Sinclair Broadcasting Group is implementing “enterprise-wide reductions” in its staff due to the “profound impact” of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to The Hill citing multiple reports.
A spokesperson for Sinclair told Variety that the company is letting go 5 percent of its workforce. The company employs more than 9,211 people, meaning about 460 staffers will be affected.
The spokesperson said in a statement to Variety that the impact of the 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,” the statement said. “In response to this, we are currently undergoing enterprise-wide reductions across our workforce, including corporate headquarters, to ensure we are well-positioned for future success.”
In a memo to staff obtained by CNN Business, Sinclair CEO Chris Ripley said the decision “was not made lightly.”
“Over the last year, we saw many of our peers make reductions en masse, a step we refrained from taking while we took cuts elsewhere, including in capital budgets, discretionary spending, and non-essential expenses.”
Sinclair on Feb. 24 reported a 7 percent decrease in total revenue for the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to the fourth quarter in 2019. However, total revenues for 2020 increased 40 percent over 2019.
Sinclair operates roughly 190 television stations in 88 markets, and owns multiple national networks.