WYOU ceasing news broadcasts
Last Modified: February 18. 2013 9:25AM
By Andrew M. Seder [email protected]
Times Leader Staff Writer
WYOU-TV 22, the CBS affiliate serving Northeast Pennsylvania, announced this afternoon that starting Saturday it will no longer offer local news broadcasts. The change will mean the elimination of 14 full-time employees in the station's news, production and promotion departments.
Replacing the noon, 4 p.m., 5 p.m., 6 p.m., 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. news and WYOU Interactive programs will be entertainment shows including Access Hollywood, Judge Judy and The Insider.
In a Business Wire release, Lou Abitabilo, general manager for Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Inc.'s WBRE, which had been providing operational and sales services for Mission Broadcasting which owns WYOU, said, “By offering a broad range of popular entertainment choices to our Wilkes Barre/Scranton viewers, WYOU can provide additional attractive business solutions to our advertisers and as such we believe this is a win-win situation for our entire community.”
In that same release, Dennis Thatcher, chief operating officer for Mission Broadcasting, said, “WYOU strives to deliver the most compelling television programming in the market to meet the demands and interests of our valued viewers. The viewers have spoken, letting us know that WYOU is the station they rely on for entertainment and we are confident the station's already solid line up will be bolstered with the addition of entertainment and news magazine programming including Judge Joe Brown, Access Hollywood and Entertainment Tonight which will replace the station's news programming. With the addition of this content we've got an incredible array of offerings including the renowned CBS network entertainment, news, soaps and sports programming in addition to our already programmed syndicated game show, news magazine and entertainment favorites.”
Among those informed they'll be laid off were on-air talents Lyndall Stout, Eric Scheiner, David DeCosmo, Dave Kuharchik, Mike Conigliaro, and Dia Wallace.
A source that was in the meeting said it's his understanding that those under contract will remain on until the next anniversary of the date their contract was signed. Those without contracts, including some behind the scenes workers, were let go Friday.
According to the source, the 2 p.m. meeting was held in the WYOU studio. Abitabilo read from a three-page prepared letter then left without taking any questions. Some managers then went through the studio handing out envelopes to those employees who will lose their jobs.
Messages left for Abitabilo Friday were not returned.
Read the complete story in Saturday's Times Leader and on timesleader.com