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Bad Economy, Weather Drive Layoffs At First Night

The New Year's Eve snowstorm put a big financial dent in Boston's First Night organization.

WBUR'S Steve Brown has details.

First Night counts on last-minute button sales to help push the event into the black. But when the forecast called for snow — and lots of it — many folks decided to stay home. Instead of a million people taking part, the event drew only 300,000, and left the First Night organization with a $195,000 deficit.

First Night Executive Director Geri Guardino had to lay off three of First Night's five full-time employees.

GUARDINO: It was very difficult for me to lay off all those people, and to reduce salaries, including my own for this 10-week period, but, it's really a small price to pay, in light of ensuring the future of the organization.

Guardino is optimistic there will be a First Night 2010.

This program aired on January 16, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.

Steve Brown Twitter Reporter/Anchor
Steve Brown is a veteran broadcast journalist who serves as WBUR's State House reporter.

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