News Not So Good News For Channel 6

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


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As GoLocalProv first reported, layoff’s have started at Channel 6 where new owners are in the process of taking over. Now, we have more new details on exactly what has been happening at the station.

It is becoming clear that Citadel Communications out of Bronxville, New York has plans to do things a lot differently and it does not appear that adding staff and resources are part of the immediate plan anyway.

Here is why.

Sources tell GoLocal a total of 10-employees have been let go by the owners. The two we knew about and already reported here are Vice President and General Manager Steve Doerr and Chief Engineer Jim Brown. Doerr’s background is news and content and despite the 3rd place rating spot he inherited, Doerr did his best to try and get Channel 6 on the map. Leading newscasts with different stories compared to Channels 10 and 12, pushing slick promotion of the station and basically doing more with less.

Other Layoffs

The other 8 employees who are being laid off also show a disturbing pattern. An organization that just comes in and starts to cut staff from the news department is not good news. GoLocal has learned that the following positions are now gone from the station:

2-news photographers
Assignment Editor
Graphic Artist
3-technical/production people
Administrative Coordinator

According to some station insiders, Citadel did not provide any real information about their decision to get rid of certain people. It’s also not clear how the current stable of news anchors and reporters will be affected. It is more than likely that some or all of the news talent, under contract or not, will be approached about the current situation and pay and then asked if they would like to stay under a “different arrangement”.

New General Manager/Sales Focus

The station has announced a new General Manager to take over for Doerr. Chris Tzianabos is now the new Vice President and General Manager as Citadel gets set to formally take over opearation of the station on May 1st. Tzianabos has experience on the sales side of things having worked in Boston at WFXT and WHDH. Sources say along with Tzianabos’s leadership, a heavy influence of leadership and key management decisions will come from the corporate folks at Citadel Communications. With this hire, comes a heavy emphasis on sales and building revenue which obviously any business needs. But, along with sales help, the station needs to keep a laser focus on news content.

We reached out to Citadel corporate for some questions we had relating to the future of the station and if any additional lay-off’s are planed.. So far no word back.

Jeff Derderian is a former television news reporter and anchor both in Providence and Boston. He is one of the founders of the Station Education Fund. He can be reached at [email protected]


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