eBay quietly laid off hundreds of employees on Wednesday, and the cost-cutting measures included terminating eBay Radio, a live call-in show broadcast over the Internet every Tuesday and Thursday with a focus on helping sellers. It will be replaced by pre-recorded podcasts.
eBay couched the end of the live web-radio program as a retirement of the program's outside producer, Lee Mirabel, whose company, Voicemarketing Inc., provided the technology to run eBay Radio.
Archives of the eBay Radio program are hosted on Mirabel's website, VoiceMarketingRadio.com
. We don't know how long those archives will remain available or if eBay plans to make them accessible on its own website.
eBay Radio will hold its last live broadcast from the eBay Open seller conference that kicks off on July 24th in Las Vegas. Longtime eBay employee Jim "Griff" Griffith announced the end of the bi-weekly eBay Radio shows on his Facebook page - there was no announcement on the eBay announcement board. He said the name of the new weekly podcast (on Tuesdays) might change:
"There will be a Community page for the podcast format show and it will contain a chat area. There will be a call in segment (more details on that in the coming weeks). The show will be called eBay Radio for at least the short term. That name may change later." You can view Griff's full announcement on his Facebook page
eBay Radio has been broadcasting since 2003, which according to the VoiceMarketing.com website, makes it "the world's longest running professionally produced internet radio talk show." The site describes Lee Mirabel as "President and CEO of Voicemarketing Inc., producers of eBay Radio."
eBay never made available details of its financial arrangement with Voicemarketing Inc., which incurred expenses but also accepted advertising on the eBay-branded show and on its website.
The end of the 15-year-old program will likely disappoint some who have grown to enjoy Mirabel and Griffith's camaraderie and advice. Mirabel, who has had a long career in radio going back to 1965, has a presence on Twitter
In addition to simplifying operations, the move to pre-recorded podcasts is also part a trend toward having greater control over its messaging and less communication with its users, especially since the departure of eBay executive Hal Lawton last year.