Heavy Layoffs at Raycom Stations

Recession 2008: Continuing Coverage of the Economic Impact on The Media Business

Raycom is the latest broadcaster to significantly reduce staff. Dozens of employees were dismissed yesterday.

According to published reports, 13 staffers at the WOIO/WUAB Cleveland duopoly, 15 at WMC Memphis, 15 at WALB Albany, Ga., seven at WIS Columbia, S.C., and three at WBTV Charlotte, N.C., were laid off. Several on-air personalities were among the casualties, including morning anchor Jeff Eliasoph in Cleveland and Donna Davis in Memphis.

Raycom did not return a call for comment at press time.

General managers at the affected stations pinned the blame on the economy and depressed advertising landscape.

"The broadcasting industry and advertising-based media businesses in general...are not immune to the many economic difficulties we're facing right now,” WMC general manager Lee Meredith told the Memphis Commercial Appeal. "For the station to properly position ourselves for the business challenges ahead of us, we have taken the difficult step of making a work force reduction."

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.