Ladies and Gentlemen, buckle your seat belts and hold onto the bar! Tegna is the new corporation in the driver’s seat in TV newsrooms across the country.
Austin’s ABC affiliate, KVUE, is one of the stations Tegna is “restructuring”. That’s corporate speak for saying so-long to seasoned veterans, both on and off camera. I’m grateful I left the biz on my own terms and timeline, before Tegna entered the picture. I once loved working for Gannett, but I can’t imagine taking a fancy to the new folks running the place.
Next week, close to 200 years of experience is walking out the door of KVUE. These are dedicated professionals who’ve made this television station their life’s work. All are 55-plus and are taking the voluntary retirement package to sail off into the sunset and save the company big bucks on salaries and benefits. After all, these moves are always about the bottom line.
Though it’s been 13 years since I worked at KVUE, my two decades there led to lifelong friendships I truly treasure. Some of those wonderful people are among the group heading out the door. So, in the interest of full-disclosure, I’m a bit biased. KVUE is special to me. I met my husband there. It’s where I cut my teeth in TV news and learned the ropes from people I consider some of the best in the business.
When I began my career, there were old geezers who used to whine about the switch from film to video and how it would ruin television news. I don’t want to sound like one of those guys and not accept the need for change in the digital age. I know the 6 o’clock news is no longer appointment television and stations must diversify their offerings to stay viable and profitable. That doesn’t excuse these drastic moves in the interest of Tegna’s “dynamic portfolio”.
Tegna touts “delivering quality content” as the core of its brand. But, isn’t experience, knowledge and trust valued in the people who oversee and deliver that content?
Tegna, I hardly know you, but I know your type. You value profit over people. You’ve made that perfectly clear. I predict some bumpy roads ahead, while you’re learning how to drive.