Chicago’s WTTW to reduce staff by 12 percent

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WTTW-Channel 11 will let go 12 percent of its staff, between 25 and 30 positions, due to poor corporate underwriting and a $1.25 million cutback in state funding, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting. Station President and CEO Dan Schmidt said early retirement packages will be offered first, then layoffs. Schmidt also said executive compensation would be reduced 5 percent more, bringing the two-year reduction in top management salaries to 10 percent. A companywide salary freeze from 2009 will stay in effect until 2011. WTTW also will close its employee cafeteria. Also, on the radio side, $200,000 in expense cutbacks are planned next year due to soft sponsorship.