Already suffering from the loss of local talent and programming with the sale of WAMO, Pittsburgh radio took another hit last week when veteran American Urban Radio Network News Director Tene Croom was let go after 28 years.
Jerry Lopes, AURN president of operations and affiliations, said it was strictly a budgetary decision and that he will take over operations of the news department. And as part of that, Croom and also morning executive Betty Lee were let go.
“We had to do some reorganization because fewer and fewer hours of our product is being heard. It has nothing to do with quality, it’s the market,” he said. “It’s painful to me personally because I hired both of those individuals. I appreciate the contributions they’ve made over the years. They are both very talented and I have no doubt they’ll be assets to someone.”
Lopes said even though many stations have scrapped local news due to the advent of shows like Tom Joyner and Steve Harvey taking up blocks of airtime across the country, there is still less room for AURN news.
“Sure, when there’s a crisis, they’ll all scramble for us, but we can’t sit around and wait for the next crisis,” said Lopes. “The sun’s going to rise again because this is America, but the question is what kind of shape will we be in when it does. We have to be sensitive to the market, and right now it’s not good.”
Croom said on her Facebook page that she is excited about embracing new opportunities. She is president and CEO of her own company Tene Croom Communications. She also thanked friends and colleagues for their support and friendship during her 28 years in radio news:
“Lastly, I would be remiss if I didn’t also thank each and every one of you for giving me some of the most cherished memories of my life,” she wrote.
“I enjoyed sharing every social event, interview, conference call, panel discussion, last-minute meeting, luncheon and rally. It’s been an absolute blessing working with and sometimes alongside each of you. I can’t thank you enough for making the last 28 years amazing and remarkable. And now that I’ll be on the other side of the news, I’m looking forward to us creating even more memories in the future.”
Croom’s company website, www.tc-communications.com, is currently “under construction” with only the Terms of Service page visible.
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