This PR industry analysis was authored by Proven Media Solutions CEO Dustin Siggins and published by PR Week on January 28, 2020. It may be seen in full here.
The radio world has been rocked by iHeartMedia’s recent announcement about nationwide layoffs in small markets. The layoffs were needed, the company said, as it transitions into online and other audio formats, and added that the numbers were a fraction of the company’s 12,500-person staff.
As Rolling Stone reported, the cuts were reversed at one station, Iowa’s KXNO. But iHeart’s decision is one more example of news deserts being created when local media are nationalized. And the trend has significant implications for PR pros.
First, fewer local programs means fewer opportunities for pitches tied to local news and events. If 50 local market shows are replaced with one national program, it means there are 50 fewer shows to pitch. In some markets, multiple programs have been slashed. As a result, hyper-local PR firms are far more disadvantaged than regional or national firms.