From broadcast sources, some of whom have direct access to sensitive information: the very possible blueprint to a possible SALE of the station!
It's a behind-the-scenes missive by Disney to begin massive financial trimming of its O and O's to maximize a potential sale and KGO wouldn't necessarily be the only station involved. Think LA here too. "Leaner and Meaner" comes into play. Nothing is imminent mind you but weeks ago the first target was KGO when all air talent and newsroom personnel, (with the exception of cameramen), were told there would be a 20% across-the-board pay cut. (Ouch!)
Carolyn Johnson, one of the station's higher-profile anchors and a stalwart of the operation would have nothing of that and began looking at other options--she found a higher-paying gig with significant perks in a bigger market, Los Angeles no less, and is leaving. The station is unknown, but I'd bet it would be KNBC. (Don't believe the bullshit memo that Johnson was leaving amicably --she left 100% due to the pay cut announcement). Only the sheep press bought that spin.
KGO News Director, Tracey Watkowski, has been given the directive to begin the process of slashing and mashing and, from a source, "she's the perfect person to do it--has 'ice in her veins--she knows a lot of people don't like her but she doesn't care." Until afterward when Watkowski becomes the scapegoat and she herself gets the Disney axe.
*TRANSACTION: Here's an interesting one. Mark Mathews, who is a veteran political reporter and was unceremoniously dumped by Watkowski a few months back, has been hired by NBC Bay Area and begins his new position on Monday. Odd coincidence.
Here's another: Leigh Glaser, the KGO veteran meteorologist that retired abruptly last week. Glaser leaving wasn't that shocking but the timing, in lieu of the pay-cut directive and Johnson's splitting sheds new light on why she took off so suddenly.
Here's a laundry list from another source of what management is thinking of various personnel. It's not the gospel and far from being enacted but good enough to show what's on the horizon:
In Sports: Shu is out too old and expensive. ( Nice guy ) They looked at Scott, (Kate), but it's not worth the effort. Freelance is the best option
*Keep Biel only because he does news & sports
*Retire Eric Thomas, he's too old.
*Keep Kristen, (Z morning Amma evenings)
*Management will hang on for at least a year because they've been tapped for dirty work. Hire a "nice guy" team after the damage is done and the station is sold
*Huge photographer cuts, (going freelance)
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