel’s restructuring lagged competitors because of an 18-month battle to take the company private.

Clear Channel was acquired last July in a $17.9 billion takeover by private equity funds Thomas H. Lee Partners and Bain Capital.

(Reporting by Steve James; Editing by Carol Bishopric)