Inside the CBS job cuts

“The message being sent is, if you succeed in your job, you succeed in your craft, look out! You’re too expensive.”

– Tom Petner,, quoted in “CBS layoffs signal in a financial squeeze on TV stations” article in the Los Angeles Times today.

That quote can be attributed to any industry these days, but nowhere where it rings more than true is in TV journalism. This article looks inside the recent CBS job cuts, which eliminated 160 jobs in 13 markets over the last few weeks, including 18 at WBBM-TV in Chicago.

With the cuts, it may be harder for the struggling station group to attract viewers to its newscasts – for one, KCBS-TV in Los Angeles fell 40 percent in household ratings in February for its perennial last-place 11 p.m. newscast, compared to the same time month in 2007, thanks in part to the writers’ strike. KCBS recently cut long-time anchors anchors Harold Greene and Ann Martin.