CBS News Division Hit With Layoffs
New York, Washington bureau to feel cuts, total number expected to be less than 100
By Marisa Guthrie -- Broadcasting & Cable, 2/1/2010 2:50:48 PM
The company began informing employees Friday (Jan. 29) and notifications continued into Monday.
The cuts will further eliminate news gathering costs and will be felt at broadcast headquarters in New York but also at the 150-person Washington bureau, according to those familiar with the discussions. Most CBS News programs will end up losing some staff including 60 Minutes, which has largely been spared the axe that has periodically fallen on other programs and departments. The total number of layoffs is expected to come in under 100 or less than 7% of the news division.
CBS News declined to comment.
CBS News' foreign bureaus underwent downsizing in 2008. And last year the network signed a deal with foreign news gathering web site GlobalPost that gives CBS News a footprint in 50 countries via the independent sites' army of correspondents.
The news comes as another grim marker for media companies struggling to cut costs and reinvent themselves as leaner and more efficient while not undercutting their mission as news organizations.
Layoffs and restructuring have occurred at all three broadcast news divisions over the past few years. And the recession has only exacerbated the belt-tightening.
Last week ABC News laid off 31 people in broadcast operations and engineering. BOE plans to eliminate more jobs later this year, bringing the total reduction in staff to about 70 positions. Some of those cuts will involve union positions.
"We are in a new paradigm," said one veteran producer. "We can't do business as we have done it. Everybody gets that."
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