Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Layoffs at ABC News Radio

By Chris Ariens

First on TVNewser: There's been a round of layoffs at ABC News Radio. Up to 20 staffers from the editorial, production and technical staffs were let go today from jobs in New York and Washington, DC.

An executive tells TVNewser, "This has happened at every major radio company in the country. ABC News Radio held off as long as possible, but this is the reality."

ABC News Radio is the largest news radio network in the country with 2,200 affiliates.

Layoffs were across the board, including management – at the ABC News Radio division layoff notices were announced Tuesday. Among them are longtime network news vets Robert Garcia (Executive Director, News & Sports) and Peter Salinger (Director, Special Events & Sports).

A senior executive at ABC News Radio tells RBR-TVBR: "The reductions primarily focused on writers, engineers and managers. It won’t affect our very high levels of affiliate service. Today, radio listeners will still wake up to hear the same staff of award-winning reporters covering breaking news: Aaron Katersky, Alex Stone, Ann Compton, Steven Portnoy, Matt Gutman, Vic Ratner, Linda Albin."

He continued, "Our crisis coverage still is the best. Affiliates are receiving the same number of newscasts as before. Affiliates will receive the same quantity of news audio as before…still updated continuously on our web site. Our high number of two-ways for key affiliates will continue. It’s unfortunate because the people affected are all world-class journalists but changes had to be made to reflect what’s happening in the radio business."

Tribune Sale Of Cubs Approved By MLB

Major League Baseball owners on Tuesday gave unanimous approval to the deal by Tribune Company to sell the Chicago Cubs to the Ricketts family. The sale is expected to close by the end of this month.

The proceeds from the sale will put several hundred million dollars in the coffers of the Tribune Company, which is in Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization. The price is reportedly $825 million. In addition to the baseball team, the buyers get Wrigley Field and Tribune’s 25% interest in Comcast SportsNet.

"The Ricketts family is honored to have received the approval of major league baseball owners today. This is a major step forward, but the transaction is not yet complete," said a statement from the MLB owners-to-be.

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