Amid a recent eye-opening 7% decline in fourth-quarter revenue -- largely due to sinking ad sales -- one of the biggest TV station companies, the Sinclair Broadcast Group, is laying off about 5% of its staff, the company said Wednesday.
This could affect 500 to 700 staffers.
Sinclair says the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic -- resulting in declining business for the TV station group -- is the main reason.
A statement from the company says:
"The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic continues to be felt across all sectors of the economy, something that can have a profound impact on a company as diversified as ours. From local businesses and advertisers to distributors and partners, no component of our business’s ecosystem has been fully shielded from the impact of the global pandemic.”
Nonpolitical, core advertising revenues were $349 million versus $433 million in the year-earlier period for all its TV stations and regional sports networks businesses in the fourth quarter.
Even with the boost from record political advertising, overall fourth-quarter Sinclair revenue sank 7% to $1.5 billion.
For the entire 2020 year, Sinclair registered a massive $2.4 billion loss due to a writedown of its troubled regional sports network division. Among other business issues, those RSNs suffered, as pandemic disruption forced postponement of sports leagues/game programming.