CBS Detroit lays off 13; Jayne Bower, Greg Bowman exit

Susan Whitall
The Detroit News

CBS Radio Detroit laid off a number of staffers as part of a nationwide blitz by the radio broadcaster to trim costs.

Many of the staffers were in sales or off-air jobs, but at news station WWJ (950 AM) alone, technology reporter Ed Cardenas, overnight producer Gary Lundy and overnight anchor Rob Sanford were laid off Monday, The Detroit News has learned.

WWJ staff was told that veteran on-air talents Jayne Bower and Greg Bowman, who co-anchor afternoons, and Paul Snider, who anchors 7 p.m.-midnights, were offered "voluntary layoff opportunities." They have 45 days from Monday to consider the offer. Bower was also the SAG-AFTRA union rep.

"Those three are supremely professional, really good news people," said Tim Kiska, who was a reporter/producer at WWJ until 2012. "If you got into a tough deadline situation, you never had to worry with any one of those three, it would always come out well."

At least two WWJ account executives and several AMP 97 salespeople were laid off as well, part of the belt-tightening that happened Monday. In all, there are some 13-16 staffers departing CBS Radio Detroit.

Neither Deb Kenyon, senior vice president/market manager for CBS Radio Detroit, or Rob Davidek, WWJ news director, immediately returned a reporter's call.

With WWJ's overnight staff laid off, a board operator will play recorded newscasts all night instead of having any live reports.

It's been a tumultuous few years for WWJ. Earlier this year reporter Marie Osborne left the station after 11 years to anchor middays at crosstown competitor WJR. Erica Murphy, a reporter/producer, jumped to WJR as a reporter/anchor.

CBS Radio Detroit's holdings include WWJ Newsradio 950, 97.1 The Ticket, 99.5 WYCD, 104.3 WOMC and 98.7 AMP Radio.