Three veteran sports radio hosts from 710 ESPN Seattle have been laid off as part of the company’s larger cost-cutting measures, prompting another shake-up to the station’s talk-show lineup.
John Clayton, Jim Moore and Tom Wassell were informed Thursday that they were being let go.
The cost-cutting moves were a directive from the station’s parent company, Bonneville International, as a result of a steep decline in advertising revenues during the economic downturn this year, said Mike Salk, the director of Programing for Bonneville Seattle.
Salk said the station held off “as long as possible” in an effort to save jobs.
The layoffs, he said, were “due specifically to significant loss of ad revenue as a result of COVID-19. We made as many adjustments as we could to control costs while saving jobs. Eventually, the ongoing financial situation led to a reduction of personnel. …
“Personally, I love Tom, I love Jim, I love John, and to have to say goodbye to those three people was incredibly difficult for all of us.”
Clayton is a longtime NFL reporter for a number of outlets. He first began covering the Seahawks as a beat writer for the Tacoma News Tribune in 1986.
After 23 years as an NFL reporter for ESPN television, he was part of large-spread layoffs there in 2017.
That same year, he began working Seahawks games as a sideline reporter for radio broadcasts on 710 ESPN Seattle. He will continue to serve in that role during Seahawks games, as least through the end of this season.
Moore has been a co-host at 710 for the past decade, working mostly on the afternoon show.
Bob Stelton and Dave Wyman will remain in the afternoon time slot, while gaining an additional hour on air. “Bob and Dave” will air from 2-6 p.m., with a replay of their show from 6-7 p.m.
Wassell had been a co-host of a midday show with Stacy Jo Rost and Jake Heaps. Wassell announced his departure on Twitter on Thursday morning. That drew several hundred responses from his followers, and he later tweeted that those responses were “overwhelming me with joy and gratitude. Should be a tough day, and yet I feel so proud that we’ve all developed such a great little community together.”
Rost and Heaps will remain as co-hosts of the midday show, to air from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The shake-up comes a little more than a year after Salk and Brock Huard left their popular morning show. Huard is in his first season covering NFL games as an analyst for FOX Sports.
Danny O’Neil and Paul Gallant took over the morning show last year and will remain in that role. As part of the new lineup, Gallant will have an additional solo hour on air, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.