Ben Fong-Torres, in his radio column in today’s Chron, reports that Clear Channel has terminated about a dozen employees including Star 101 program director James Baker, KNEW program director Clark Reid, KNEW news director Ellen Hyatt and KQKE promotions director Mike Capozzola. CC’s local president and market manager, Kim Bryant, says the company isn’t cutting jobs, pointing out that she’s added new sales and Internet jobs.

Fong-Torres also notes that CC’s KQKE 960 has dropped Al Franken (left), the biggest name on the financially-troubled Air America network, and replaced him with syndicated host Thom Hartmann (right) in the 9 a.m.-to-noon slot. KNEW program director Bob Agnew described Hartmann as a rising star. Other changes at the progressive station including moving Randi Rhodes from afternoons to the 9-11 p.m. slot. She’s being replaced in the 3-6 p.m. period by Rachel Maddow and a new “Progressive News Hour” with John Scott from 5 to 6 p.m. Also on the move is Betsy Rosenberg’s “Eco Talk,” which will now be heard at 11 p.m.

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