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Advertisers Wary of KMTR After Reported Layoffs

What KMTR called “operational and organizational changes” earlier in the week, some employees of the Eugene, OR, NBC affiliate are now calling a “bloodbath,” The Register-Guard reports and it’s worrying station advertisers.

According to The Register-Guard, “Employees, former employees and advertisers said they have been told that 31 of the station’s approximately 50 workers received layoff notices after sale of the station to Seattle-based Fisher Communications closed on Monday, retroactive to June 1.”

KMTR was bought by Fisher Communications which will operate the station in tandem with its Eugene CBS affiliate KVAL under a shared services agreement with Roberts Media, LLC.

Donna Smith, president of the Adlib Advertising Agency told The Register-Guard, “We buy (advertising spots on) the evening and late night news. I’ve asked questions of them: ‘Whose news is going to be on? Is it going to be a replay of KVAL News? Are you going to hire cheaper (anchors)? Is the price going to go down? And what’s going to happen in four months when it’s all taken over by Sinclair?’ ”

Julie Koranda, media director at a Eugene marketing firm of Baden & Co., said she’s worried about the branding of the station. She said KMTR leads the other stations in areas that matter to her clients.

“I have been holding off on my third-quarter orders, trying to figure out what’s going to happen and how great the changes are going to be,” she said. “I don’t want to book a ton of money on something if it’s not going to be the product I’m looking for, or that I’ve had in the past.

Fisher Broadcasting is being acquired by Sinclair Broadcast Group. That deal is expected to close in the Fall. TVSpy has reached out to KVAL-KMTR general manager Greg Raschio. We will update when we hear back.

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