WNET Launches Video Portal For WLIW, But Furloughs Loom

— the parent company of New York’s local television stations Thirteen and WLIW21 — has some good news and some bad news. The good news is WLIW21 (which also happens to be the third most-watched PBS station in the country), is launching a new video portal for their Web site.

Though you can already watch some WLIW21 shows online, starting tomorrow, “You will see a video portal akin to www.pbs.org/video — a one-stop shop for viewing thousands of hours of national and local programming,” a WNET publicist told FishbowlNY. So, for the first time ever, you won’t even need a television to zone out to Bob Ross. The future: Today!

The bad news?

Due to budget cuts, WNET isn’t going to be paying employees for the three days they have off between Christmas and New Years. In fact, the organization has been plagued with cutbacks and budget issues, forcing them to cut staff and look into moving their headquarters.

WNET’s solution is that of all media companies right now: Put your content on the Internet and hope to draw a wider audience. Unlike print media however, WNET doesn’t need to worry about finding advertisers for their content, since it’s all supported by “viewers like you.” Unfortunately, it seems like us viewers don’t seem to be in a very philanthropic mood these days.

Furloughs Hit WNETNew York Observer