It’s been a big week for media layoffs and buyouts. As someone who follows the sports media, it seems like every week, a local news or reporter is bought out or has had his/her contract terminated as part of cost cutting. It’s happening in newspapers, TV and radio. But this week, the bloodletting has cut really deep.
Yesterday, David Scott of Boston Sports Media Watch broke the news that Boston Globe columnist Jackie MacMullan accepted a buyout from her paper.
This week, CBS has been has been laying off staffers at its Owned and Operated stations across the country. Michele Greppi of TV Week says the cuts at the CBS O&O’s and CBS News are part of a major restructuring at the company.
WBZ in Boston was hardest hit with 30 layoffs. WBBM in Chicago let go of 17 employees and KPIX in San Francisco said goodbye to 14. It did not matter if the employee was newly hired or a long-time veteran. As far as sports reporting is concerned, WBBM decided to part ways with anchor Mark Malone who has done work at ESPN. A weekend sports wrap up show in New York was cut and in Boston, long-time sports anchor Bob Lobel accepted a buyout from WBZ-TV.
David Scott has more on Lobel’s departure which ends an era in Boston sports reporting. The lovely Jessica Heslam of the Boston Herald talked with Lobel after he got the bad news. The Boston Herald’s Steve Buckley treats Lobie as if he was a pioneer, which he was not. And the following story has nothing to do with sports, but I link to this story only for my own personal interest. Included in the WBZ cuts was entertainment reporter Joyce Kulhawik on whom I had a massive crush when she did features on Evening Magazine in the early 1980′s. She was the last full-time entertainment and arts TV reporter in Boston and her departure was not a surprise.
Unfortunately, the buyouts have become the norm in the media business. As I mentioned last month when my friends at sports radio station WSKO in Providence lost their jobs, on-air talent will most likely be able to find other work, but the grunts and behind-the-scenes people are the ones that get hurt the most. Plus, the product whether it be the stories you read or watch suffer as staffs get stretched thin and have to make up for those who have been cut. When I entered the news business in the mid-1980′s, radio was already cutthroat, but it was nothing like it is now. Media is in transition as it tries to determine how to provide news and sports in a timely manner.
Your newspaper is practically out of date when it arrives on your doorstep. In addition, fewer people are reading papers. The traditional early and late evening newscasts are losing viewers and sportscasts on local news program are being cut as people turn to other outlets like ESPN and the internet to get their information. This is a new age for information and newspapers and local TV stations have to figure out how to use the internet as a tool and not treat it as shovelware.
Ok, enough of me, let’s get to other links.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell has the winner of the Minor League Baseball Logo Contest after 17 days of voting. And Darren has a new twist in ballpark food.
Neil Best of Newsday has his take on NESN’s hiring of Tina Cervasio’s replacement.
The Sports Media Watch says the Davidson-Kansas game ended a series of downward trends for CBS’ coverage of the NCAA Tournament. And the SMW has the final weekend ratings.
Jay Posner of the San Diego Union-Tribune looks forward to the Final Four on CBS.
Maury Brown from the Biz of Baseball blog has the latest Bon Jovi video promoting the Sunday MLB package on TBS.
Rick Dean of the Topeka (KS) Capital-Journal writes that Cox Cable will not pick up 40 Kansas City Royals games from FSN. Kirk Seminoff of the Wichita Eagle also explains why Cox will not pick the entire Royals TV schedule.
John Ryan of the San Jose Mercury News says Comcast SportsNet’s first day on the air on Monday was a success.
Mark Berman of the Roanoke (VA) Times says MASN2 will be put on expanded basic cable so fans can watch overflow Orioles and Nationals games.
Andrew Neff of the Bangor (ME) Daily News talks with Red Sox announcer-in-exile Sean McDonough.
Rick Kushman of the Sacramento Bee says NBC Sports will most likely treat Communist China with kid gloves during the Summer Olympics.
Phil Swann of the TV Predictions site says ESPNews HD has been added to the DirecTV lineup. By the way, ESPNews HD looks absolutely great.
David Goetzl of the Mediapost Publications says ESPN will put its Masters coverage on TV and online.
William Houston of the Toronto Globe and Mail says Masters coverage on CBS and ESPN will focus on Tiger Woods and offer some new technology.
Aaron Williams of the Redding (CA) Record-Spotlight says a local radio station is dropping ESPN Radio in favor of music.
That’s your update for today.