Archive for the ‘KTVD’ Category

Layoffs hit the TV division, too; details, please!

August 27, 2008

[Cutting staff? Screenshot of WBIR-TV’s website in Knoxville, Tenn.]

Gannett’s 23 TV stations are eliminating jobs in a new wave of layoffs that apparently mirrors the cuts just enacted at the company’s newspaper division, Gannett Blog readers tell me. I’m now looking for more details about the scale of this reduction, including the targeted number of jobs to be eliminated, and the date when this campaign began. (See my questions, below.)

Here’s one of the latest notes I’ve received: “Gannett broadcasting is ‘restructuring’ its broadcast operations. I know this for a fact; I was re-organized right out of a job at the Knoxville, Tenn., station. Master control at all the TV stations is being centralized in either Jacksonville, Fla. (NBC and ABC), or Greensboro, N.C. (CBS). Graphics is being centralized in Denver — and graphic artists have been laid off at all the stations, with the 10 largest stations retaining one artist. All the news graphics will done by the news producers and reporters via an automated graphics system (can anyone say, lots of typos?)

“At my former station, at least 13 people (out of 130) have been laid off, including my boss. He was in charge of programming, new media and commercial production. All of us in commercial production were laid off: Two were turned into ‘backpack’ client-services producers and moved into sales. They are being managed by a GSM who doesn’t think quality is important. (‘Everyone just watches it on YouTube or their phone, so quality isn’t important.’ She actually said that to me! Gee, then why is everyone buying those HD, plasma-screen monitors? Don’t you think they want to see pretty pictures?)

“So, my friend, newspapers aren’t the only ones feeling the pain. The TV guys are taking it on the chin, as well.”

Did broadcasting division President Dave Lougee (left) notify employees in a memo? (If so, can you shoot it my way?) Or did he follow newspaper division chief Bob Dickey‘s example, and leave the dirty work to individual station managers? Please post replies in the comments section, below. To e-mail confidentially, write gannettblog[at]gmail[dot-com]; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the green sidebar, upper right.

Earlier: Layoffs at WLBZ-TV. Plus: Graphics group a ‘clusterfuck’

Reader: Broadcast moves graphics work to Denver

May 16, 2008

[Mile high: Denver TV station KUSA’s homepage]

Updated at 4:24 p.m. PT: A reader now says the company producing the “mundane” graphics discussed below is Chyron of Melville, N.Y. Stock picker Jeff Smith at Seeking Alpha wrote about Chyron’s growth prospects in March.

Updated at 10:11 a.m. PT: TVSpy now says as many as 50 employees were affected by what the broadcast trade site is calling “bloodletting at Gannett.”

Earlier: The TV division is consolidating graphics production for its 23 stations at a single new facility to be called Gannett Graphics Group, or G3, in Denver, a Gannett Blog reader says. As part of that move, Broadcasting laid off a number of artists at the 23 stations yesterday, the reader says; I don’t have the exact number. Those laid off may apply for work at the new Denver facility, the reader says. Denver is home to both KUSA and KTVD.

Larger stations will keep one artist, and G3 initially will have 10 artists, the reader says: “Unlike NBC and Media General’s art houses, Gannett has entered into a deal with a company that can generate most of the mundane daily graphics automatically, letting the G3 artist concentrate on the high-end and complex animations.”

The Denver launch is part of a broader and apparently accelerating series of cost-saving moves across Gannett, and it follows a heads-up on Tuesday from Broadcasting President Dave Lougee. G3 came the same day USA Today consolidated regional financial work for its circulation department, reducing the number of well-paid controllers to six, from 17 positions. Overall, as many as 50 jobs were eliminated, my readers have told me.

The background graph
Gannett’s Wisconsin papers are establishing a regional copy and design desk. Earlier, GCI consolidated customer service, photo toning, and other services at regional locations, where fewer people presumably can do the same (or more!) work. In its most extreme economizing step, Gannett is now eliminating scores of ad-production jobs at its newspapers, shifting that work to India under a contract with offshorer 2AdPro of Los Angeles.

What’s next: Will the newspaper division open regional art departments to produce graphics for its papers? Don’t forget: clustering may lie ahead! Leave a note, in the comments section, below. Or use this link to e-mail your reply; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the green sidebar, upper right.