Regional news operations are going away the end of this year as Comcast reworks its CN8 East Coast cable channel into two local networks focused on sports, along with public affairs programming. Most of the employees – said by the Newark Star-Ledger to number around 300 – are being laid off, effective in early January. Comcast told RBR/TVBR that the pink-slipped employees will get full severance benefits and job placement assistance.
“We are restructuring CN8’s operations from a single multi-regional network into two local networks that will serve local viewers with more targeted public affairs and sports programming. This restructuring will strengthen the network’s focus on providing credible, informative and relevant local public affairs and sports content of interest to viewers in the Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Washington/Baltimore regions while continuing to feature some of CN8’s signature personalities. We will discontinue operations in markets where Comcast has other locally focused programming, or where CN8 has had a minimal presence,” company spokesman Tim Fitzpatrick said.
“While there will regrettably be jobs eliminated as a result of this restructuring, impacted employees will have the ability to apply for other Comcast positions, or receive full severance benefits and job placement assistance,” Fitzpatrick added.