KTTV Source: Fox L.A. to Cut 117 Sept. 10
Senior staffer pleads with Murdoch for mercy
By Michael Malone -- Broadcasting & Cable, 9/8/2009 3:30:34 PMSome 95 staffers received the slips in late June, but a Fox spokesperson stressed at the time that it was not guaranteed that all would lose their jobs.
With the economy continuing to sputter, the stations are downsizing considerably. One insider said the downsized are roughly half full-time staffers and half per diem freelancers.
A Fox spokesperson was not available for comment.
KTTV senior features editor Mark Sudock sent an open letter to the Los Angeles media Website LA Observed imploring News Corp. Chairman/CEO Rupert Murdoch to spare the staffers.
"Mr. Murdoch, I am appealing to you personally, as approximately one-hundred and seventeen dedicated workers face layoffs beginning on September 10th," Sudock writes.
Sudock emphasizes the role KTTV plays in the Los Angeles community, and says the stations would be significantly crippled should the planned layoffs transpire. "The cuts are so severe that virtually no one remains on-site to technically maintain the facility," he writes. "The cuts are so deep that our ability to cover the news as we did this past week (with pursuits, brush fires and the Michael Jackson funeral happening simultaneously) is in absolute jeopardy."
Sudock asks Murdoch to consider withholding bonuses among Fox brass in order to free up cash to keep the KTTV staffers on the payroll.
Fox's Los Angeles duopoly commenced a content-sharing arrangement with KNBC and KTLA in June.
At one time Television was programmed to meet a overlooked audience. There were creative people who presented news, but the news was different than the other stations and it put that station in a different light with the viewers. The business has become so driven by numbers to get advertising dollars that all objectivity and creativity has been lost or shelved. News does not have to be sound bites, I believe a news program of investigation pieces that were more than 1 minute in length could be something people would watch. There would be no need to have two anchors because the other stations have two anchors. Cable news and programs have taken the thunder from Locall news and it is, in my opinion, because they have 30 minute quasi news programs that are somewhat controversial. They make people think. News Corp is probably making more from Fox News Channel than any of their stations because they have raised a little dust with the likes of Hanity, Beck, OReily and the list goes on. The make people aware and then those viewers get to make their decision as to whether to accept or reject the ideas or itmes put forth. If there were stations or a station in a market that would focus on THE MARKET and do these eye opening pieces and have people that could or may be considered different than the pretty boy anchor or the pretty girl news anchor. KTTV has the likes of Christina Gonzales who anchors the news, but she is, in my opinion, better than an anchor. Here dealings with the Children in need of adoption shows she has a heart for those kids and if she had 30 minutes to give more information on say 3 kids during a 30 minute process it may be the best thing the station could do. There are some very bad actors or people who think they are stars on 11 that should have to look for work, but in the same breath, there are I am sure people who could make their voices and opinions known. There is a lot of crime and corruption in the governments of Glendale, Burbank, Los Angeles and other areas that need to be exposed, but you may hear a story of 1 minute and 30 seconds of the Mayor thinking he is above the laws and waters his lawn more than he is supposed to...this is just the tip of the iceberg on the corruption that has put him where he is.
Like any company there is deadwood that needs to be either fired up or dumped. It is a shame that RM is so insensitive to the reality of people needing work. It is easy to run a list of people and run a read line thru the name, how about sitting down with every person and putting the facts in from of them and propose a salary reduction in order for people to stay and then give them a chance to prove they are worth the effort.
There is no logical reason to have a GM or SM making the big bucks and have a front line that never lets anyone talk to these important people because they are "too BUSY". A GM, Station Manager, Sales Manager all should be creating a stations look and feel to appeal to the viewers and not just copy the other guys. At one time this was a great challenge for me when I was programming in Portland, Boise, Evansville, Reno and many other markets. Then the GM or Station Manager and or Sales Managers were sold into NEWS in excess. Having two stations in one market should have never been allowed and having more than 9 stations in the USA should never have been allowed. The FCC has no Ball or NO Teeth...so people can do anything they want on TV and not Loose their license.
Start by Americans taking back America. Start by abiding by the Communications ACT, Start by throwing out the Pretty Boy and Pretty Girl readers. If that is what the GM and Station Manager then let them go to the other stations, and be a ME TOO leader.
Raymond M. Barp - 9/9/2009 3:59:23 PM EDT
Murdoch has a good point with the cuts, the news is no longer needed. LA has far too many TV stations anyway. What other market has SEVEN VHF stations? And all commerical yet.
KTTV covers the exact same news as the other stations so why bother. If it was NEW news that would be one thing, but if KCBS, KNBC, KABC, KCAL are already covering wildfires what difference does having one more station covering it make? None that's what, you can get the same information repeated ad nauseum.
Just have KTTV and sister KCOP work out a deal with the other stations to buy their news info and have a paid intern read it. How hard is it to stare into a camera and read. It isn't, it's darn easy. Why pay hundreds of thousands to an anchor when a minimum wage intern can do the same thing. Why pay for a news staff to cover the identical stories as other stations? There is no good reason. FOX doesn't need news, the other stations are doing it.
As I said I could understand if they covered different stories but it's the same stories on every channgel
Eric Post - 9/9/2009 2:51:39 PM EDT
not heartless, but reading this person as saying that covering "pursuits, wild fires and michael jackson's funeral" would be impossible without all those employees makes me think that two out of three of those AREN'T news anyway.
steve - 9/8/2009 6:59:10 PM EDT
THIS IS ABSOLUTELY AWFUL. HOW IS A NEWS OPERATION SUPPOSE TO OPERATE WHEN YOU CUT ALMOST THE ENTIRE STAFF? MORE AND MORE, LOCAL TV NEWS OPERATIONS, AS WELL AS NEWSPAPERS, ARE GETTING THEIR LIMBS AND HEADS CUT OFF. THE INTENTION FOR RUPERT MURDOCH, AND ALL BRITISH OLLEGARCHS IS DESTROY ANY JOURNALISM THAT CANNOT BE CONTROLLED BY THE PUBLIC. THAT'S WHY CABLE NEWS NETWORKS AND THE INTERNET EXIST, TO DISPENSE NEWS THAT WILL DUMMY DOWN THE POPULATION. PLEASE STOP THIS IMMEDIATELY. READ SOME LYNDON LAROUCHE!!!
Daniel Quintanilla - 9/8/2009 5:43:46 PM EDT
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