Long-time local radio personality Dan “Dirtman” McFarlane is one of four people who will be casualties of budget belt tightening at two Kelowna radio stations owned by the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group.
In an email sent to staff last week, Pattison general manager Karl Johnston stated that McFarlane, who was the promotions director of Power 104 and Q 103.1, and digital marketing director Julie Hill were let go effective immediately, and that notice has been served to “end our relationship” with Russell Byth on Oct. 21, and Power 104 on-air personality Drew Ferreira on Dec. 21.
Johnston cited in particular the contributions of McFarlane and Hill to the Pattison Group, which along with the two Kelowna stations owns 107.5 KISS FM in Vernon.
“In the case of Dan and Julie, they have also given many, many years of dedicated service to our business. Let me be clear: This decision has absolutely nothing to do with the quality of their work,” Johnston stated in the email.
Johnston indicated the driving factors behind the layoffs are economic—indicating the Okanagan division of the broadcast group has struggled for many years.
“The Kelowna stations have found the operating environment extremely challenging…As difficult as these decisions were, the reality is we can no longer continue to operate without regard to the difficulties we face.”
This announcement comes on the heels of eight staffers from the administrative and traffic teams across the Pattison network also being let go.
“Our needs have changed in these departments and the restructuring is needed to reallocate resources into other areas of our business,” said Rod Schween, president of the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group, in a statement released to Puget Sound Radio.
Schween said the move was not a cost saving measure, but rather enables the company to continue making personnel investments in other areas of the company.