Caught in the “Perfect Storm” of Local News Layoffs: WNBC’s Gusoff Embraces Uncertainty

It takes guts to talk about being laid off, and Carolyn Gusoff’s got guts.  The longtime WNBC/NY Long Island correspondent’s sharing her feelings (something we local tv types usually bury under layer upon layer of sarcasm and bitching) about losing not just a job, but an identity:  “There is the emotional cost of unemployment. Parties have become a form of torture. I used to love to discuss my work. Now the conversation opener, “And what do you do?” leaves me at a loss. “I am, I was, I … um … and what do you do?”

Carolyn Gusoff

Carolyn Gusoff

Gusoff’s column in Newsday is unusually revealing for our breed (we didn’t end up on the asking-the-uncomfortable-side-of-the-equation for nothing) as she describes her impersonal layoff and the humbling experience of applying for unemployment compensation:  Applying for unemployment was still a harrowing and debasing ordeal. The 15-minute online application repeatedly ended with an error code, and the automated phone line cut off just as I was getting to the finish line. It took two entire days before I finally hit pay dirt: “Your claim has been submitted.” I later found out that the New York State computerized unemployment insurance system had crashed because 10,000 new applicants per hour, myself included, were trying to register for benefits. I clearly have company.”

Sadly, she certainly does.  So many of us are now finding ourselves caught in what Gusoff describes as a “perfect storm” of changing viewership habits and declining revenue leading inevitably to widespread layoffs.

Read Gusoff’s entire story here.

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