Santa Rosa TV newsroom abruptly closes

Clear Channel on Friday abruptly pulled the plug on its local news operation at its KFTY-TV 50 in Santa Rosa, laying off 13 employees who produced its newscasts at 7 and 10 p.m. including anchors Ed Beebout and Tricia Hua (both at right). Neither newscast aired that evening. General Manager John Burgess said in a statement on the station’s Web site “We are no longer in a position to access the advertiser base required to maintain two long form newscasts.”

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Clear Channel boots several SF employees

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

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Air America’s woes won’t stop ‘The Quake’

The bankruptcy filing of liberal radio network Air America won’t have any immediate impact on its Bay Area affiliate, The Quake (KQKE-AM 960), according to KQKE Programming Director Bob Agnew. According to the Associated Press, Air America plans to stay on the air during bankruptcy. It filed only after a creditor threatened to seize the network’s assets. Clear Channel owns both KQKE and conservative KNEW 910, and Agnew serves as programming director of both stations.

SF Weekly loses Warfield Theater sign

The owners of San Francisco’s historic Warfield Theater have succeeded in removing the “SF Weekly” from the theater’s name and marquee. Bill Graham Presents (BGP), a unit of Clear Channel Communications, has leased the 84-year-old concert hall on Market Street since 1978. Last June, BGP renamed the theater the “SF Weekly Warfield” as part of a three-year promotional agreement with the newspaper. In October, the owners of the theater sued, saying they had the sole right to name the theater.

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