State budget woes force WQLN cuts

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Facing a loss of $800,000 in Pennsylvania state funding, or about 25 percent of its budget, WQLN Public Media is terminating staff and making other budget cuts. Affected are WQLN-TV and WQLN-FM. Five jobs have been eliminated; among those are the program director and engineering director. The three remaining top managers will get salary cuts. President and g.m. Dwight Miller will lose 10 percent, the others 5 percent. There’s a hiring and salary freeze, and the remaining 25 staffers will take two weeks of unpaid leave. Also, PRI’s Marketplace will be dropped from WQLN-FM. Miller told Current that the governor’s office has received more than 7,000 emails from across the state. “Clearly the public is making its voice heard, but no one in the capital seems to be listening,” he said. The Republican-controlled Senate’s proposed budget also contains no money for pubcasting; the Democratic-controlled House has yet to put forth its numbers, Miller said. The governor and Senate are $3 billion apart so negotiations may continue for months, he added. WQLN’s cutbacks come after schoolchildren rallied on May 27 to draw attention to WQLN’s problems.