Sunday, August 7, 2011

Next here?

Buffalo's WKBW-TV outsources master control, 10 jobs lost

Buffalo's Channel 7 is about to become the latest local TV station to switch its hub/master control operations to an out-of-town company.

Bill Ransom, WKBW general manager confirmed his station will be shifting those operations from his own staff to Encompass Digital Media of Atlanta. The changeover is expected to be completed by early October.

With the change, approximately 10 people, many long-time WKBW employees, will lose their jobs.

“Unfortunately, technology is replacing people,” Ransom said. “I don’t feel good about this decision. I haven’t slept in two days because of it.”

Previously, WGRZ-TV (Channel 2) and WIVB-TV (Channel 4) moved their hub/master control operations to out-of-town locations. All three stations are following a growing trend not only among local TV affiliates but national cable and satellite operators to have their master controls handled by a separate entity.

The employees in the master control handle everything from plugging in commercials, running paid programming, handling network satellite feeds and live truck operations.

Ransom said WKBW will still be handling its own live shots with crews that remain at the station.