SAN ANTONIO, Texas: US radio and out-of-home advertising conglomerate Clear Channel Communications marked the occasion of President Barack Obama's inauguration by choosing that day to announce the layoff of 9% of its stateside employees. Such timing is surely coincidental and does not imply an attempt to bury bad news.

Now owned by private equity firms Bain Capital and Thomas H Lee Partners, Clear Channel ceo (and son of the company's co-founder) Mark Mays expressed no contrition to his employees and blamed the layoffs on the current economic climate.

"As I've mentioned previously, we are facing an unprecedented time of distress in the general economy – and the ripple effects have hit some of our largest customers hard," he wrote in an internal memo.

He continued in rah-rah mode: "One of the things that has kept Clear Channel strong throughout our history is a willingness to deal with difficult situations today in order to secure a strong future.

"It is this trait that has gone furthest in establishing us to weather many difficult downturns in our 37-year history. It always requires clarity, collaboration and courage." 

Mays' 1,850 about-to-be jobless employees will give thanks that the company has such a clear-headed and courageous leader with a talent for dealing with difficult downturns.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff