Seven positions have been eliminated due to a restructuring at Northwest Public Radio news/talk KUOW-FM Seattle (94.9). The restructuring, and staff departures, affect KUOW’s morning and afternoon drive programs.
Morning host Emily Fox, newscaster Lisa Brooks and producers Rob Wood and Stephen Gomes exit as do afternoon host Kim Malcolm, newscaster Jamala Henderson and producer Tami Kosch.
In an email announcing the restructuring, KUOW chief content officer Jennifer Strachan said the positions were being eliminated. However, seven new positions were also being created, she said in the email acquired by the Seattle Times and The Stranger. The affected employees could apply for the new positions, that would be “substantially different roles and responsibilities than the existing positions,” Strachan said.
The changes to the drive time shows include the host and reporter roles being merged to create “a local, singular voice,” Strachan told the Times. “For KUOW to continue to grow and serve its local audience, we believe we must deliver more distinctive, rigorous news programming during these important day parts.”
The job eliminations come two months after station staffers approved a vote to join SAG-AFTRA, but before the employees reached a new contract agreement with management.
“At this time as a union, our priority is engaging with those affected and preparing to bargain over the effects of these changes,” the union organizing committee said in a statement provided to the Times. “Having a voice in the future of their newsroom is one of the many reasons we as employees of KUOW organized a union.”