KFRU/1400 AM lays off news director

Friday, October 24, 2008 | 8:38 a.m. CDT; updated 4:15 p.m. CDT, Friday, October 24, 2008

COLUMBIA — Dan Claxton, news director at KFRU/1400 AM, was laid off Thursday morning after working at the station for seven years. 

Claxton, who was hired in 2001 as assistant news director and became news director in 2003, was told it was his last day at 9:30 a.m. Thursday. 

He said he was told by management that cuts had to be made because of the poor economy. Claxton said he was one of multiple people cut in the Columbia and Jefferson City markets.

Paul Hannigan, who hired Claxton in 2001 while he was news director at KFRU,  was also laid off Thursday morning. Hannigan worked at WROK/1440 AM in Rockford, Ill., since 2004 as news director and assistant program director.

Both KFRU and WROK are owned by Cumulus Media based out of Atlanta.

Hannigan said he was part of "cutbacks across the board." He said he expects to see others from his station let go soon.

Claxton's lay off is the most recent at KFRU.

Morning talk show co-host Fred Parry was fired Tuesday morning. Parry had worked for the station for the past 14 years. The past seven and a half years he co-hosted "The Morning Meeting," a daily news talk show with Simon Rose.

Parry said it was a surprise when John Walker, Cumulus' marketing manager, told him that the station had decided not to renew his contract and that the show he had just finished was his last.

Claxton said he didn't know if his and Parry's job losses  were related.

Walker could not be reached for comment on the future of KFRU.

Claxton, however, said he'll be fine.

"My phone has been ringing all morning," he said. "I'm sure I'll get picked up somewhere." 

He also said that he's concerned for KFRU, an institution he's loved for a long time.  

"This is an instance of corporate ownership of the media showing its ugly side, where money is the bottom line and quality is second," he said.



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Mike Bellman October 24, 2008 | 12:08 p.m.

I have no idea how much money Fred Parry could have earned by being on the air less than 2 hours a day. cutbacks? What else was Fred doing?

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