It's hard to tell who is in and who is out at WOIO in Cleveland.
The station has a new GM and News Director is trying to remake itself into a less "in your face" newscast and one that employs much cheaper talent or is slashing the pay of longtime talent.
When GM Bill Applegate ran the station, it was known as 19 Action News and it was about big names, big money and a newscast that was rock and roll. Now Raycom has brought in a new GM, Dom Mancuso, and ND, Fred D’Ambrosia and big changes have been happening.
FTVLive was first to tell you that the 19 Action News was going away for the more mellow "Cleveland 19 News".
But the biggest change is the people. So far under D’Ambrosi’s reign, 14 people have left the building, many of them, to the competition: Anchors George Smith (went to WFLD) and Danielle Serino, reporters Ed Gallek (to WJW), Blake Chenault, Dawn Kendrick (to WKYC), Shannon Davidson, Bob Sneed (to KMOV), Traffic anchor Jamie Sullivan (to WJLA), weekend weather anchor Jen Harcher (to WJW), 11pm producer Krista Myers (to WATN), an assignment editor (to WKYC) and a web producer.
Often in this business, changes are made without any concern for the most important people; the viewers. FTVLive was the first to tell you that D’Ambrosi was kicking primary weather anchor Jeff Tanchak to the curb.
Turns out D’Ambrosi did not realize how well liked Tancack was by viewers and he had to reverse the decision. Tanchak remains at WOIO, although sources say he may be ‘re-assigned’. Reporter Bill Safos was let go, and also brought back. Word is D’Ambrosi is also trying to push 13+ year investigative reporter Scott Taylor out the door with threats of a big pay cut. Sources say that Taylor is already testing the water at other station's in town.
The new management team reportedly cut Cleveland lifer Carl Monday’s salary, but plan to build a new franchise around him; that is, if he stays.
And if inside sources are correct, primary anchor Romona Robinson’s big salary is going to come under the chopping block.