WISH-TV Channel 8 pared down its staff late last week due to the current economic swoon, industry sources said.
Sources familiar with the layoff said five to eight news and production staffers were dismissed as part of cuts by WISH’s
parent company, Rhode Island-based Lin TV Corp. It was not immediately clear how many employees remain on staff.
WISH-TV officials declined to comment, but industry sources said no on-air personalities lost their
jobs. Officials for WLFI-TV Channel 8 in Lafayette and WDTN-TV in Dayton confirmed they each
dismissed four people as part of the cuts.
Television revenue—mostly from advertising—is
down sharply nationally and locally.
TV revenue in the Indianapolis market has declined from
$205 million in 2007 to $155 million in 2009, according to BIA Financial Network, a Virginia-based broadcast
and investment banking consultancy.
BIA officials forecast that local TV revenue will be static the next
two years before increasing to around $165 million in 2012.
WISH isn’t the only local
station being affected by the economy. In June, WTHR-TV Channel 13 laid off two employees, including
long-time Program Director Rod Porter.
Over the last few years, WTHR and WISH have been locked
in a local TV news ratings battle. WTHR holds the edge during 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., with WISH recently taking over
the top spot at 11 p.m.