WGBH needs further cuts, layoffs to close $6.9 million FY 2010 budget gap

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WGBH will have a smaller production volume for fiscal 2010, President and CEO Jon Abbott told staffers in a letter yesterday. Which means overhead and employee benefits paid by the productions will be “considerably reduced.” That’s one factor contributing to the station’s projected discretionary budget gap of $6.9 million dollars for FY 2010 “that we must and will close,” he wrote. An initial round of cuts requested that departments cut 5 percent of nonpersonnel budget costs; that reduction request is now up to an additional 8 percent. The station is reconsidering infrastructure improvements, negotiated employee benefit savings, and has approached its union leadership to ask for concessions. Spokeswoman Lucy Sholley told The Boston Globe layoffs are expected. The station announced last Dec. 19 a reduction of 12 positions, or about 2 percent of its workforce. In April of this year WGBH instituted a one-week staff furlough, cuts in executive salaries and suspension of employee retirement matching funds.