Harrisburg’s WITF lays off 18 staffers

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WITF in Harrisburg, Pa., last week told 18 employees they are losing their jobs, according to the local Patriot-News. That will drop the number of full-time staffers from 85 to 67. The layoffs were spread throughout the operation, including technology, development and programming. Those leaving include “two of WITF’s better-known radio personalities,” the paper says: Craig Cohen, host of Radio Smart Talk since it started in 2008 and a nearly 10-year employee, and Melanie Herschorn, local reporter/host for All Things Considered for the last three years. “Every layoff is really a painful experience this time,” said Kathleen Pavelko, station c.e.o. In February 2009, the station lost three staffers and a full-time unfilled position, and senior managers took a pay cut. The paper notes that state funding of about $900,000 a year was eliminated two years ago, and federal aid is expected to fall from $1.3 million to $650,000 in the coming year.