So after just 2 weeks they have to get rid of 65 people??? They were probably just looking for an excuse to do it. Get ready, there will be another round soon. Here is the bs memo they put out to staff about the layoffs...so full of c-ap.
Each of us personally is facing a difficult situation caused by the worldwide pandemic of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Working our way through this situation presents numerous challenges that are unprecedented.
As I shared with you in my previous updates, my thoughts and prayers go out to all who have been affected in the U.S and around the world. I trust you know that my #1 priority is the safety, health and well-being of our team members, our families, our partners and our communities. Nothing is more important to me. Safety First.
In spite of the explosive growth of COVID-19 cases, the stay at home orders across most states, and the significant disruption to our clients business, I have been inspired by how the Townsquare team, each of you, has quickly risen to the occasion to help our listeners, our communities and our clients. Truly, I could not be more proud, but I am not surprised as we are Townsquare and that is what we do.
While our employees are putting on a brave and positive face, Townsquare is not unscathed by COVID-19. Fortunately, I am not aware of any Townsquare employee who has tested positive and contracted the virus, but the economic impact on our business has been significant over the past 2 weeks. We have cancelled all live events for the upcoming months, resulting in millions of dollars of lost revenue. In addition, we have experienced and expect to continue to experience a sudden and substantial decline in our advertising business (broadcast and digital). As a result of the pandemic, our revenue will be much lower for a period of time. Thankfully, our Townsquare Interactive solutions have been viewed as very valuable to local businesses at a time when Americans are spending more time at home and online than ever before. So far, we are not experiencing a revenue decline in our Townsquare Interactive business. In fact, on Friday we had a very high number of new TSI sales and over the past week sales have been quite strong. Thank you to each of you who continue to educate existing and new clients of the value and return on investment Townsquare Interactive can be providing local businesses right now. The same value and powerful solutions are true as well with our broadcast and digital advertising solutions. While some clients are pausing their spend given their specific situation (gyms, certain retail, nail and hair salons, etc.) other categories are increasing their spend, or advertising with us for the first time (sanitizing companies, public health departments, restaurants offering dine out options). One of the most important things we can do right now is make sure we are educating the businesses in our markets of the value we can provide in the current environment. While we must first and foremost demonstrate empathy for the challenges these businesses are facing, it has never been more important to superserve our customers and help them not only weather this storm, but prevail.
While Townsquare will clearly prevail, it quickly became clear to me that in order to get through the current situation we’ve had to make some very difficult decisions and sacrifices over the past 10 days, and being transparent, I believe we will have to make future sacrifices as well. The toughest but necessary decision that I have had to make is to say goodbye to some of our employees, and compete to win with a smaller team moving forward. Earlier today we had a reduction in workforce of 65 team members. Those 65 team members included 26 corporate employees with the remaining employees impacted spread out across our 67 local markets. When the first of your five pillars is YOU Matter, it’s hard not to question if this is true when we are terminating employees at such a challenging time. The decision to let these employees go was based on a number of factors, the most important being my belief that reducing our overall workforce was necessary to protect our business and the remaining team moving forward. Thankfully, the government has passed an unprecedented stimulus bill a few days ago that will help Americans with direct deposit of income for those earning under $99,000 as well as help local businesses with no or low interest free loans and other extraordinary measures to assist our economy during this time. I had a video conference call earlier today with our local market leadership, along with TSI leadership, and based on their feedback we are creating resources and materials that our teams around the country can use to educate their local businesses on these government programs which can potentially help their business during these challenging times.
Another sacrifice we are going to have to make is to suspend our company 401K company match effective April 1. If you are a participant in our company’s 401K plan and based on not having a company match starting April 1 want to suspend your contribution, Alyssa will be sending out instructions how to do so today or tomorrow prior to April 1. As you know , starting a 401K company match was something I was very proud of implementing upon becoming CEO and I regret having to suspend it. I look forward to re-implementing the match once we overcome these challenges together.
Over the past week as our Townsquare corporate leadership team worked together to develop a plan for these unprecedented times, along with myself a number of your leaders volunteered to take a 10% reduction in their compensation to assist us in overcoming the economic challenges we are faced with. So along with myself, I wanted to take the opportunity to thank Stu Rosenstein, Erik Hellum, Alyssa Goldberg, Scott Schatz, Claire Yenicay, Chris Kitchen, Cristina Cipolla, Tim Pirrone, Todd Lawley, Rob Williams, Kevin Godwin, Kelly Quinn, Matt Kiger, Kurt Johnson, Jared Willig, Michael Josephs & Jon Reynolds in volunteering for a 10% temporary pay reduction as well. I am humbled and honored to work alongside each of them each day and particularly in this time of great challenges, I appreciate their input and leadership.
Unfortunately, unless things improve significantly and quickly, I believe I will need to make other expense reduction decisions. My goal is to not do another workforce reduction, but rather monitor the economic impact that COVID-19 has on our country and thus our company over the next few months and find other solutions to navigating this storm. That is my goal. To accomplish that goal, I am requesting of each of you, and I need each of you, to rise the challenge we each face. Do the very best you can do at the job you have, even in the face of these challenging circumstances. That is what I am going to do, and I know you will be right there with me.
With a lot of challenges ahead of each of us, it is important to make mention of the good. The good is that with certain sacrifices, we are going to overcome this challenge together. We will continue to lead from the front, continue to inform accurately, provide comfort in a time when our familiar voices have never been more important, and continue to help our clients and communities thrive. #BetterTogether. That I am 100% certain of. Townsquare will prevail. I appreciate your support in these unprecedented times. The key to overcoming the challenge we face is to bond together as we always have as a strong Townsquare Team. Over the past two years, your work has translated to industry leading performance. During this crisis, together as a team we will leverage our bond and do what is best for our listeners, our communities and our clients. We got this. We are Townsquare.
I look forward to talking to you in 30 minutes on our 5 pm Eastern today.
Stay Townsquare Strong. Stay Calm. Stay Safe.
With much appreciation for your work and commitment each and every day, especially now.