UPDATED: Thursday, November 22, 2012 --- 4:45 p.m.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Several news staffers at the Madison-based radio station WTDY have been laid off, including talk-show host John "Sly" Sylvester.
A company memo says the layoffs included all but one member of the news, traffic and on-air staff at 1670 WTDY-AM and 106.7 WTDY-FM.
The WTDY website has been replaced by a holiday message, and the station began airing Christmas music Wednesday.
Station operations manager Randy Hawke says officials will announce the new format after the holidays.
Sylvester says he was surprised to hear he and six or seven others were being let go. He says his show had good ratings and strong sponsorship.
News director Amy Barrilleaux was also laid off. She says she's sad to see the format go but she understands the reality of the situation.
Copyright 2012: Associated Press
UPDATED: Wednesday, November 21, 2012 --- 3:50 p.m.
John "Sly" Sylvester tells NBC 15 management called a meeting today, and told the staff their services were no longer needed.
Sylvester says he does not know what format will replace the local talk/news format, but another source tells NBC 15 it will be a sports format.
Posted Wednesday, November 21, 2012 --- 3:16 p.m.
Several sources have told NBC 15 today that the news staff at WTDY, a Madison-based radio station, was laid off today. Among the dismissed employees is longtime talk show host John "Sly" Sylvester.
Some within the local radio community tell NBC 15 that despite slumping ratings in recent years, the most recent ratings period showed some improvement. Still, they say a long period of low ratings, coupled with expensive operations, may have contributed to today's news.
Sources say the station will have no more local news or talk radio programming. There is no word yet on whether the station will see a format change. We have calls into station management; those calls have not yet been returned.
WTDY is owned by Midwest Family Broadcasting.