Virginia Budget Cuts Force WHRO To Lay Off Six

Public broadcasting channel WHRO, which serves the Virginia Beach-Newport News-Hampton-Norfolk area of Virginia, has had to lay off six staffers and cancel two TV news shows “mostly because of budget cuts pushed through by Gov. Bob McDonnell,” HamptonRoads.com reports.

“You know my passion for local programming,” CEO Bert Schmidt told HamptonRoads.com. “But at the same time, we’ve got to be able to pay our bills.” He added that the layoffs, which affect three behind-the-scenes TV employees and three in IT and customer service, were a direct result of the cuts which ” I think were done for political results, not good fiscal results.”

Last month Bob McDonnell approved legislation that cut WHRO’s budget by $370,000. The legislation also reduced by a further 25 percent the amount given to all public media in the state even after the Democratic-led Senate had agreed to cut public media funding by half.