Tuned In has learned that the Cablevision-owned channel had a “major purge” last week. An insider says that only five salaried employees are left standing, while all HD trucks have been sold.
Another insider was able to confirm the layoffs with an additional wrinkle. MSG Varsity is expected to be online only this year, the insider says, meaning the sports channel will no longer be shown on Channel 14.
Although a Cablevision spokesperson acknowledged layoffs, the Bethpage, NY cable company, in keeping with policy, refused to give any specifics.
“MSG Varsity has made some organizational changes that have resulted in some layoffs. As we prepare for the 2013 – 2014 school year, we are committed to covering local high school sports throughout the tri-state area and look forward to announcing our television and digital plans later this summer,” the Cablevision statement reads.
The company spin is that MSG Varsity is alive and well, anticipating their back-to-school announcement next month.
In May, Tuned In learned that Cablevision was planning to sell MSG Varsity. As far as dissolving the channel, the source intimates, it would fall into the laps of new ownership. There has been heightened speculation that Cablevision will sell the entire company within two years.