An unspecified number of layoffs and programming cutbacks have taken place at Time Warner Cable’s El Segundo-based TWC SportsNet —home of the Lakers— SportsNet LA —home of the Dodgers— and TWC Deportes, according to several sources and confirmed by the company this morning.
Details on how many were let go and how it broke down by departments was not detailed. Sources indicated more than 30 people have been let go at Deportes, including all of its on-air talent, meaning no more pre- or post-game shows for the Galaxy or any kind of programming not related to live event coverage.
TWC SportsNet will also cut back on ancillary coverage surrounding the Lakers, Sparks and Galaxy. The Dodgers’ SportsNet LA will stop producing news shows such as Dodgers Clubhouse and Larry King At Bat.
The popular “Backstage” shows, which are produced in-house, will remain, a spokesman said.
A TWC statement on the matter: “We recently made some changes to our programming for Time Warner Cable SportsNet, Time Warner Cable Deportes and SportsNet LA. As we fine-tuned the programming, it naturally meant that we would make some staffing changes as well. Like many other networks, we’re now past the ‘start-up’ stage and we have a greater handle on what our viewers want to see, and how to staff for that.”
TWC SportsNet and the Spanish-language Deportes, owned by TWC, launched in Oct., 2012. The launch of SportsNet LA, owned by the Dodgers and distributed through TWC, came in Feburary, 2014.
In a memo to staff employees, TWC Sports indicated the struggling ratings were the reason for the cutbacks.
Ratings are related to sluggish distribution.
The Dodgers’ SportsNet L.A. continues to struggle creating a carriage deal with main carries such as DirecTV, Dish, Verizon FIOS, AT&T Uverse. Time Warner Cable, recently purchased by Charter, remains the two major distributors in Southern California.
Sources also say that because of the Charter merger with Time Warner Cable, these kind of business moves are not uncommon in the consolidation process.
The Galaxy released a statement: “Time Warner is a valued partner. We’ll continue to work with them to provide the most robust coverage of the Galaxy in LA.”
Credit to the LA Daily News who originally published this story