Tuesday, March 2, 2010

ABC News to close San Francisco bureau

The LA Times (and others) are reporting that ABC News plans to eventually close all of its physical bureaus around the country except Washington and halve the number of its domestic correspondents.

That would include the network's San Francisco bureau, led by Laura Marquez (formerly of KGO-TV). The Times says the bureaus will be replaced by 20 to 25 digital journalists, who will shoot and edit their own stories.

Matea Gold of the LA Times says the mood was grim at the ABC News bureau in Los Angeles, the largest outside of Washington.
    The 40-plus staffers were told that only a few producers will remain and only two correspondents will 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 will make it nearly impossible to swarm major stories such as the perennial wildfires in Southern California.

    [ABC News President David] Westin said that the network would cope with the reduced manpower on breaking news stories by hiring freelance crews and relying on its expanded team of digital journalists, staffers who will be able to handle multiple tasks.

    "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.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry for Laura and the others who might lose their jobs, but the three network evening news programs are an anachronism. They were useful back in the days when people worked 9-5 and there were only three or four TV channels. Back then, nobody knew what the news was until Cronkite or Huntley and Brinkley told them. Today people work all sorts of hours, we have numerous ways of getting the news, and there's no need for another Cronkite to sum it all up for us. GMA is an entertainment program and Radio network news is completely separate from TV (it's a different company in fact). If the evening newscasts don't improve their ratings, they'll disappear in the next few years.

Anonymous said...

The sooner they all die the better. The whore networks.