KCOY lays off 13 people
January 5, 2012
By KAREN VELIE
UPDATE: KCOY laid off meteorologist Jim Byrne and 12 others on Wednesday.
KCOY parent company Cowles California Media Company is consolidating in order to cut costs, inside sources said. Many news staffers will be replaced with its Salinas news team which will cover both Salinas and the Central Coast. The media group has eliminated local sports. The morning news will be live from Santa Maria and the evening news will be anchored in Salinas.
Here is who was let go:
1. Jim Byrne
2. Kevin Roose, weekend sports
3. Crystal Guerrero, producer
4. Tom Murphy, director for more than 26 years
5. Mike Curto, director for more than 20 years
6. Tom Jones, assignment editor and web producer
7. Jerry Hartzell, photographer
8. Carl Gescheider, photographer
9. Dena Peneranda, office staffer
10. Aaron Meloncon, photographer
11. Kenneth Johnson, commercial production
12. Jordan Montgomery, promotions
Arturo Santiago is going to be a reporter.
Former KCOY news director John Zuchelli put out the following statement on behalf of his family:
“KCOY was founded in 1964 by my father Ed Zuchelli and several other residents of the Santa Maria Valley. They built the TV station to serve the community of Santa Maria. I hope that will continue to happen. The entire Zuchelli family is praying for the people who have lost their jobs.”
Dozens of Facebook posts report that Central Coast News managers gave the ax to sportscasters, producers, photographers and the “weather guy.” In the posts, former employees ask about future jobs and locals note their dismay.
“These people who were let go are many who have been long-term employees who are very talented,” Anna Scott said in a Facebook post. “The sad part is they stayed in this market because they love living here. Now to get a good job, they’ll have to leave. So sorry to hear this.”
KCOY management staff did not return requests for comment. Numerous calls to Cowles California Media Company were met with a busy signal.