Newport TV Mandates Furloughs

Unpaid leave for all and 33 positions cut

Newport Television is mandating unpaid leave from employees to help the broadcaster weather the economic crisis. Employees are to take 10 days of furlough for the remainder of this year.

“Our stations have done an exceptional job controlling expenses and increasing our revenue shares during this unprecedented economic downturn,” the company said in a statement. “However, in spite of these efforts, we cannot make up for the revenue losses we are experiencing. Therefore, after much deliberation, we have decided to reduce our workforce by 33 positions at six stations and will implement a two week furlough program for the balance of 2009 for all employees in our company who are active as of today, including our entire corporate staff. We do not expect any impact on our programming as a result of the furlough and remain committed to providing quality broadcasting to our viewers."

Newport operates 50 stations nationwide.

The broadcaster is also consolidating news operations at its WIVT/WBGH Binghamton and WETM Elmira (NY) stations, reports upstate New York’s Star-Gazette. The Star-Gazette reports 11 layoffs out of 28 staffers at the Binghamton duopoly.