Athens, Ga. – Employees of WNEG-TV were informed of a staff reorganization today as the University of Georgia-owned station prepares for transition from a commercial station to a new public television station to be known as WUGA-TV and affiliated with Georgia Public Broadcasting.
Seven members of the current staff will be retained under the new organization, and 17 employees were informed that their positions are being eliminated. The eliminated positions include 12 full-time staff and five temporary employees. Full-time staff will receive four weeks’ pay and any accrued leave. Temporary staff will receive two weeks’ pay. Each will be provided transition counseling through UGA Human Resources.
“Programming changes and budgetary considerations dictate a different staffing pattern under the public broadcasting model,” said WNEG station manager Michael Castengera. “These departing employees have been loyal and gave their best efforts toward making WNEG a commercial success. Despite those best efforts, the economic downturn proved to be too great an obstacle.”
The staff-produced local newscast, now seen five nights a week, will be discontinued immediately. A student-produced newscast, NewsSource, will air Monday through Thursday evenings during the academic year as the station’s local news offering.
The continuing staff members include Jimmy Sanders, who is designated as acting director of television until the position is filled permanently. Other continuing positions in the new organization include a sales account executive who will direct acquisition of underwriting sponsorships, a news liaison to work with the student newscast and coordinate the station’s website, a maintenance engineer, a production technician, an accountant, and an administrative specialist.
Two new positions will be hired under the new organizational structure, including a chief engineer to oversee all technical aspects of the station and a master control operator who will be housed in Atlanta to coordinate programming through Georgia Public Broadcasting.