STUDIO CITY— Longtime KCBS news anchors Jeff Michael, Sandra Mitchell and Sharon Tay, along with meteorologist Garth Kemp, were all laid off as part or a corporate decision.
A total of 400 employee were affected by the news station’s layoff’s. All departments affected include entertainment, news, sports, its production studio and its TV stations within Los Angeles, New York, and some areas in Chicago.
As ViacomCBS plans for their second round of layoffs, TheWrap was able to review a staff email for CBS Entertainment Group, which quotes Susan Zirinsky CBS News President saying,
“These decisions are particularly painful for our entire organization, which has performed at the highest level during the Covid-19 pandemic, overcoming so many obstacles.”
These cuts came six moths after a merger with Viacom CBS where executives last year told investors the corporate union would bring $750 million in savings. These layoffs come as a main result of Coronavirus.
“The impact of COVID-19 on ViacomCBS’ businesses — including the postponement of theatrical releases domestically and internationally, cancellation or rescheduling of sports events for which the company had broadcast rights, and production delays in television and filmed entertainment programming — could be material to the company’s operating results, cash flows and financial position”, ViacomCBS said in a regulatory filing.
ViacomCBS noted that the media company would cut costs to help shore up its position. Coronavirus has greatly impacted advertisement agencies who are the main buyers of ad space, which helps finance companies like KCBS. Ad companies have had to make major cuts in their budgets. In a May article from Los Angeles Times, Magna Global, an advertising company, reported that in late March it had revised its 2020 forecast ad spending, stating,
“COVID-19 has already caused a downturn in the stock market and ejected millions of people from the workforce. Ad sales are expected to dip 2.8% this year”, the firm said, noting the declines would have been worse, but an estimated $4.9 billion in political spending in the fall should cushion much of the blow.