KSBY management defends Cipolla decision
May 25, 2010
Many Central Coast viewers have been writing to KSBY to express their frustration over the impending departure of news anchor Tony Cipolla after 20 years on the local airwaves, prompting a detailed response from KSBY general manager Evan Pappas.
Pappas contends KSBY offered Cipolla a higher than average salary while allowing him to take two-to-three-hour dinner breaks and work less than 35 hours a week.
“We had all intentions to secure him [Cipolla] for KSBY and had an offer in front of him on the $100,000 range, well above market average and above our competitor’s pay,” wrote Pappas in an email to one angry South County viewer. “It was his choice not to counter and/or compromise in signing a new contract and shop his salary to our competitors and other companies.
“He was advised in his last contract four years ago that his wages would need to be back to anchor only wages, not anchor and news director wages (which is when his salary jumped almost double the market wages for anchors). He was going to leave four years ago and we compromised. We are again trying to compromise and he has advised same salary or higher only,” the KSBY response continues.
Sources familiar with the negotiations said that Cipolla had been making $160,000 and was asked to take a pay cut down to $110,000.
Pappas goes on to argue that KSBY could not pay the salary of two jobs for one. The general manager suggests that Cipolla had “a very rewarding position” at KSBY. The station, according to the email, provided Cipolla with two-to-three-hour dinner breaks each night and work weeks of less then 35 hours so that he could spend time with his family.
KSBY management described Cipolla as an “anchor/reader” who is supported by the work of “50 other people who actually build the news each day.” Pappas promised to “work hard to find the right fit and replacement so [viewers] can enjoy the news with our team.”
Thursday, June 3 is slated to be Cipolla’s last day at KSBY.