Included among the staffers let go at WQED Multimedia this week were Jocelyn Hough, the executive producer for local programming, and Dave Rhodes, one half of “Dave & Dave’s Excellent Adventures but also director of in-studio programming. There is no word on whether or not the D&D program will continue with Rhodes working on a freelance basis. The press release earlier in the week said the layoffs would not “immediately impact” local programming.
Meanwhile over at KDKA, Sonni Abatta leaves the station today to set off for Orlando, Florida and Fox Affiliate WOFL-TV. She will be anchor of the newscasts at 5, 6, 10 and 11 p.m. The Pittsburgh native and 2003 Carnegie Mellon graduate admits she’s doing things “backwards” especially since her friends moved away after college and are beginning to return now. This new opportunity gives her a chance to be closer to her sister and family. Abatta joined KDKA as “reporter trainee” in 2003 and by the end of 2005 was anchoring all morning newscasts. A new morning team is expected to be in place by the end of summer. Traffic reporter Jim Lokay is the last member of the team put together in 2005 and is likely an in-house candidate to fill one of the anchor positions. Stephanie Watson and David Highfield are also being considered.
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