Sinclair's National Cutbacks Eliminate 'Cincinnati Refined' Managers

Mar 9, 2021

Sinclair Broadcast Group's 5% workforce cutbacks eliminated the two staffers at WKRC-TV's Cincinnati Refined website, and up to six other positions at Channel 12.

Phil Armstrong, Cincinnati Refined managing editor, announced Monday that no more new editorial content would be added to the site which features dining, art, design, health, fitness, travel and other lifestyle stories. New additions to the site will be sponsored content.

I'm also hearing that WKRC-TV this month also will eliminate three newsroom positions; two creative services employees; and an engineering position. Losing eight positions is less than Sinclair stations in Chattanooga, Seattle and Las Vegas, which each incurred double-digit cuts.

"The pandemic's long-lasting effects have led our parent company to make changes to the Cincinnati Refined business plan," Armstrong wrote. "As a result, Assistant Editor Katie Robinson and I will be departing soon.

"Cincinnati Refined is going to look a bit different going forward. As of today, the editorial arm of Cincinnati Refined will no longer update. The archive of existing content will remain, and there will be incoming sponsored content coming to the site going forward," he continued.

The Hollywood Reporter quotes a Sinclair spokesman saying the COVID-19 pandemic continues "to have a profound impact on a company as diversified as ours … In response to this, we are currently undergoing enterprise-wide reductions across our workforce, including corporate headquarters."

Sinclair operates WKRC-TV, WSTR-TV and Channel 12.2; Dayton's WKEF-TV and WRGT-TV; and 125 other TV stations. It also owns Fox Sports Ohio and 18 other regional sports networks.

Sinclair has 9,211 employees, which means about 460 jobs cut, according to CNN Business. The company raised some revenues in January by selling naming rights for its regional sports networks to Bally's, a casino operator. Fox Sports Ohio will be renamed Bally Sports Ohio later this year.

Sinclair's KOMO-TV in Seattle laid off more than a dozen employees last week, the Seattle Times reports. More than a dozen also were let go at KSNV-TV in Las Vegas, including two news anchors, a weekend weatherman and a sports anchor-reporter. In Chattanooga, two sports reporters and a weather reporter were among the 11 staffers cut at WTVC-TV, says the Chattanoogo Times Free Press.