Facing budget shortfalls WMNF lays off three employees listen06/23/10 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday | Listen to this entire show:
Please note the important update to this story on 30 June: the layoffs were taken back.
The economy is hitting everyone hard, especially media organizations. This radio station, WMNF, 88.5 FM has faced economic difficulties in the past and has made budget cuts over the last few years. But for the first time in the station’s 31-year history, WMNF laid off employees yesterday because of budget cuts. We spoke with station manager Jim Bennett this evening.
"What's happening at WMNF is not unlike what is happening across the country with media. Whether it's community radio or commercial radio. The revenues are way down and cuts are having to be made at a lot of stations, which doesn't make it any easier for us to have to react to the downturn in the economy everywhere. Our listeners have been really great and giving us as much as they can. But at the same time, we have a huge deficit in our budget currently that is a crisis enough that we have had to make cuts with some staff positions here at the station."
"What were those positions?"
"That includes the receptionist position, the special events position, and the music director position. It really is about, is there a way we can continue to have the station and perform some of the functions; some of the essential functions of those jobs with other staff members and some volunteers? And at the same time we've had incredible people in those positions who can not be replaced; who are really part of the heart and soul of this station; who will be sorely missed and we can not possibly replace them. We're going to do the best we can, and it's family. It hurts a lot."
The three 88.5 FM employees who have been laid off are receptionist Julie Schied, and part-time employees, Music Director Lee Courtney, best known by his on-air nickname Flee (he will still DJ Mondays from 4pm until 6pm), and special events coordinator Linda "Linda Lu" Reisinger, who has been with WMNF for more than 30 years.