Saturday, January 24, 2009

Broadcast News: Massive TV Job Cuts; Weather Unaffected?

The current economic climate has had a strong negative effect on advertising. This is sending a chill wind through the broadcast industry, but recent cuts seem to have left weather reporting relatively unaffected.

The dcrtv blog reported yesterday that massive job cuts were announced in the news department of Washington's local ABC affiliate, WJLA, Channel 7, and its sister operation, cable News Channel 8. The 26 cuts, mainly in the back office, include several on-air personalities, but no meteorologists have been listed.

Allbritton Communications, which owns the Washington stations, also is reported to have made cuts at its stations in Little Rock (KATV), Birmingham (WBMA), Harrisburg (WHTM), Charleston (WCIV), and Tulsa (KTUL). A TV photography forum post from Birmingham indicates that 2 positions in weather were cut.

Albritton's bond rating was cut by Standard & Poor's back in October to "B", considered "Highly Speculative."

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