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Clear Channel layoffs 

Perhaps you've already read about the dozens of DJs that Clear Channel laid off recently at radio stations around the country. That's why it has been a while since you'd heard Rick Steel on KSSN 96 or Bob Terrell at 105.1 The Wolf or Kelly Boom at 100.3 The Edge or Anastasia on 93.3 The Eagle up in Northwest Arkansas.

"People were affected in all of our regional markets as far as I know," said Ron Collar, general manager for Clear Channel's Little Rock stations. But he would not confirm which people were let go or even how many.

"It's not our policy to talk about personnel matters," Collar said.

However, none of the aforementioned on-air voices are still listed on their respective stations' websites.

The Times called 93.3 The Eagle and asked to speak to Anastasia, but was told she no longer worked there.

An e-mail sent to Steel was not returned.

According to a recent New York Times story, Clear Channel's recent firings "signaled the continuation of a several-years-old strategy that replaces locally produced programming with less costly nationally syndicated shows."

Clear Channel "has a lot of assets to pull from, as large as they are. And they look for areas, especially in tough economic times, to run as efficiently as possible," Collar said.

As for whether the layoffs mean Little Rock listeners might hear more non-local DJs on the airwaves, Collar said it was a possibility.

It is time once again, all ye merry musicians, to enter the Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase. According to the ancient customs handed down by the council of old-timers, it'll go down thusly: your trusty Times staff and the folks from Stickyz and Revolution pare down the field to a gaggle of semi-finalists.

Starting Jan. 26, four of those acts will square off each week at Stickyz and five judges will select a winner.

Each week's winner moves on to the finals at Revolution. The winner of the final round will receive a bevy of excellent prizes and a drink named in his, her or their honor. So if you are an Arkansas-based musical act (solo or band) performing original material in any genre, you should go ahead and enter at www.arktimes.com/showcase12.

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