Three former employees of Gray Television’s newly purchased Bismarck, N.D. FOX affiliate KNDX are at odds with the station group over why they are now without jobs.
The Bismarck Tribune reports, Gray says the employees’ positions were eliminated as part of the company’s planned consolidation of its newly purchased North Dakota stations. Gray recently consolidated the stations by transferring the programming of some and selling off the licenses of others.
The employees say they were fired when they asked Gray for more money.
Gray Television sent a letter to the Fox station employees on July 25, about a month after the sale closed, informing them the stations would “cease operations” and some positions would be eliminated as a result of the consolidation.
Three master control room operators said plans changed when the company learned it would not be able to move its transmission dish without reinforcing the roof of its downtown Bismarck building. They were told they would likely remain employed through the end of the year but lost their jobs anyway after trying to negotiate for higher wages.
“Gray announced several months ago that on September 15, it would be consolidating the local NBC and Fox stations into a single, more efficient operation to better serve our local viewers,” Gray said in an emailed statement. “We proceeded with that consolidation yesterday, and, as a result of the consolidation, several positions were eliminated, including those held by these three employees. We promised this summer to extend a generous severance package to all employees effected by the consolidation, and we honored that promise yesterday.”
One of the operators, Tim Cunningham, said the events played out differently. Read more