ABC News business reporter Betsy Stark has been let go. Stark broke the news to her colleagues via e-mail Friday morning (April 2).
"It is ironic, I think, that one of my last stories here was about professionals in mid-life forced by a layoff to reinvent themselves," she wrote. "They didn't romanticize the process and neither will I. But they prove what I believe to be true-that second acts are possible-and it is exciting to consider the possibilities beyond this job that I have loved and which I have worked hard to do well."
"People adore Betsy," said an ABC News executive. "She's talented. But these are tough times at many news organizations. These decisions are very difficult."
ABC News is in the midst of a brutal staff reduction that will ultimately trim 25% from the ranks. Last week, correspondents Lisa Fletcher, Laura Marquez and Brian Rooney (son of 60 Minutes' Andy Rooney) were informed that their contracts would not be renewed.
The company has offered all employees voluntary separation packages (VSP). News executives will assess those applying for the VSPs beginning April 15. If they do not get enough volunteers, which seems inevitable in the current economic climate, more involuntary separation packages will be handed out.