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The 590 employees laid off nationwide this week by broadcast giant Clear Channel Communications include three familiar voices from its Quad-City Radio Group.

Phil Roberts, Bo J. Spates and Debbie McFadden all were given notice Tuesday.

Roberts, a 40-year broadcast veteran, had worked for radio station WOC-AM (1420) since 1997 and had been full-time since 2002 in the station's news department.

In an e-mail to the Quad-City Times, Roberts wrote, "... departures have always been part of broadcasting. I knew that when I was hired, and it's my turn to move on. As for the future, the Quad-Cities area has always been my home, and that won't change. I have a lot of varied interests and intend to pursue them here."

Roberts, 60, writes for the North Scott Press in Eldridge, Iowa, in addition to working as an auto racetrack announcer, and he operates an advertising/publicity business from his Walcott, Iowa, home.

"I believe when one door closes, others open," he wrote. "I'll be checking some of them out in coming weeks and months."

Spates, 47, most recently was program director for KUUL-FM (101.3) and KCQQ-FM (or Q-106.5), as well as serving as the midday host at KUUL. The Quad-City native began working in radio locally during 1978 and, after working in radio in Cincinnati, Louisville, Ky., and Des Moines, he returned to local broadcasting in 1994 after owning a pub in Moline. He moved to the Quad-City Radio Group in 2000.

"I had a great run there and I loved all the people I worked with," Spates said Wednesday. "In today's world, print and magazine and everybody's taking a big hit right now in their budget."

Spates said he knew more cutbacks were coming after some Clear Channel employees locally and nationally lost their jobs Jan. 20. The 590 people let go nationally on Tuesday are in addition to 1,850 positions that were eliminated three months ago.

"It was a bit of a surprise, but then again, not a surprise," Spates said of Tuesday's news.

McFadden most recently was midday host on KMXG-FM (or "Mix 96," 96.1) and has done some work for Q-106.5. The Savanna, Ill., native was the first voice on Mix 96 when it signed on during April 1993 and has worked in the Quad-City market since 1985.

In an e-mail to the Times, McFadden said she was told the dismissal was for economic reasons.

"It was a shock after 24 years on the air in this market," she wrote. "I have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to do such a variety of shows - both music and talk - over the years. The best part was getting to know Quad-Citians through what I consider to be the most intimate medium (at least in the days before Twitter!). I will miss the listeners. It was a fun ride."



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