Just got word that those who were unceremoniously kicked to the curve by Granite Broadcasting and WTVH are going to have a going away party at a local bar in Syracuse tonight. If I was in Syracuse this weekend, I’d be there to show my support to the 40 employees fired this week.
It’s nothing special, just a get together of friends and colleagues for the last time before they go their separate ways.
They’ll talk about the good ol’ days. How Ron Curtis single-handily gave channel 5 double-digit ratings during his illustrious 40 year career. They’ll bring up stories about past anchors like Carrie Lazarus, Bob Kirk, Kathy Orr. They’ll talk about how Al Roker, David Miur & Mike Tirico and other former employees used the station as a stepping stone to greatness in their careers.
They’ll also talk about the “Syracuse 6”. How six union employees were unjustly fired during a hand billing operation in 1990. And then after an aggressive mobilization campaign made by NABET-CWA Local 211, the six were re-hired as whole and in every way by the company.
There will be tears flowing, tonight. No doubt, there will be anger as well. The fact that Granite Broadcasting, the owner of WTVH since 1990, had run the TV station into the ground. How gross mismanagement and greed turned the once proud news organization into an after thought.
It didn’t have to end this way. But for a few short hours, workers, supporters and fellow broadcast colleagues can come together one more time and celebrate a once great news organization.
I doubt if anyone from Granite Broadcasting’s management team will show up…not if they want to face an angry bunch of former employees!