Poor sales fuel Capital staff cuts

Capital Radio has axed 15 staff in a restructure amid fears that it may miss its 55m ad revenue target. As part of the restructure, Lizzie Palmer, currently marketing manager, becomes marketing director.

The station’s long-running drivetime news programme, The Way It Is, has been replaced with an entertainment show called Drivetime Showtime, resulting in the loss of editorial jobs.

The station’s community service department, which works with charities, has been cut and amalgamated with the marketing department.

And the six people in the events department, which manages off-air concerts, are being replaced by outside suppliers.

Staff were told of the cuts in an emergency meeting last Thursday. Sources close to the station say cutbacks were needed to help it hit profit targets. Ad revenue, which was strong at the start of the year, has slowed since the summer (MW September 20).

However, station manager Martina King claims the changes are about redeploying money not cutting it. “The money will now go on the core areas – programming, sales and marketing.”

The station is believed to have set an advertising revenue target of 55m this year. But the sales team has struggled because of a 20 per cent fall in listeners. This is due largely to increased competition in London over the past year.

Last month, the station confirmed that it had re-signed breakfast time presenter Chris Tarrant for 3m. “They are paying the price for Tarrant’s salary,” says one former employee.

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