INDIANAPOLIS — According to an internal memo obtained by the Indianapolis Business Journal, Emmis Corp. dismissed eight employees, including longtime WIBC-FM 93.1 reporter Eric Berman, on Wednesday in advance of the company selling its Indianapolis radio stations to Urban One, a Maryland-based firm.
IBJ reported that Berman was the only on-air employee who lost his job in the layoffs. Other staff members reported worked in marketing, IT and online contention creation, according to IBJ.
Berman had been with WIBC for 28 years and reported on politics and served as the station’s Indiana Statehouse bureau chief.
“Some personal news: For 28 years, it has been my privilege to bring you fair and detailed coverage of news affecting Hoosiers’ lives and I hope you’ll stick around for whatever comes next,” Berman wrote in a Tweet.
The memo indicated the personnel moves were made by Emmis Corp. due to Urban One not having positions for the workers in its post-acquisition plans, according to IBJ’s report.
Emmis confirmed the dismissals in an official company statement:
“Today, Emmis notified eight individuals that their positions have been eliminated. Impacted individuals are being provided severance and offered insurance coverage. These are difficult days, and we wish them nothing but success.”
The sale of the Indianapolis stations to Urban One was announced in June and is still pending Federal Communications Commission approval.
The sale includes stations includes B105 (WYXB 105.7 FM), HANK FM (97.1 FM), The Fan (93.5 FM and 107.5 FM), Network Indiana and the longstanding WIBC 93.1 FM, which Emmis purchased in 1994 from Horizon Broadcast Group.
Emmis Indianapolis radio stations have 77 full-time and 50 part-time employees, according to the company, all based in their Monument Circle headquarters.
Urban One CEO Alfred Liggins recently told IBJ that he expects the FCC to deliver its ruling on the transaction sometime in August.