Sunday, January 22, 2006

KSN Layoffs

I got this anonymous e-mail today...

Is anyone we know being laid off at KSN?????

which made me go out and research the KSN situation. I only could find this Wichita Eagle article.

Channel 3 layoffs to come

It's a difficult time for employees of KSN, Channel 3, as they wait for the final paperwork on the station's sale from Emmis Communications Corp. to SJL Broadcasting and affiliates of Blackstone Group.

The station's vice president and general manager, Shawn Oswald, already was told he won't be kept.

"There are going to be layoffs," says Sandra Benton, SJL's chief operating officer. "I'm not going to announce the size of cuts until the staff knows the size of the cuts."

The company will install automated systems wherever it can to do behind-the-scenes jobs like studio camera operation. Benton says the cuts won't be drastic, and she doesn't expect on-air cuts.

Employees will face significant increases in the cost of their benefits. "Our benefits are not as good as Emmis'," Benton says. "We don't have the bargaining power they have."

SJL already owns three television stations and is picking up four Emmis stations. Benton says that cuts were made at every station but that ratings increases followed. "We did the exact same thing we're intending to do in Wichita," she says. KSN is the No. 3 station in Wichita.

Benton won't say whether ratings were the reason Oswald wasn't kept.

"I have to be sensitive to the fact that a very nice man and a very good man was laid off," she says, "and I think the reason that we chose to do that should remain private."

So does anyone know the 411 on what's exactly happening down there? I've also heard through my friends that the people of KSNT in Topeka are also less than thrilled with the new owners. Anyway, post if you've heard anything.


Saturday, January 21, 2006

Zach Lee in the House!

Happy New Year KUJHers,

Just wanted to drop a line and congratulate a few people on their recent promotions. Andrea, huge move to Dallas. Is that a top ten market? Anyway, it's a fantastic opportunity. Continued success to you. And I've got a boatload of friends in the Austin area. If you're ever down that way, I can help you with a cheap hotel, or a cool place to go. Also, congratulations to Mike Alzamora for his move to Abilene. I'm glad to see you're still in the biz, and moving your way up.

As for me, there's been a lot happening lately. My company, Creative Domain, has been bought. Our new owners are merging us with another trailer house in Hollywood. Basically, our company was an industry leader in home video advertising, dvd content and dvd advertising, among other things. The other company was one of the top theatrical firms in Hollywood. As a merged company, we became one of the biggest and most successful movie advertising companies overnight. No one lost their job, and the only change for now is our name. I now work for Trailer Park Inc. as a staff editor. Work has been absolutely great these days as well. With the merger, all kinds of new business has rolled in. I just finished two ABC promos that will air on the jumbotron at the superbowl. When you think about it, it's a smaller audience than regular t.v., but who doesn't want to see their work on a 70 foot plasma screen? Anyway, it has been just over a year since my move to Los Angeles. It has been hectic, even chaotic at times. But I've managed to keep my head above water and have some fun at the same time. All my best to the current and former KUJHers.

Yours, Zach Lee