ABC News Plans Cuts, But Radio Is Spared
February 23, 2010 at 2:45 PM (PT)
ABC NEWS is in for job cuts and elimination of "redundant" positions, with hundreds of jobs on the line and buyouts being offered to staffers willing to take "voluntary separation" packages, but the move will apparently spare the ABC NEWS RADIO division, ALL ACCESS has learned. The radio division went through its own reorganization last FALL and will not be subject to the job cuts that the rest of the company is facing.
In a memo from ABC NEWS Pres. DAVID WESTIN, the staff was told, "In the past, we’ve sought out less expensive ways to replicate what we’ve always done. The time has come to re-think how we do what we are doing. To that end, we anticipate that between now and the end of the year ABC NEWS will undergo a fundamental transformation that will ultimately affect every corner of the enterprise."
The "transformation" will include expansion of use of "digital journalists" who shoot and edit their own material, combining the weekday and weekend operations for TV's "GOOD MORNING AMERICA" and "ABC WORLD NEWS," and use of a "flexible blend of staff and freelancers" for breaking emergency news coverage.
The changes will also include changing job descriptions for many, and, WESTIN adds, "yes, we will likely have substantially fewer people on staff at ABC NEWS. To ease the transition, we are offering a voluntary separation package to all full-time, U.S.-based, non-union, non-contract employees. Information and details of the program will be sent to your home address in the next few days. The response to this voluntary program will determine the extent to which we will need to make further reductions."
"I won’t pretend that all of this will be easy," wrote WESTIN. "But I do truly believe that it will be good for ABC NEWS."