Tuesday, April 1, 2008

KPIX CBS 5 lays off 14 including four reporters

KPIX CBS 5 on Monday laid off 14 newsroom employees including reporters (from left) John Lobertini, Manny Ramos, Tony Russomanno and Bill Schechner. The four laid-off reporters have a combined 61 years of service at the station. Schechner, 66, has been on TV in the Bay Area since 1972. Lobertini headed the station's Sacramento bureau. The others laid off were editors and producers. Management isn't commenting beyond saying the layoffs weren't disciplinary. [Chronicle, AP, CBS 5 Blogger Brittney Gilbert]

Many viewers posting comments at SFGate.com are outraged, with some claiming the four reporters were victims of age discrimination.

Other CBS-owned stations are cutting jobs including 30 positions at WBZ-TV Boston, 17 at WBBM Chicago, and unknown numbers of layoffs at WCBS-TV New York, KCNC Denver, KOVR Sacramento and WTVJ Miami.

UPDATE, 10:30 p.m. The AP is reporting that Rick Quan, a reporter and sportscaster who has been at KPIX since 1987, was laid off, too. KPIX communications director Akilah Monifa would not confirm the number being cut except for the five on-air staffers. She said layoffs extended beyond the newsroom to other divisions of both KPIX and sister station KBCW-TV Channel 44.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

very sad news !!!! some of my fav reporters.

Anonymous said...

Wow, those men were the best and most thorough reporters too. I grew up watching them and I am shocked they were laid off. I'm wondering if it's ageism. I could think of a few of the younger ones I wouldn't mind not reporting due to their styles and I'm in my 30's.

Anonymous said...

a lot of experience and institutional memory is walking out the door of 855 battery ... truly sad! ...

Anonymous said...

Show of hands, does anybody watch local news? What purpose would that serve--to hear Tony Russomanno explain the Folsom Street Fair?

Anonymous said...

sad to see all of them go, but in the age of blogs and quck news online, the nightly news isn't the same. You go home and already know most of the stories. As for Rick Quan, I am guessing they plan to downsize their sports dept, that's what KOVR in Sac was doing. People tend to watch for sports news on ESPN and in a few months the expanded CSN will come into play. Plus, doesn't Gary own the local sports market?

Anonymous said...

When cuts like these are made, you always wonder why they don't lop off a top executive or two. KPIX seems to have a lot of management types who don't appear to be adding to the on-air product or the bottom line.