By Annie Ross
The coronavirus pandemic has paused all sports around the world since mid-March and forced more than 40 million Americans to file for unemployment.
Now it’s affecting sports media in Philly.
Veteran sports anchor Lesley Van Arsdall was one of more than a dozen staffers this week to lose their jobs at CBS3.
The layoffs came as part of a nationwide staff reduction this week by the station’s parent company ViacomCBS.
ViacomCBS slashed more than 300 personnel across its news and entertainment divisions, according to the Los Angeles Times.
In a memo obtained by the Hollywood Reporter, CBS News president Susan Zirinsky wrote that with reduced budgets, “we have had to make some extremely difficult decisions.”
“I’m sad to report today that some of our colleagues and good friends will be leaving the company. These decisions are particularly painful for our entire organization, which has performed at the highest level during the COVID-19 pandemic, overcoming so many obstacles. But this restructuring is necessary to ensure CBS News remains strong long into the future,” Zirinsky said.
Van Arsdall, 47, spent nearly 20 years at the station and was named the station’s weekend sports editor in 2011. She joined the Eyewitness News in team in 2003 as a general assignment reporter. Previously, she was a reporter and anchor at KYW Newsradio. She did not respond to requests for comment.