Budget cuts at WTTW lead to three executive layoffs

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Three top executives at Chicago’s WTTW have been laid off due to budget cutbacks at the station, according to a spokesperson.

Julia Maish confirmed to Current that the positions of Parke Richeson, s.v.p. of national productions; Mark Jahnke, v.p. and chief technology officer; and V.J. McAleer, s.v.p. of community partnerships, have been eliminated.

Their departures were first reported by Chicago media columnist Robert Feder.

Richeson has been with the station since 1989. She first worked as controller and director of finance, rising to s.v.p. of business development and finance in 1995 and assuming her current post in 2005.

Jahnke joined WTTW in 2013; his previous experience includes directing broadcast operations and engineering at another local public broadcaster, WYCC-TV.

Peabody-winning journalist McAleer was hired as a producer for Chicago Tonight in 1987. He ascended to director of public affairs and e.p. in 1991, v.p. of production and program developing in ’96 and his most recent post in 2001. Starting in 2004 his responsibilities were expanded to developing collaborative productions, partnership and events.

Maish declined to answer questions from Current regarding WTTW’s financial situation.

Correction: An earlier version of this post gave an incorrect title for V.J. McAleer. He was s.v.p. of community partnerships, not s.v.p of production.

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