PBRTV hears and reads ESPN 1250 (WEAE-AM) has “laid off” six staffers including long-time anchors Joe DeStio and Eartha Jackson. Production Director Larry Gerson, who has been with the station for many years, was also on the list as was Program Director Jim Graci. Two office staffers received pink slips as well. More if and when we hear it.
UPDATE: The Post-Gazette reports that station VP/GM Mike Thompson is adding the programming duties to his resume. He tells the paper, “We saw opportunities to create some efficiencies on the business side. We’re looking at creating some efficiencies with our multiple ESPN markets.”
Right now, though, WEAE is the market leader of the three sports talk stations in town (WBGG-AM 970 and KDKA-FM 93.7 being the other two). The station’s online numbers are “through the roof” as listening extends to Pittsburgh sports fans outside the market. So why make these cuts now? Thompson says, “We’re in the position where we’re very strong. Sometimes you do these decisions when you’re in a position of strength.
Meanwhile, the stations programs will remain in tact with one small change. Stan Savran and Guy Junker’s program will be extended from two hours to four hours, running from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.