Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
ValleyPBS Lays Off Staffers, CEO Says COVID-19 Cut Into Revenues
gvw_nancy_price
By Nancy Price, Multimedia Journalist
Published 4 years ago on
March 28, 2020

Share

Several ValleyPBS staffers were laid off Friday in a cost-cutting move that station president/CEO Lorenzo Rios said was due to revenue losses associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

President/CEO Lorenzo Rios
Rios said the staffers were administrative and not the operational employees responsible for keeping the station on the air. He would not confirm how many were laid off or their positions.
But sources with knowledge of the layoffs said the employees who were let go were the station’s operations/traffic manager, a production director/editor, a videographer/editor and a Ready to Learn program coordinator.
The station’s social media manager also left this week, sources reported, because she had asked to work from home because of her concerns over COVID-19 and her newborn child, but her request was rejected.

Station Faces Dropping Revenues

Rios said the decision to lay off employees was not an easy one, and the employees laid off were “some remarkable individuals who we care for dearly.”
But, faced with a decline in revenue, the station had to act to “make sure the mission is not compromised,” he said.
ValleyPBS, which serves the portion of the San Joaquin Valley stretching from Merced to Bakersfield, will continue to provide the same programming without interruption, he said.
Rios said the station’s revenues were affected when academic programs provided for school districts were terminated after the coronavirus outbreak closed schools and required that school events be canceled.
ValleyPBS had to cancel several fundraisers because of coronavirus-related restrictions, including the popular travel raffle, he said: “We’re not sending folks to England.”

Revenue Challenges in Recent Past

But revenue shortfalls have been a problem for ValleyPBS in recent years, according to nonprofit tax exemption reports required by the IRS.
Form 990 reports filed over a three-year period show that the station posted an operations loss of nearly $400,000 in 2014, a loss of more than $230,000 in 2015, and a loss of about $200,000 in 2016.
In 2017, the station reported that revenue exceeded expenses by more than $1 million.
One of the laid-off employees who asked not to be named said the station staff was warned at a meeting in February that revenues in 2020 were coming in lower than expected and to be prepared to “buckle down.” The warning was issued before the COVID-19 outbreak hit the region, the employee said.
Rios said he did not recall having that discussion with staff last month.

Leadership Change in November

Rios became CEO of the station in November, following the ouster of former local newscaster Jenny Toste from the position after seven months on the job.
In addition to running ValleyPBS, Rios is also the CEO of the Clovis Veterans Memorial District.

Revenues Also Down at KVPR

No layoffs are planned for KVPR, the region’s public radio station, although some employees’ hours have been reduced to trim costs because of lowered revenues, president Joe Moore reported Friday.
Moore could be heard on the radio this week making a personal appeal to listeners to support the station now. That strategy apparently struck a chord: Donations this week picked up, he said.
It hasn’t been an easy time to operate, he said, with almost all staffers working from home during the virus outbreak.
“If we had built the radio station to operate remotely, that would be one thing,” Moore said. “Trying to build that capacity at the same time that you are working remotely, it’s a really big challenge. It’s like trying to rebuild the engine of a car while the car is going down the highway at 55 miles an hour.”
The station had to postpone major fundraising events, including the annual wine-tasting —  the station’s biggest annual fundraiser — which will be rescheduled for October, if conditions permit, he said.

DON'T MISS

Surprising Ways and Places You Can Use SNAP EBT Food Benefits

DON'T MISS

Californians Worry About Crime, Setting up a Ballot Measure Showdown

DON'T MISS

The Pickle Flavor Frenzy and Its Rise in Food Trends

DON'T MISS

Kate Hudson Had a Lifetime to Make a Record. The Result is ‘Glorious,’ Out in May

DON'T MISS

Long-Lost First Model of USS Enterprise from ‘Star Trek’ Boldly Goes Home

DON'T MISS

California Leaders Take Sides in Monumental Supreme Court Case on Homelessness

DON'T MISS

Man Sets Himself on Fire Outside Trump Hush Money Trial Court

DON'T MISS

McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines Are So Unreliable They’re a Meme. They Might Also Be a Climate Solution.

DON'T MISS

Real Estate Experts Talk Fresno’s Economic Future. Are Tough Times Ahead?

DON'T MISS

Unlocking the Secrets to Fresno State’s Superb Baseball Season

UP NEXT

Long-Lost First Model of USS Enterprise from ‘Star Trek’ Boldly Goes Home

UP NEXT

Real Estate Experts Talk Fresno’s Economic Future. Are Tough Times Ahead?

UP NEXT

Rare House Vote Sees Ukraine, Israel Aid Advance as Democrats Join Republicans

UP NEXT

Full Jury and 6 Alternates Seated in Trump’s Hush Money Trial

UP NEXT

Barbara Corcoran: 1% Interest Rate Drop Will Send Housing Prices ‘Through the Roof’

UP NEXT

Savannah Bananas Dominate Social Media, Sell Out Stadiums Nationwide Including Fresno

UP NEXT

Juror Dismissed From Trump Hush Money Trial. Prosecutors Seek to Hold Former President in Contempt

UP NEXT

Biden Backs House’s Aid Package for Ukraine, Israel While Speaker Johnson Battles to Retain Position

UP NEXT

Local Leaders Must Put Their Shoulders Into Making Fresno ‘Education City USA’

UP NEXT

Myanmar’s Ousted Leader Suu Kyi Moved From Prison to House Arrest Due to Heat, Military Says

Nancy Price,
Multimedia Journalist
Nancy Price is a multimedia journalist for GV Wire. A longtime reporter and editor who has worked for newspapers in California, Florida, Alaska, Illinois and Kansas, Nancy joined GV Wire in July 2019. She previously worked as an assistant metro editor for 13 years at The Fresno Bee. Nancy earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Her hobbies include singing with the Fresno Master Chorale and volunteering with Fresno Filmworks. You can reach Nancy at 559-492-4087 or Send an Email

Kate Hudson Had a Lifetime to Make a Record. The Result is ‘Glorious,’ Out in May

1 day ago

Long-Lost First Model of USS Enterprise from ‘Star Trek’ Boldly Goes Home

1 day ago

California Leaders Take Sides in Monumental Supreme Court Case on Homelessness

1 day ago

Man Sets Himself on Fire Outside Trump Hush Money Trial Court

2 days ago

McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines Are So Unreliable They’re a Meme. They Might Also Be a Climate Solution.

2 days ago

Real Estate Experts Talk Fresno’s Economic Future. Are Tough Times Ahead?

2 days ago

Unlocking the Secrets to Fresno State’s Superb Baseball Season

2 days ago

‘This Is How to Improve Reading Proficiency. We Just Have To Execute It’: FUSD Board President

2 days ago

Does Dyer Support (or Endorse) Bredefeld for Supervisor?

2 days ago

Get a 3D First Look at Merced’s High-Speed Rail Station Design

2 days ago

Surprising Ways and Places You Can Use SNAP EBT Food Benefits

Did you know that SNAP EBT benefits used to be called food stamps and that recipients can use those benefits to get healthy food in places o...

5 hours ago

5 hours ago

Surprising Ways and Places You Can Use SNAP EBT Food Benefits

5 hours ago

Californians Worry About Crime, Setting up a Ballot Measure Showdown

1 day ago

The Pickle Flavor Frenzy and Its Rise in Food Trends

1 day ago

Kate Hudson Had a Lifetime to Make a Record. The Result is ‘Glorious,’ Out in May

1 day ago

Long-Lost First Model of USS Enterprise from ‘Star Trek’ Boldly Goes Home

1 day ago

California Leaders Take Sides in Monumental Supreme Court Case on Homelessness

2 days ago

Man Sets Himself on Fire Outside Trump Hush Money Trial Court

2 days ago

McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines Are So Unreliable They’re a Meme. They Might Also Be a Climate Solution.

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend