“It came as a shocker, especially where there was no word to the town on the closure and (company representatives) just came in and shut it down,” said O’Brien.
The mayor said local content over the airwaves is sure to suffer with the closure.
“I can’t help but think of the people who worked there, including Don Gibbon with 47 years and Larry Bennett with 43 years,” he said.
O’Brien said Phil Smith was another veteran at the station and there were several younger people there who are now without a job.
Bay St. George Chamber of Commerce president Tom Rose said Friday afternoon the chamber is disappointed with the closure.
Rose said first and foremost people have to be concerned with the job losses and how it will impact families employed by Steele Communications at the local radio station.
From a chamber perspective, he said, closing any business operating in a small catchment area hurts, but closures of media outlets chip away at the area’s identity and marketability.
“It results in losing contact and the ability to be promoted on a higher level as a region,” said Rose.
He hopes a representative from Steele Communications will visit Stephenville and explain the decision to the Bay St. George Chamber of Commerce executive.
Several calls and an email to Steele Communications management in St. John's went unanswered Thursday afternoon and Friday.
TC Media has learned the VOCM radio stations in Grand Falls-Windsor and Marystown have also been closed, but Steele Communications has not confirmed.
The Town of Grand Falls-Windsor hasn’t received any official notification on a closure, but Mayor Barry Manuel told TC Media Friday that he too has heard of the change.
“It’s obviously disappointing that we would lose a business that’s had a footprint here for over 50 years,” Manuel said.
Manuel’s understanding is the changes went into effect Thursday.
With files from The Adverstiser