Programming

For Rent: ABC Studio

Retirement Living TV's Daily Cafe to leave ABC News' D.C. news bureau. 8/24/2008 07:02:00 PM Eastern

ABC News’ Washington, D.C., bureau will see a further reduction in production, this time due to the departure of an outside client it only recently snagged.

An ABC News spokeswoman confirmed that cable network Retirement Living TV is not renewing its contract to produce Daily Cafe out of the ABC bureau’s studio.

RLTV was expected to resume production of DailyCafe next month using the studio, other facilities and some part-time staffers. The show had been on hiatus since May and had only been producing out of the ABC facilities for three months.

RLTV spokeswoman Kimberly Simmons said the show remains a going concern, but it is being retooled and is scheduled to return in late October using other production facilities to be determined. She added that RLTV is building new facilities in Maryland.

RLTV struck the deal last February to rent production facilities, control-room space and the green room at the ABC bureau to produce the hour-and-a-half, four-day-per-week show. It was a six-month lease, according to ABC, with the network providing office space and production services.

In-house production out of ABC’s Washington bureau has decreased with the move of the Nightline production base to New York; the ramping up of HD news production, which will also be done out of New York; and the move of the production of Sunday show This Week with George Stephanopoulos to an HD studio at the Newseum across town.

There was a flurry of production activity out of the bureau last week, but that was because the control room for World News with Charles Gibson was temporarily moved to Washington while its New York home is being readied for the launch of news production in HD.

The arrival of a new set and the bustle of activity surrounding Daily Cafe show production had been a morale boost for news staffers concerned about dwindling production out of D.C. “From my point of view,” one ABC staffer said, the departure of Daily Cafe “is another shoe dropping in terms of us not having work at ABC News Washington.”

The ABC spokeswoman said no full-time staffers are losing their jobs with the exit of the RLTV show but conceded that some part-timers will. ABC is trying to find other work for them, she added.

March