STATEMENT FROM WQED PITTSBURGH IN RESPONSE TO ECONOMIC CLIMATE AND ELIMINATION OF PUBLIC TELEVISION FUNDING IN PENNSYLVANIA STATE BUDGET
PITTSBURGH -- WQED Multimedia Pittsburgh today announced that it laid off nine employees and eliminated two additional staff vacancies-effective immediately--from across the organization -- executive to hourly to non-exempt. The action is in response to the ongoing economic turmoil, the potential reduction in other revenue sources, and the overall delay in an approved state budget that includes the elimination of public television funding for fiscal year 2010.
The details of the layoffs are confidential personnel decisions, but WQED said it would offer a package to assist in job searches and professional career development.
“This is a drastic action and a very painful day in the history of this station, in Pittsburgh and in this region that we serve when we have to respond to financial pressures by cutting staff, “ said George L. Miles, Jr., President and CEO of WQED Multimedia.
“Our employees have given back to this company in multiple ways--through salary cuts and freezes and by paying more for their health care. We cut budgets and expenses, including suspension of travel and pension contributions-pensions that are the basis for our future and the futures of our families. Everyone who works here has done everything to keep this organization going.
“Then earlier this year, Governor Rendell proposed a state budget that eliminated all state funding for public television, including $1.1 million for WQED,” Miles continued. “Since 1968, WQED used these state monies for station operations and production. For the past five months we mounted a public communications campaign to explain why those monies were important to our daily operations. We now have to confront the reality that these state monies may never be reinstated.”
Miles added that the potential reduction in other revenue sources including individual donations and the support of private foundations and corporations forced the station to take action now to remain financially responsible for the remainder of this budget year and to prepare for its new fiscal year which begins October 1.
Today’s staff reductions do not immediately impact WQED’s ability to continue to create and produce some of the station’s award-winning signature shows, including OnQ, one of the country’s only remaining local news magazine programs, Black Horizons, the longest-running minority affairs program in the United States, and Dave and Dave’s Excellent Adventures. Miles said that those programs, however, remain at risk if the Pennsylvania budget impasse continues through the summer. The station is also considering eliminating some national shows it airs but has to separately purchase such as The Lawrence Welk Show.
WQED Pittsburgh, honored with the 2007 and 2006 Mid-Atlantic Emmy® Award for Station Excellence, was founded in 1954 as the nation’s first community-supported broadcaster. WQED creates, produces and distributes quality programs, products and services to engage, inform, educate and entertain the public within its community and around the world. WQED Pittsburgh is one of the first broadcasters in the country to be fully high-definition (HD) in its studio and field production capabilities. It is the parent company of WQED-TV (PBS); WQED: The Neighborhood Channel; WQED: The Create Channel; WQEX-TV (A ShopNBC affiliate); Classical WQED-FM 89.3/Pittsburgh; WQEJ-FM 89.7/Johnstown; local and national television and radio productions; WQED Interactive (www.wqed.org); and The WQED Education Department.
| Corporate Announcements | website
- Pressroom Home
- About WQED
- WQED-FM 89.3
- Community Engagement
- WQED Interactive
- In the News
- Corporate Announcements
4802 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Senior Director of