The New Pittsburgh Courier has learned exclusively late Tuesday, Aug. 29 that Sheridan Broadcasting Corporation has eliminated its News and Sports content division, causing roughly 10 employees to lose their jobs at its Downtown headquarters on Penn Ave.
“We weren’t able to generate the revenue we wanted,” corporation COO and general counsel Ron Davenport Jr. told the Courier in an exclusive interview. The Courier reported in 2016 the dissolved business relationship between Sheridan and American Urban Radio Networks (AURN). The two companies, who had worked in tandem for years, went their separate ways — confirmed by CEO Ron Davenport Sr. in the May 2016 Courier story. Davenport Sr. later said, “Sheridan Broadcasting Network and Sheridan Broadcasting Company are fine, and are looking for new worlds to conquer.”
But Ron Davenport Jr. told the Courier Aug. 29 that the revenue just wasn’t coming in. “It’s a little more difficult than selling cars or something,” Davenport Jr. said about the art of selling national radio. “It’s a unique skillset, so we’ve been searching for some time and we have someone who has been working on our behalf and he’s just been unsuccessful, unfortunately, and we’re not able to continue.”
Sheridan Broadcasting Networks had been providing news and sports broadcasts to 60 stations nationwide before the Aug. 29 announcement. Sheridan Broadcasting Corporation will continue to operate its Pittsburgh-based Sheridan Gospel Network, which currently airs on 30 stations nationwide, ownership of a radio station in Atlanta, and a new venture, tele-streaming, explained as a “simultaneous audio-visual stream of an over-the-air radio broadcast,” according to Davenport Jr.
“It’s been a tremendous run, a tremendous journey, we want to thank the incredible staff that we’ve been blessed to work with and the tremendous listeners that have enjoyed our programming throughout the years,” Davenport Jr. told the Courier. “It’s a painful step, a very painful step, but we look forward to the next opportunity and new directions. We’re very thankful that we’ve had the opportunity to be a part of the Pittsburgh community, the national audience and to serve listeners across the world.”