Barrington To Slash Staff

 Barrington Broadcasting Group will reduce its workforce by 8% in the next few months, the company stated in its first-quarter earnings report. “This reduction is expected to be completed during the second quarter and costs associated with the workforce reduction have not yet been determined and will be reported in the second quarter results,” the company said.

 Barrington reported gross revenues for the first quarter of $31.3 million, up 2.8% from the same quarter in 2007. Barrington cited political advertising as the reason for the bump.

 Net revenues were $26.7 million, up 2.6% from the same quarter last year. Broadcast cash flow increased 1.9% to $7 million for the quarter.

 Barrington CEO K. James Yager said newsroom technology and a weak economy will push the company to make due with fewer people. “As a result of weakness in the national economy, we have moved to utilize new technology and operating structures to drive more efficiency at each of our stations,” he said. “We believe this will result in greater innovation and improved local programming quality, and these efficiency initiatives will allow us to operate with about 8% fewer employees than we have in the past.

 “Although we've seen progress in our new approach to converting local newspaper and yellow page advertisers to broadcast television,” he continued, “it has not been enough at this point to fully offset the weakness in national advertising and weak categories like automotive."

 Barrington owns, operates or supports 23 stations. It is owned by the private investment firm Pilot Group.

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.