Charlotte PBS affiliate begins cutbacks in staff, programming

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The slashing has begun at WTVI in Charlotte, N.C., after Mecklenburg County cut its support from nearly $860,000 to just $95,000, according to the Charlotte Observer. “We cannot continue the business model next year we had this year, and it will be painful,” Elsie Garner, WTVI’s president, told the station’s board Wednesday (June 23). The board approved a $3.2 million budget for the fiscal year beginning in July, a 13 percent reduction from the current fiscal year. Probably two or three jobs will be eliminated from the 16 full timers at the station. WTVI has dropped its contract with Nielsen, about $60,000 annually. The Public Square channel that carried reruns of county commissioners meetings and other pubaffairs programming, is gone, replaced with the international MHz Networks channel, which is free to stations. The Create channel also may be gone soon.

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