Major Staff Cuts as Q Faces Hard Times

May 8, 2006  •  Post A Comment

Struggling gay-themed cable channel Q Television Network fired most of its remaining staff last week as the network’s new CEO tried to overcome improper record-keeping and financial statements left over from the network’s departed original management team.

In an e-mail sent Thursday to more than 40 employees-including QTN President Carol Hinnant and on-air talent Steve Kmetko, Honey Labrador and Reichen Lehmkuhl-the network’s parent company Triangle Multi-Media announced a massive layoff after being unable to make payroll.

“It is with deep regret I must terminate your employment effective today due to the network’s inability to pay salaries,” Triangle’s Chairman and CEO Lloyd Fan wrote. “As you know, since I have taken control of the company on March 7, 2006, I have worked tirelessly to secure funding for the company. All negotiations with potential sources have ended and there are no longer any options on the table.”

Last month Triangle announced it was unable to deliver audited financial statements due to a lack of required accounting records.

“Day by day, it became more apparent that the proper records were not kept and that the necessary support documents for accounting entries are not available,” Mr. Fan said in the April 5 statement. “I am deeply disappointed by these discoveries and am working to find alternative solutions for the company.”

A few weeks before Mr. Fan released information about the company’s incomplete financial statements, he confirmed that the previous executive management team, including network founder Frank Olsen, had resigned all of its fiduciary and executive interest in Triangle and QTN and its 53 percent majority ownership.

In an interview Thursday with TelevisionWeek, Mr. Fan confirmed QTN was still telecasting with repeats, but for now was not producing additional original programming.

“No decision has been made” about shutting down QTN, he said. “We are still in restructuring mode.”

As of last week, Mr. Fan said he was still trying to secure outside investors to keep QTN going.

“We’re working around the clock to try and sign the deals, but it’s pretty difficult without a certified audited financial statement,” he said.

Mr. Fan would not release subscriber information, but the ad-supported QTN is estimated to have 3 million subscribers in Illinois, Texas, New York and California.