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Sinclair to cut hundreds of employees, citing “profound impact” of pandemic on its business

“The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be felt in all sectors of the economy, something that could have a profound impact on a company as diversified as ours,” a Sinclair spokesman at CNN Business said in a statement. “From local businesses and advertisers to distributors and partners, no component of our business ecosystem is fully protected from the effects of the global pandemic.”

“In response, we are currently reducing the entire workforce throughout our corporation, including the corporate headquarters, to ensure that we are in a good position to succeed in the future,” the Sinclair spokesman added.

A Sinclair spokesman told CNN Business that the company had 9,21

1 employees. A 5% reduction would mean that about 460 people would lose their jobs.

Employees were notified of the cuts in a note Wednesday night sent by Chris Ripley, the company’s president and CEO.

“This decision was not taken lightly,” Ripley wrote. “Over the last year, we have seen many of our peers make reductions en masse, a step we have refrained from making cuts elsewhere, including in capital budgets, discretionary spending and insignificant spending.”

Ripley said these “active steps” meant that “staff reductions would be significantly less” than if the company had not taken such measures. He added that “affected staff will receive compensation and replacement services will be offered.”

Nevertheless, Ripley added: “This is undoubtedly one of the most difficult messages in my career.”

“But despite the challenge, I remain extremely proud of the intelligence, resourcefulness and collective will of our team,” Ripley wrote. “You have proven to be the best team in the business. And it is this spirit, in each of us and collectively, that I know will carry us.”

Sinclair (SBGI), which operates 186 television stations in 87 US markets, reported a 7% drop in total revenue in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to the fourth quarter of 2019 in February.

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