Co-host excoriates WQED for recent layoff decisions

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For three years, Pittsburgh lawyer, law professor and political analyst Joseph Sabino Mistick has co-hosted WQED’s Roddey v. Mistick, a local political debate show. But now he’s written a revealing column for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review regarding the recent WQED layoffs that he thinks “will surely put an end to my role” at the station. Among his claims: “With six executives making six figures-plus … the station’s layoffs include a janitor, a mailroom clerk and a part-time graphic artist who is a single mother.” Furthermore, “This may no longer be a rank-and-file town, but we still have that sense of fairness and equity that was nurtured over generations. Forget about the absurd notion that WQED can be saved on the backs of the lowest-paid employees in the building. No one could take that proposition seriously. Instead, ask yourself what it says about a public charity when it acts like Bernie Madoff or AIG or any of the robber-baron corporations that have coddled the rich and cast adrift the poor. For my money, the janitor should be the last guy to go.” When the layoffs occurred on July 7, George L. Miles Jr., head of WQED Multimedia, said in a statement: “This is a drastic action and a very painful day in the history of this station, in Pittsburgh and in this region that we serve when we have to respond to financial pressures by cutting staff.”