NBC11 has laid off seven people including three reporters — Noelle Walker, Danny Garza and Ethan Harp, according to TV Spy’s Shop Talk. The cuts weren’t as extreme as those at Channel 5 in April where long time reporters like John Lobertini, Manny Ramos, Tony Russomanno and Bill Schechner were shown the door along with a number of producers and photographers.
Also leaving Channel 11 are Assignment editor Paul O’Neill, satellite truck operator John Wheeler, news exec assistant Kathy Kirtland and new media producer Jan Boyd.
To cut costs, NBC11 also plans to automate its control room operation with a system that will essentially eliminate all the news technical and control room staff, with control being handled by a computer operated by one controller and one assistant. Channel 11’s cameras are already robotic, but with the new system, an entire newscast will be handled by a production crew of about four people, according to TV Spy.