Nov 17, 2022 - News

Several longtime WTOP anchors and staff take voluntary buyouts

Longtime sports anchor Dave Johnson. Photo: Astrid Riecken/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Some of D.C.'s most recognizable radio voices are leaving the airwaves.

  • Eight veteran WTOP staffers have accepted voluntary buyouts and will leave the company at the end of December, according to a memo from the station’s general manager sent to all staff on Monday and obtained by Axios.

Driving the news: Reporter Kristi King, morning anchor Bruce Alan, sports anchor Dave Johnson, and midday anchor Debra Feinstein are among the exits, with several decades of experience at WTOP among them.

Digital editors Rick Massimo and Colleen Kelleher, and anchors Sarah Jacobs and Joan Jones also took buyouts.

  • The news was first reported by Radio Insight. Axios' emails to a WTOP spokesperson and the affected staffers were not immediately returned.

The big picture: It’s a blow for listeners and the station, as economic headwinds begin to hit the media industry.

What they’re saying: WTOP general manager Joel Oxley announced the news in Monday's all-staff email, saying he felt “the most mixed emotions I have had in my time here.”

Context: WTOP has been the top-billing radio station in the country since 2014, pulling in an estimated $70 million in revenue last year, according to local media analysis firm BIA Advisory Services.

  • The station moved in 2019 to a new, “Star Trek”-esque HQ in Chevy Chase.

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