The first week in June sees a lot of television reporters and producers holding their breath. Like the third week into fall practice for NFL Teams, it is often a time to make cuts.
The all-important May book is over. Reporters who’ve been working without a contract due to failed negotiations in December are especially vulnerable. So are employees at stations that have undergone ownership changes.
That was the case with me three years ago. Negotiations didn’t work out. They offered ‘take it or leave it’ and I left it on the table. The station kept me churning out stories until the end of the book and then sent me on my way the first day back from the Memorial Day holiday. This was also the time when two other stations interviewed me for openings they wanted to fill by June.
But speaking of any trend, here are some numbers I found:
Last June, WDAF laid off 13 newsroom people.
WOLO laid off 30 anchors, reporters and producers June 4, 2002
WPXT shutdown its newsroom June 19, 2002
end of May, 2002, NewsChannel 8 cut 30 jobs.
WEVV waited until July 17th to shut down its newsroom.
WMDN did the same July 7, 2005
I suppose the thinking is to wait on layoffs until sweeps is over. No sense in shaking up the newsroom when the diaries are out.
Folks in the newly sold NYT group tell me the new owners have told them there would be no additional layoffs to the ones done before the transaction.
I hope they’re telling the truth.