Empire Sports Cuts 27 Employees


Buffalo, N.Y.-area regional sports service Empire Sports Network announced
Tuesday that it is laying off 27 employees and cutting back on its
original-programming lineup as part of an overall cost-cutting measure.

The Adelphia Communications Corp.-owned network will
reduce its local daily on-air programming from 5.5 hours to 4 hours, and 90
minutes of weekend programming has also been eliminated, although the network’s
live Buffalo Sabres National Hockey League coverage will not be affected,
according to Buffalo-based news Web site bizjournal.com (http://buffalo.bizjournals.com/buffalo/stories/2003/08/18/daily17.html?page=1


"We needed to take this course of action to stabilize operations at ESN,"
Adelphia vice president Thomas Haywood said in a release. "This decision is
similar to those made by other networks when the financial support for
programming production was reduced or eliminated."

The layoffs include both on-air and behind-the-scenes workers, although some
on-air personalities will have their roles switched to sister radio station
WNSA-FM, according to the site.

Overall, the two companies combined will employ 60 workers, down from the 100
employed at the two stations this past spring.

The network dropped its affiliation with Fox Sports Net last month,
eliminating such programming as The Best Damn Sports Show Period and
Beyond the Glory
from its programming lineup, Fox Sports executives said.