In cost-cutting moves, Fox9 laid off investigative reporter Jacqueline McLean and part-time weathercaster Christine Clayburg Wednesday, according to knowledgable sources. Two sources say I-team executive producer Kim Kruger was axed, along with another unit producer. The Pioneer Press’ Amy Carlson Gustafson also cites an editor, and two full-timers reassigned to part time.
The highest-profile departures each incur extra doses of sympathy. McLean suffered a stroke last summer and only returned to work in January; she was the unit’s most recent hire. On her personal blog, Clayburg noted she was flying off to Texas in five days to join the National Guard.
“No, this had ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with my choice to serve with the Guard. Really not…everybody’s cool,” Clayburg wrote, thanking an unnamed boss as “a great guy … Unable to print money, He had to deliver this sad news to so many good people this week.”
Fox9 retains a relatively large investigative team — reporters Jeff Baillon, Trish Van Pilsum and Tom Lyden. The unit pumped out perhaps two dozen stories during the quarterly ratings “books,” and that output will logically decrease.
Fox9 news director Bill Dallman did not immediately return a call for comment.