WQED ISSUES CLARIFICATION ABOUT ITS FINANCES ANDCOST-CUTTING MEASURES
WQED ISSUES CLARIFICATION ABOUT ITS FINANCES ANDCOST-CUTTING MEASURES DURING
NATIONAL ECONOMIC CRISIS
PITTSBURGH - WQED Pittsburgh today reissued a clarification of its financial status in response to questions from the public and the media about its finances during the current national economic crisis.
“These are extraordinary times and since last summer WQED took extraordinary measures to deal with them,” said WQED President and CEO George L. Miles, Jr. “We called it ‘Hunker Down’ because when we ask our members and the public to support WQED, we can say in turn that the employees-and that includes me and the executives of this company-continue to do their part to cut costs and raise revenue.
“Our goal is to navigate through this tough economy and to be stronger going into fiscal year 2010,” Miles added.
WQED’s Board of Directors approved a conservative budget last September for the current fiscal year. Then in December of 2008, WQED revisited the budget and instituted “Hunker Down Phase 2”--additional cost-saving measures, which included:
• Hiring freezes
• No salary increases
• Suspension of WQED’s contributions to employee retirement plans
• Negotiation of union contracts with the International Association of Theatrical and Stage Employees (IATSE) Locals 820 and 489
• Additional employee-paid premium costs for health care
• Elimination of unnecessary travel
• Elimination of employees’ attendance at conferences
• Elimination of employee staff training
• Elimination of awards entries
• Suspension of overnight mail and messenger service
• Increased energy conservation measures
Total executive compensation has been reduced between 20 to 26 percent, with Miles’ compensation reduction at 30 percent.
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); WQED-FM 89.3/Pittsburgh; WQEJ-FM 89.7/Johnstown; a publishing division that includes PITTSBURGH MAGAZINE; local and national television and radio productions; WQED Interactive (www.wqed.org); and The WQED Education Department.
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