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GBH Layoffs Claim 4% of Work Force

“13 different departments throughout GBH were impacted by the layoffs.”

Barrett News Media

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Photo Credit: WGBH

31 employees have been laid off at GBH. Management warned staff about potential job cuts due to a significant budget deficit back in March. The cuts represent 4% of the outlet’s work force. Among the affected are approximately 10% of GBH’s News department.

CEO Susan Goldberg addressed the layoffs in an email to staff, stating “We made these hard choices only after implementing a range of other cost-saving measures and operating efficiencies. The basic reason for these reductions is simple: revenues are flat and the cost of doing business has gone up. A lot.”

GBH, a major producer of public media content, is facing a $7 million budget gap. Goldberg announced that popular local television programs such as Greater Boston, Talking Politics, and Basic Black would no longer be produced for TV due to changing viewer habits and declining viewership. However, the shows will be reimagined as digital-first programming.

13 different departments throughout GBH were impacted by the layoffs according to Goldberg’s email. It is unclear if there will be further cost-cutting measures in the future.

Zoe Mathews, a union steward for the newsroom, expressed surprise and disappointment at the sudden layoffs especially since discussions with the union during recent all-staff meetings held by organization leadership did not occur.

“Over the course of the past few months, when we have had all-staff meetings with organization leadership, we in the newsroom were not unaware of the financial situation at GBH, but I’m shocked that management has decided to make cuts from the newsroom and not explore other options,” said Mathews.

The GBH layoffs come one month after Boston’s other NPR station WBUR announced cuts of up to 14% of its staff. Those moves were said to be necessary due to a steep decline in on-air sponsorships.

Goldberg’s announcement did not mention any changes to flagship programs such as FRONTLINE, NOVA, Antiques Roadshow or Masterpiece. GBH is also known for producing popular children’s programs for public broadcasting. The news comes shortly after the announcement of GBH News’ General Manager Pam Johnston’s resignation at the end of the month.

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Longtime LA Host Tom Leykis Retiring From Talk Show

“I wanted to go out on my terms when I wanted. So I did.”

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A photo of Tom Leykis
(Photo: NewRockstars via YouTube)

Longtime Los Angeles talk radio host Tom Leykis is stepping away from his internet-based show, calling it a career.

The former KFI AM-640 host also spent time in L.A. on then KMPC 710 and also on the hot talk formatted KLSX during his long tenure in the City of Angels.

After departing KLSX in 2009, Leykis didn’t begin his podcast until 2012 but continued hosting his internet show until earlier this year. On May 15th, he decided that was it.

“A long time ago, I realized I did not want to be like some of the hosts I heard in the past — begging for callers, stretching for topics,” Leykis told the LA Daily News. “I wanted to go out on my terms when I wanted. So I did.”

The 67-year-old has not hosted a show since that date and told the Daily News he is content with his decision to ride off into the sunset.

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Longtime WLS-AM 890 Weekend Host Paul Brian Dies

“He was a legend in the industry, and he helped a lot of other people along the way, including myself.”

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Longtime WLS-AM 890 weekend host Paul Brian has died at the age of 73.

For more than 20 years, Brian hosted the automotive-focused Drive Chicago program on the Cumulus-owned news/talk outlet.

Brian died last week, according to a story from the Chicago Sun-Times.

In addition to his work at WLS, he also previously hosted a variety of programs at WGN Radio in Chicago. In recent years, he hosted a car-centric show on YouTube.

“One of his favorite lines was: ‘Always entertaining and sometimes actually informative,’” his YouTube co-host Lauren Fix told the Sun-Times. “He was a legend in the industry, and he helped a lot of other people along the way, including myself.”

Brian’s daughter joked that he had everyone’s phone number, stating he had 9,000 contacts in his cell phone at the time of his passing.

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Michael Smerconish: Presidential Debate Will Be ‘Financial Windfall’ for CNN

“Remember, this is not a Commission on Presidential Debates. The Commission on Presidential Debates was sort of cast aside…”

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A photo of Michael Smerconish
(Photo: CNN)

CNN is set to buck decades of precedent and air two commercial breaks during its upcoming Presidential debate. Michael Smerconish believes there’s a perfectly fine reason for that decision.

During his SiriusXM show Monday, Smerconish asked his audience about the microphone for one candidate being muted while the other candidate was speaking for CNN’s debate, before bringing up several other new changes for the debates.

In his recap, he shared his belief that the marriage was a win for the Trump campaign, the Biden campaign, and CNN.

“Remember, this is not a Commission on Presidential Debates. The Commission on Presidential Debates was sort of cast aside when the candidates got together first with CNN — then with ABC — and said we’re gonna go our own way, in large part I think, because they wanted to preclude Robert F Kennedy Jr. from having any access to that debate stage,” said Smerconish.

“There will be two commercial breaks. Unlike the Commission on Presidential Debates, CNN will have corporate sponsors. During the course, two breaks, of the 90-minute event, which will provide a financial windfall I am sure, for CNN.”

Smerconish polled his audience on whether or not they liked the idea of muting microphones during the debate. Nearly 74% of the almost 25,000 who responded said they were in favor of the new measure.

In addition to his program on SiriusXM, Michael Smerconish also hosts a weekend show on CNN.

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