More Layoffs Rumored at Current TV

Al Gore's news outlet moving production to LA, possibly outsourcing it entirely

By Jackson West
|  Monday, Oct 12, 2009  |  Updated 5:00 PM PDT
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More Layoffs Rumored at Current TV

Antony Mayfield

Don't be surprised f you see a bunch of pink-slipped Current producers in SOMA, so be nice and buy one a drink.

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San Francisco-based Current Media, cofounded by former Vice President Al Gore, is looking to lay off more local employees, according to a source familiar with its plans.

The company laid off 60 employees last year, or about 15 percent of its staff, though promised to rehire some in new positions.

Part of the losses will stem from moving all video production to Los Angeles, or even outsourcing it entirely.

The network made the news when a reporter Laura Ling and producer Euna Lee were imprisoned by North Korea, and only released after a photo opportunity was arranged for North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il with former President Bill Clinton.

Current's original plan was to solicit content from viewers and users of its website, but it ended up producing most of its own content in-house and working with professional production companies instead.

If true, the layoffs and relocation of production would more bad news for San Francisco's film and video scene, which has struggled to attract productions and media jobs.

It's also bad news for Current's investors, who had hoped to cash in with a $100 million public offering of shares, only to see those plans cancelled.

A request for comment from Current has not been returned at this time.

Photo by Antony Mayfield.

Jackson West still wonders if anyone actually watches Current TV.

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