CBS46 suffers staff cutbacks amid the pandemic

Molly McCollum and Aiyana Cristal were among the CBS46 journalists cut September 17, 2020. from the station. Photo: CBS46

Credit: CBS46

Credit: CBS46

CBS46 (WGCL-TV) this week suffered staff cutbacks, including two on-air journalists, two photographers and two special projects producers.

Meteorologist Molly McCollum and reporter Aiyana Cristal were among those who lost their jobs. McCollum joined the station in May 2018. Cristal has been with the station since January 2016.

Behind the scenes, special projects managers Natasha Lee and Phil Riley were dismissed, along with veteran photojournalists Mark Melvin and Ray Merriman.

The creative services team, which is responsible for on-air news promos, sales segments and graphics, was dissolved. Meredith, which owns CBS46, is consolidating that work in hubs in Nashville and Phoenix.

In a statement provided to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the company said: “Meredith announced initiatives to address the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and position our business for future growth. They include cost-control measures as well as a reallocation of resources to higher-growth areas. These decisions are always difficult to make, and we will miss our colleagues. We are appreciative of their contributions to CBS46 and our Atlanta viewers and wish them well in the future.”

Des Moines, Iowa-based Meredith Corp. nationwide cut 180 employees, including 130 from its 17 TV stations, according to the Des Moines Register.

The company saw ad revenue fall 17% this past fiscal year compared with 2019 and reported a $234 million loss in fiscal year 2020, which ended June 30. Meredith after the pandemic began also temporarily trimmed employee salaries, a move it reversed beginning this month.

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