WDUQ staff to lose jobs when new owner takes over
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The staff of WDUQ-FM will be laid off by Duquesne University when Essential Public Media takes over operations of the station at midnight on June 30.
Duquesne University spokesperson Bridget Fare confirmed that the staff has received official layoff notices terminating their employment with the university effective July 1.
The layoffs affect more than 20 full- and part-time staffers.
Duquesne University is selling the station to Essential Public Media, a a wholly owned subsidiary of WYEP-FM.
On Thursday, Duquesne University and EPM finalized negotiations on the programming management agreement, or local marketing agreement, an interim arrangement that will enable EPM to take over programming and operations of the station until the deal is approved by the FCC, which could take up to two months.
As of July 1, EPM will handle the programming and new format under Duquesne's executive oversight as the license holder.
Two current WDUQ employees will remain with the station throughout the transition: Fred Serino, driector of development and interim general manager, and business manager Vicky Rumpf.
The layoffs were not unexpected -- the staff had received earlier notification from the university after the sale was announced in January that July 1 was the target date. With the signing of the operating agreement, July 1 becomes the confirmed end of their employment with the University.
Essential Public Media is expected to begin making staffing decisions for the new station in the next week or so.
First Published June 16, 2011 6:16 pm