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ABC News: Buyouts, layoffs coming



  This breaking news just in - various media sites are reporting at this minute that ABC is preparing to offer news division employees buyouts. (Per my recollection, the news division employs roughly 1,200 people but that figure could be on the high side.)

  Here's the story that was just posted on TVnewser:

 "ABC News has begun the process of eliminating 300 to 400 positions at the news division by asking employees to participate in a buyout of their services.

In a move that has been rumored for weeks, and coming on the heels of layoffs at CBS News, ABC's cuts are a combination of union and non-union jobs affecting all areas of ABC News. "

  Meanwhile, ABC News released this memo from chief David Westin...

   Here are key portions...

  "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. We will be guided by one

central principle: In everything, we will ensure

that we put our audiences first – providing them

with first-rate journalism covering the things that

matter the most to them in ways no one else does.

And, we will do it with a business model that

ensures we will be here for our audiences for many

years to come.

The transformation will have six basic components:

1. In newsgathering, we intend to dramatically

expand our use of digital journalists. We have

proven that this model works at various locations

around the world. We believe we can take it much


2. In production, we will take the example set by

Nightline of editorial staff who shoot and edit

their own material and follow it throughout all of

our programs, while recognizing that we will

continue to rely upon our ENG crews and editors for

most of our work;

3. In structure, we will combine our weekday and

weekend operations for both Good Morning America and

World News;

4. In special events, we will rely upon our program

staff through the day and night to cover unexpected

events and marshal personnel from across the

division to cover scheduled events;

5. In newsmagazines and long-form programming, we

will move to a more flexible blend of staff and

freelancers so that we can respond to varying demand

for hours through the year; and

6. Overall, we will eliminate redundancies wherever





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