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Layoffs at Media General - Broadcasting & Cable

Layoffs at Media General

Cuts Said to Hit 10 of Media General's 22 Stations
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Media General is laying off a number of employees at the station level. Reportedly, 10 of Media General’s 22 stations are affected by the cuts, which range from a couple to seven or eight.

Providence. R.I., power WJAR laid off seven Wednesday. “The media business is currently being affected by the weak economy, which has resulted in significantly lower spending by the company’s advertisers, and by other challenges facing the industry,” the station said in a statement. “As a result, Media General has reviewed processes and staffing levels throughout the company to identify opportunities to operate with greater efficiency and effectiveness. The company has made the difficult decision to reduce staffing levels.”

A Media General spokesperson said the company made its plans to reduce staff known in recent Webcasts and meetings.

At WCBD Charleston, S.C., the number was a more modest 1-2. Vice president and general manager Rick Lipps said Media General was “addressing the economy and the challenge it presents ... We’re moving forward and doing our jobs.”

WSPA Greenville, S.C. ,VP/GM Phil Lane would not comment on layoffs and referred queries to corporate headquarters in Richmond, Va.

Late last month, three Media General board seats went to representatives of Harbinger Capital Partners. The company announced a first-quarter net loss of $20.3 million, a big drop from the $6.5 million loss in the same quarter a year ago. Broadcast revenue was down 1.2% and newspaper revenue considerably more.

Media General is in the process of dealing five stations and hopes to get around $100 million for them. It has sold WTVQ Lexington (KY) to Morris Network for an undisclosed sum.

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