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NBC Pulls the Plug on ‘Main Street,’ Highly Praised but Low-Rated Children’s News Show

From Associated Press

NBC has canceled its critically praised but low-rated “Main Street,” an afternoon news program for children.

“I made the decision last Wednesday that there was just no way that show could live,” NBC News President Michael G. Gartner said Monday.

For Gartner, a newspaper editor and executive who took over as head of the news division in July, it was a quick introduction to the realities of television programming.

“Sure it’s hard,” he said. “You’d much rather be meeting with the staff and launching something rather than killing something. But the show didn’t have the support of advertisers, didn’t have the support of affiliates and didn’t have support of the audience. As I told somebody, one out of three would have been nice.”

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Gartner said he now has “sort of finished the process” of layoffs that began after last year’s efficiency appraisal. The layoffs have involved approximately 400 news division employees.

Gartner said the last round of layoffs, effective at year’s end, included a “handful” of permanent employees, along with 60-70 employees who had been hired on a temporary basis for election coverage.

NBC is closing its Houston bureau as of the end of the year, dismissing six people there. A producer and office manager will maintain an NBC office in Houston, but correspondent Dan Molina and bureau chief Ray Cullen will be transferred to Los Angeles.


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