WESA cites financial challenges in canceling ‘The Confluence’

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Pittsburgh Community Broadcasting Corp. is ending WESA’s local news program The Confluence Friday and laying off its team.

The layoffs will affect host Kevin Gavin, editor/producer Marylee Williams and producer Laura Tsutsui, according to station spokesperson Michele Klingensmith. PCBC also eliminated a digital content manager position at its music station, WYEP, she said. 

“The decision to end production of The Confluence was prompted by the financial challenges that we shared with our members several months ago — the same challenges being faced by other public radio stations across the country,” VP of Broadcasting Mike Sauter said in a statement.

In June, the organization announced buyouts for two reporters amid financial struggles at the station. 

The Confluence, a weekday program that features WESA’s reporting, one-on-one interviews and roundtable discussions about issues affecting the community, has been on the air since 2018. 

WESA “will continue to integrate great interviews and roundtable discussions about issues important to our region” into Morning Edition and All Things Considered, Sauter said in his statement.

Klingensmith said that the staffers who were laid off will receive a severance negotiated with the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists union. Staffers at the stations voted last year to form the union. 

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