KTTV's "60-Day Notification" slips are reportedly coming due this week, as 117 staffers at the Fox-owned KTTV-KCOP duopoly are to be laid off as of Sept. 10, according to a KTTV senior editor who posted an open letter to News Corp. management. Some 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.