Layoffs at L.A.’s KCBS/KCAL

Morning anchor among those pinkslipped

CBS’ Los Angeles KCBS/KCAL duopoly has handed out pink slips to several staffers — including morning co-anchor Suzanne Rico.

Simultaneously, KCBS weathercaster Johnny Mountain has announced that he will re-retire from TV (having already announced his retirement once, at KABC). And the duopoly has signed longtime sports anchor Jim Hill (now in his 34th year as an L.A. sportscaster) to a new multi-year contract extension.

Moves are among the first made by new KCBS/KCAL prexy/GM Steve Mauldin, as well as recently hired news director Scott Diener.

According to insiders, the decision to let some staffers go came after Maudlin and Diener evaluated the news team and decided to make some changes in several positions. The station plans to re-fill most of those jobs.

That includes Rico’s position, which will temporarily be handled by reporter Lisa Sigell. Rico had served as weekday 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. and 11 a.m co-anchor, alongside Kent Shocknek. Rico had been with KCBS since 2002.

Other cuts Friday included news operations manager Doug Dougherty and executive producer Jeff Soto.

As for Mountain, the weathercaster retired in 2005 after 27 years at KABC — but then was soon hired up by KCBS as part of its new anchor team.

Mountain has served as KCBS’ 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. weather anchor since May 2005.

“I have been blessed to have had such a long and wonderful run on Los Angeles television and I feel fortunate to have been part of a team that includes many dear friends both in front of and behind the cameras,” Mountain said.

According to Mauldin, KCBS/KCAL weathercasters Jackie Johnson and Josh Rubenstein will handle KCBS’ weather reports until a permanent replacement is named.

“I have had the pleasure of knowing Johnny Mountain for nearly 30 years, going back to our time together at KABC, and have always admired him for being a class act, a gifted broadcaster and one of the funniest and most charismatic people in our business,” Mauldin said.

More Scene

  • 'Little America' Team on Creating Immigration

    'Little America' Team on Creating the Immigration Anthology Series for Apple TV Plus

    Respect and authenticity were the key words at the screening of the new Apple TV Plus series “Little America” on Thursday in Los Angeles. Produced by Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon and inspired by true stories featured in Epic Magazine, “Little America” is an anthology series focused on immigration. For executive producer Sian Heder, [...]

  • 2018 Sundance Film Festival - Egyptian

    Sundance 2020: The Ultimate Party Guide

    Heading to Park City? From intimate dinners and cocktail parties to late night bashes (that end just in time to head to brunch), there’s plenty to keep this year’s film festival attendees out of the cold between screenings. Here is Variety’s ultimate party guide for Sundance 2020:  Thursday, Jan. 23 “Summertime” Premiere Party Lyft Lounge, 8-11 [...]


    Jenna Andrews Hosts Zhavia Ward, Lennon Stella at Jed Foundation Fundraiser

    Jenna Andrews, the Canadian singer-songwriter, record producer and executive, hosted a pre-Grammy event in partnership with The Jed Foundation at Alice and Olivia in West Hollywood on Tuesday.  The non-profit Jed is dedicated to protecting emotional health and preventing suicide. The foundation has partnered with high schools and colleges in order to “strengthen mental health, [...]

  • Coldplay - Chris Martin

    Grammys 2020: The Ultimate Party Guide

    Let the music play, indeed. The Grammys are just days away and dozens of parties are happening every night this week leading up to the big day, Sunday, Jan. 26. And the partying continues with several bashes following the ceremony. (All events listed are by invitation only unless marked otherwise; this list is being updated [...]

  • Jared Harris arrives at the 26th

    No, Jared Harris is Not Playing Doctor Octopus in Marvel's 'Morbius'

    The first-ever trailer for Marvel and Sony’s next Spider-man spinoff “Morbius” left comic book fans reeling with theories. While the plight of the main character, Dr. Michael Morbius (Jared Leto) – a scientist dying of a rare blood disease who accidentally turns himself into a vampire – seemed ripped right out of the comics, the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content