ABC News Does Massive Job Cuts

Looks like the network news is in some trouble:

“I just looked out at the next five years and was concerned that we could not sustain doing what we were doing,” said David Westin, the president of ABC News, as he explained the decision last week to jettison up to 400 staff members, a quarter of the news staff, in the coming months.

But what is causing the problem? Sure ABC has their website, but I doubt that has ever been a serious source of income for them, so they can’t go with a Murdoch excuse.

Perhaps the answer lies within that paragraph I posted above: “jettison up to 400 staff members, a quarter of the news staff”. 1,600 staff members for their news operation? This is to produce a 1/2 hour show 7 nights a week and things like “This Week”. It sounds like the company is failing because of piss-poor management. Every body doesn’t need an assistant, and those assistants don’t need assistants.

Then how about salaries? In 2005 it was reported that Diane Sawyer was receiving a salary of $12 million per year. That’s before taking the top job. I can’t even imagine what it is now. It’s funny how people complain about baseball salaries, yet we see the same kind of corporate giveaways happening in the news industry and no one seems to bat an eye. That really has to change.

Over all this could actually be good news if done right. Dump the people who go out and make all the fluff pieces. Return the nightly news to the kind I grew up with – where it was NEWS. Also, do something NBC does – rely more on your network affiliates. It seems like NBC has no problem going to a local affiliate to cover a story, but you seldom see that on ABC.

Focus on news and not making stars and ABC could survive.