University of Georgia Pulls Plug on WNEG Newscast, Lays Off 15

By Andrew Gauthier 

The University of Georgia pulled the plug on its nightly newscasts for school-owned, independent station WNEG on Thursday.  The move resulted in the layoffs of 12 full-time and five part-time employees, including anchor Ray Metoyer.

“It was an unhappy day,” Cully Clark, dean of UGA’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, told the Athens Banner-Herald about the layoffs. “These were some very fine people.”

The UGA Research Foundation purchased WNEG in 2008 for $1.4 million and operated it as a commercial station, airing a newscast five nights a week.  Struggling to keep the station afloat following the economic downturn, UGA agreed last month to become a PBS affiliate.

The station’s professional newscast will be replaced by the student-produced “NewsSource.”