MIAMI (CBS4) – More than a dozen people are out of a job after Radio Paz, the Archdiocese of Miami’s media venture, laid off employees and cut programming Monday according to CBS4’s news partners The Miami Herald.
Pax Catholic Communications gave pink slips to 17 Radio Paz (WACC-AM 830) employees, including several popular on-air personalities, citing financial cutbacks.
Only six employees remain at the station, known for it’s 24-hour coverage of Catholic Masses, “Bible school” shows, commentary, and interviews with South Florida priests.
“In these economic times there is always a concern to try to reduce the costs and at the same time be able to provide quality in programming,” archdiocesan spokeswoman Mary Ross Agosta said in an interview.
To fill the gaps in programming, the archdiocese has partnered with Birmingham, Ala.- based EWTN, an international Catholic television and radio network.
Agosta says eleven hours worth of shows will come from EWTN, leaving Radio Paz with 13 hours of original programming, though a schedule has yet to be finalized.
The archdiocese did not comment on how much the cutbacks would save for the station.
Former employees say the station has been struggling for listeners since Rev. Alberto Cutie departed the Radio Paz in May 2009 amid a photo scandal that had him ultimately join the Episcopal Church.
“We had the most popular Masses, rosaries, devotional hours, but we also had programs for the community, such as news and music and sports,” said Marite Alfonso, a former programming director and on-air personality. “Our work was part of our ministry. We did it out of love,” she said.
CBS4 news partners The Miami Herald contributed to this report.