KATV Latest Among Local Media Companies to Cut Back

From ArkansasBusiness.com, a report by Mark Hengel on layoffs at KATV-TV, Channel 7, the Little Rock ABC affiliate. Sources say about 20 have lost their jobs:

Station executives announced the layoffs at two meetings on Friday, one this morning and another at 2:30 p.m.

Two sources close to the situation put the number of those laid off at about 20. The layoffs hit all areas of the Allbritton Communications Co.-owned broadcaster, including on-air talent, sources said.

KATV executives would not comment for this story. Executives at Allbritton did not respond to a request for comment.

Who got cut? The Web’s long-dormant Arkansas TV NewsWatch blog names two names. And one of our Twitter friends has apparently been affected, as well.

KATV’s cuts are the latest in Arkansas, as the economic slowdown has led to fewer advertisements, particularly from auto dealers, themselves strangled by a drop in consumer spending.

'Ahead of budget'

'Ahead of budget'

Side note: The Washington City Paper reports that 26 were fired at KATV’s Washington D.C. sister stations, WJLA and NewsChannel 8. For employees who survived the purge: a 3.9 percent pay cut, a three-year salary freeze and no more 401(k) match.

And what of Politico, the Web-only political news site also owned by Allbritton? Everyone there is safe for now, according to the City Paper:

They’re, for the most part, off the hook, LL is told, and will keep hiring. DCRTV says Politico “has also cut back on other expenses – travel and some salary re-negotiations. However, another source tells us that there are no trimmings at the Politico, which is the only Allbritton division ahead of budget.”

Also

Earlier this week, Hengel surveyed other Arkansas media companies in an attempt to gauge their health. Most noted lean times. KATV, citing company policy, did not comment.

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