Layoffs, New Weatherman at WRCB Chattanooga

WRCB is eliminating eight positions over the next few months.
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Chattanooga, Tenn., news power WRCB is eliminating eight positions over the next few months, citing technological developments that allow the station’s production needs to be carried out with fewer bodies.

The staff reductions do not include anchors, reporters or producers.

“We’re reorganizing our maintenance and production departments in recognition of the fact that so much broadcasting equipment has become computerized,” president and general manager Tom Tolar said. “The long and the short of it is that there will be eight positions eliminated over the next couple of months.”

Tolar said the reductions would include attrition, early retirement and layoffs.

WRCB is a strong NBC affiliate that is owned by Indiana-based Sarkes Tarzian. The staff reductions were first reported in The Chattanoogan.

WRCB also announced that it was hiring former WTVC Chattanooga chief meteorologist Neal Pascal to take the place of weekend weatherman Brian Travers, whose contract was not renewed. Travers will remain on the air until Pascal’s start date has been determined. Pascal will begin at some point before the fall season.

Pascal left WTVC after facing federal mortgage-fraud charges, to which he pleaded guilty in December 2006. “He made a mistake, a big mistake,” Tolar said. “But he admitted it, he cooperated with the authorities, he apologized repeatedly and he got his life back together.”

Pascal thanked Tolar and the rest of the WRCB crew in a statement for having “graciously given me a second chance.”

ABC affiliate WTVC, which is owned by Freedom Broadcasting, has been making gains on WRCB.

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