Eighty WNET-WLIW employees among latest recession victims

Published in Current, Feb. 2, 2008

Eighty staffers of New York’s WNET and WLIW got word that they’ve lost their jobs Jan. 22 and 23 as the licensee WNET.org adjusted to falling revenues.

The licensee said it cut staffing 14 percent and reduced spending for the two stations by 8 percent. It hasn’t dropped any programs but is reconsidering all programs in development.

Donations and underwriting revenues were down significantly, notably in donations from the damaged financial sector, President Neal Shapiro told the New York Observer. The licensee's endowment fell 25 percent in value to $84.5 million, though it said its investments fared better than the stock market's generally.

Further changes will be necessary, Shapiro said, if the state government halves its $8.7 million support, as proposed by Gov. David Paterson.

In San Francisco, blogger and former KQED exec David Weir predicted serious cuts at the station. Weir himself was laid off earlier in January by a web startup, Predictify.com.

Among the other stations retrenching:

Web page posted Feb. 6, 2009
Copyright 2009 by Current LLC

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NPR laid off 64 and eliminated 21 vacant positions in December. American Public Media, WGBH and other stations also reduced staffing.

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