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KPIX CBS 5 lays off 14 including four reporters

KPIX CBS 5 on Monday laid off 14 newsroom employees including reporters (from left) John Lobertini, Manny Ramos, Tony Russomanno and Bill Schechner. The four laid-off reporters have a combined 61 years of service at the station. Schechner, 66, has been on TV in the Bay Area since 1972. Lobertini headed the station’s Sacramento bureau. The others laid off were editors and producers. Management isn’t commenting beyond saying the layoffs weren’t disciplinary. [Chronicle, AP, CBS 5 Blogger Brittney Gilbert]

Many viewers posting comments at SFGate.com are outraged, with some claiming the four reporters were victims of age discrimination.

Other CBS-owned stations are cutting jobs including 30 positions at WBZ-TV Boston, 17 at WBBM Chicago, and unknown numbers of layoffs at WCBS-TV New York, KCNC Denver, KOVR Sacramento and WTVJ Miami.

UPDATE, 10:30 p.m. The AP is reporting that Rick Quan, a reporter and sportscaster who has been at KPIX since 1987, was laid off, too. KPIX communications director Akilah Monifa would not confirm the number being cut except for the five on-air staffers. She said layoffs extended beyond the newsroom to other divisions of both KPIX and sister station KBCW-TV Channel 44.

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