89X closes American office, cuts morning show

Cuts to the Windsor-based alternative rock station include ‘Cal and Co.,’ afternoon and evening hosts

Adam Graham
The Detroit News

Windsor-based alternative rock station 89X (CIMX-FM) has closed its American office and is cutting several members of its on-air staff, effective immediately.

The cuts were part of a larger restructuring at Bell Media, which runs 89X, 93.9 the River (CIDR-FM), Memories 580 (CKWW-AM), and AM 800 (CKLW-AM). The four stations will retain their current formats and their signals will continue to carry into the Detroit market, according to Bell Media news director Matthew Garrow.

“Cal and Co.,” 89X’s morning show, aired its last broadcast on Thursday morning. Host Cal Cagno tweeted Thursday afternoon, “I no longer work at 89X. After 18’s over. I hope to be back on the air soon but if not...thanks to the listeners for a great run.”

The timing of the message had some thinking Cagno was pulling an April Fool’s prank, but that’s not the case.

“It was really fun working there,” Cagno said Thursday. “I had a great run and it was an amazing job to have. My whole adult life I’ve worked there. I’m going to miss the people I’ve worked with, and I’m going to miss the listeners the most. But overall it was a great experience.”

Gillian Reilly, Cagno’s co-host, was also let go from the station, along with afternoon drive host Reed Petitpren and Phil “PK” Kukawinski. Promotions and sales forces were cut as well, resulting in around a dozen layoffs.

“The restructuring is a response to the challenges we and other Canadian media companies are facing on multiple fronts: changing broadcast technologies and growing international competition, a tough advertising market, and ongoing regulatory pressure,” Garrow said in an email.

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