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ABC News to cut half its domestic correspondents, close bricks-and-mortar bureaus [Updated]

As part of the deep cuts announced this week at ABC News, the network plans to close all of its physical bureaus around the country except Washington and halve the number of its domestic correspondents.

ABC News President David Westin confirmed in an interview Friday that the network's ranks of bureau correspondents, which currently number several dozen, would be cut in half and be replaced with "digital" journalists who would be expected to shoot and edit their own stories.

“We will have as many total journalists as we do now,” he said.

Although the network will keep a minimal staff presence in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami and Boston, it will shut down its bricks-and-mortar bureaus there and ask its remaining employees to work from the local affiliates. The Washington bureau will remain open, but its size will be substantially reduced.

[Updated at 1:10 p.m.: Kate O'Brian, ABC's senior vice president of news, said that although the network eventually plans to shut down its physical bureaus in the long term, it is still examining all of its leases and is not going to immediately vacate all offices. The news division has not yet approached affiliates about housing network correspondents, but has found that model works in Denver and Detroit.]

The mood was grim in Los Angeles, the largest bureau outside of Washington. The 40-plus staffers were told this week that only a few producers would remain and only two correspondents would be assigned to cover the West, down from a total of six who work out of Dallas, Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Many functions that had been done out of the bureau will be handled by a “logistics desk” in New York. Demoralized employees, who did not want to be quoted by name for fear of losing their jobs, said the severity of the cuts would make it nearly impossible to swarm major stories such as the perennial wildfires in Southern California.

Westin said the network would cope with the reduced manpower on breaking news stories by hiring freelance crews and making use of its expanded team of digital journalists, staffers who would be able to handle multiple tasks. Although a majority of stories will still be covered by traditional four-person crews, Westin said he expected a “plurality” of pieces would be done by people shooting and editing their own video. The digital journalists will be stationed in two-person teams around the country.

“I’m sure we will learn more as we go forward, but we have enough experience to be quite confident that we can not only maintain but in some cases enhance our editorial quality,” he said.

This week, the network began sending out letters offering voluntary buyouts to all nonunion employees, and is posting openings of the new digital journalism positions.

“This is a really big change,” Westin said. “Some people are going to embrace it and some people will believe it won’t work. I respect both those groups of people. It’s a question of who wants to work here in the way we’re going to change the place. ... I’m quite confident we will have enough people who are enthusiastic and up to the task.”

-- Matea Gold

Comments () | Archives (259)

For me, this is good news. The more of these lying, liberal "news" organzations that lose out, the better for America.
ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC (pardon me while I throw up in my mouth on that one) do not report what's happening - they only report what affects their lefty progressive agenda. They are more like TASS than real news organizations. Edward R Murrow would be humiliated to see what CBS, eg, has become.
Before America can be great again, we need these perverted, biased "news" agencies brought to their knees. And that is happening.
LA Times, of course, I include you in all this in spades. Aren't you the "news" organization that has a videotape of obama loving and praising Hamas terrorists that you will not release? Yeah, that's you. So u all see what Imean? How would an actual news piece like a presidential candidate caught praising a sworn enemy have affected the election? LA Times knew, and so hid the information.

Well, well, well.
See ya in the bread lines, yea high and mighty.

I don't feel sorry for the liberal mouth piece. The Market place still rules.

If ABC would start reporting the news instead of propaganda people would stop going to British news and the internet. ABC decides what is and is not news according to the views of it's staff. There is nothing more boring then propaganda. People will not tolerate being lied to. Sins of omission are the worst kind of lies.

If all ABC, and any other MSM outlet pimping for the Left, is going to do is parret the Leftist line coming out of Washington...you really need only one location (Washington) and not all thet many people. ABC radio news (I haven't seen the TV version for a long time) has been a cold bucket of spit for years.

Bye bye, liberal losers. Pretty soon we'll be saying the same to Obama. Time to post the "One term" bumper sticker everywhere. Obama's "O" symbol is used to spell out "cOrrupt" and "sOcialist" and "dOuche" and, of course, "One term"!

There are a whole bunch of other options too:


This is good for America. Less left wing bias in reporting,

BEST news I've heard in a long long long time. YAY!!!

Now the MSM employees can join the unemployment line they helped create, by helping get BO elected. Now they can understand how everyone in the real world feels who are suffering due to the failed policies of larger government and higher taxes.

Seems like people are tired of there left views. Oboma can't save there jobs. More lefty press please. Now these hot air wind bags can go get real jobs at Mcdonalds or Wendys

The USA doesn't trust the big 3 news channels, ABC,CBS,NBC, anymore. All bs aside, viewers are voting with their remotes and are either turning off their tv's or tuning into FOX. If you don't believe me check out the ratings rankings.

Sounds like the beginning of the end for MSM. Need lots of quick laughs about today's news... http://leevandenbrink,blogspot.com

This is great half less propaganda for the Obama administration what's not to like about that!

On second thought Barry will probably just hire them with our tax dollars, which is a perfect fit since they work for him already!

How's that Hope 'n' Change workin out for ya now.....

So glad you got what you wanted..

How's that HOPE and CHANGE going for you, ABC News??

Obviously it couldn't be a problem with their business model or their aprroach to the "news" and how said "news" is reported...

Does this bother you LA Times folks? Or does the realization that treating social and technological change as an enemy rather than an opportunity only hastens your demise? Of course I know you all are hoping for the big government bailout of print news media. And why shouldn't you ? Perhaps you will get it. Being propped up by the tax payer, you can comfortably shout to an empty room about how valid and important you are as the 4th estate...

Sounds like the beginning of the end for the MSM. If you need a lots of quick laughs about today's news... http://leevandenbrink.blogspot.com

One day, maybe I will give a homeless ABC man a stinky, rotten apple(full of worms) , and I will ask if that Great Society leftest utopia he helped create is working out for him. High taxes, massive immigration, social welfare, regulations,OSHA, state taxes, licences, tax codes from hell, corruption have driven this country's jobs out of the USA. MMMMM how do u like them apples? I guess 'Hope and Change' is all you will have while sleeping on a sewer grate. That is hope and 75 cents to drink a small coffee at the burger king you will be sleeping behind. Cheers!

You guys (journalists) have been biting the bear (business) for so long and now guess what? The bear is biting back.

Oh, and how many offices is Fox News shuttering? Things that make you go "Hmmmmm".

Just this weekend, ABCNews put out a story by one of its "reporters" that was a direct, word for word copy of a left-wing senator's press release. ABCNews, with little George S. as its poster boy, is just a bunch of water carrying left-wing stooges for the democrats. The American people have had enough. They see through the partisan bias. They can't convince us they are telling the truth.

Hahaha, why not get Obama to bail you out? Are you not to big to fail and whats a few trillion between friends?

And yet Fox News is doing so well. I wonder why that might be... Why would Fox be drawing ever more viewers as ABC, Newsweek, the NYT, MSNBC, etc are struggling to stay alive.

Guess the times are getting tough. Well, just keep feeding us a bunch a crap when you do your news. Why not get some TARP money to save you, when all you need to do is put the truth out when you report. You both both sides. LOL, just keep putting on what Obama land wants you to, and more of you will follow. Sorry to hear you do not get it.

I see absolutely no problem whatsoever with having a teenager and his camcorder filming and editing stories for ABC News. It will be the same or better coverage that the old ABC News provided on Obama's background during the last presidential campaign.

Welcome to obamanation, the land of little jobs!

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