MADISON, Wis. -

The entire news and programming staff of radio station 1670 WTDY-AM and 106.7 WTDY-FM was laid off Wednesday, including talk show host John "Sly" Sylvester, according to a company official.

The WTDY website was replaced by a holiday message. The station was airing Christmas music Wednesday afternoon.

Randy Hawke, operations manager, told WISC the radio station will run a Christmas music format until after the holidays. He said the new format has not yet been determined.

"It's a crowded market," said Hawke, referring to the three news talk stations in the Madison market. He said WTDY consistently came in third in the ratings.

He would not comment on the number of employees laid off.

Personality John "Sly" Sylvester told WISC seven or eight people were laid off.

He said the news surprised him. He said his show had good ratings during the last ratings period and the show had a sponsor.

WTDY is owned by Midwest Family Broadcasting, based in Madison.