Albany, N.Y., Fox affiliate WXXA, which merged its news operation with that of ABC affil WTEN, laid off meteorologist Jason Caterina and reporter Steve Flamisch on Friday. As many as 20 people may have lost their jobs Friday, sources said. That’s in addition to 10 earlier layoffs at WXXA. WTEN GM Andy Alford confirmed that WXXA “did do a reduction of force” on Friday, but declined to “comment on specifics of staff reductions.”
Main news anchor Ann Hughes, an Albany, N.Y., media fixture for more than a decade, has been let go by the Shield Media-owned Fox affiliate, along with sports anchor Kristian Read and chief photographer Barry Sanders, as the station continues to merge news operations with its new sister station WTEN. Three other WXXA employees from outside the news department were also laid off Wednesday.
The Albany, N.Y. Fox affiliate says it wants to “focus resources and efforts toward Fox23 News at 10 p.m. and Fox23 News in the morning.”
Shield Media, owned by Sheldon Galloway, is buying Fox affiliate WXXA for $19.4 million from Newport Television with the intention of entering shared services and joint sales agreements with Young Broadcasting’s ABC affiliate, WTEN.
Newport Television-owned stations in Harrisburg, Pa.; Albany, N.Y.; and Syracuse, N.Y., have been restored to local Verizon FiOS systems over the weekend after the two companies reached a new retransmission deal.