When I read of the WTVJ layoffs a few theories popped up in my head while trying to figure out why they keep laying people off. Nothing based on tips or anything, just guessing on what could be going on.
1. A buyer for WTVJ has emerged, interested in the station:
a) Buyer looking to run things on the lean. Assuming NBC isn’t flexible on the asking price this potential buyer is probably willing to give NBC the asking price but only in exchange for less burden i.e. high-paid on-air talent, too much staff.
b) the buyer is a media company who sees the need to invest in WTVJ in order to make them a viable competitor but to do this, and give NBC the asking price, WTVJ has to ‘shed some weight’ if you will.
2. NBC is moving both WSCV and WTVJ to Hialeah where Telemundo network has studios. Everything gets run out of one place since WTVJ doesn’t hub for NBC-owned stations any longer. The current WTVJ building will be either:
a) Sold to a TV station. Most likely to buy being Sunbeam/WSVN and move in, settle with the condo builder who bought WIOD’s property to start construction. They keep what’s left of the original newsplex for a Miami bureau and offices for Ed Ansin’s real estate company
b) NBC will ditch the WTVJ studios and sell it to raise as much money as they can. Possibly turning the studios into a warehouse or office building.
c) minimize the cost of running the facility once it’s empty of equipment. Eventually sell it or rent as a warehouse or turn it into an office building
3. It really is the economy and NBC needs to fatten up profits for the 3rd quarter
I think 1, 2 and 3 are most likely. 2a and 2b not so much.
2a is very unlikely because Sunbeam will have to scrounge up cash. The real estate market is terrible, they have already blown their DTV budget because of signal issues with WHDH in Boston and WSVN in Miami. Sunbeam has to pay a crew to climb the transmitter and put a new antenna. And of course WSVN’s Nielsen ratings are screwed up since the market went with people meters making their advertising rates plunge
2b is a possibility but again with the real estate market being what it is in Florida and around the country not.
What do you think? Economy or is finally there a new suitor to take ‘ol lady 6 and maybe give her some much needed love?