Layoffs, Restructurings Hit CBS O&Os, CBS News

Apr 1, 2008  •  Post A Comment

The first quarter of 2008 ended with separately directed layoffs and restructurings at CBS News and in the news operations at several CBS-owned stations.
People familiar with the stations’ situations said there will be some local operations that do not make any cuts, and there were no across-the-board cutback targets handed down.
The axes seemed to swing widest and cut deepest at WBBM-TV in Chicago, where a handful of on-air talent is among the 15 to 20 casualties reported. At Boston’s WBZ-TV, the job losses were expected to be in the low 20s, while at KPIX-TV in San Francisco, the cuts are thought to be in the mid-teens. At KCNC-TV in Denver, the number of jobs lost also may be in the mid-teens.
A Sunday-night sports show and two reporters are among the known casualties at flagship station WCBS-TV in New York. At KOVR-TV in Sacramento, two reporters are out and two weekend sportscasts are being cut back. No on-air personnel are thought to be affected by cuts at KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh.
Attrition will be used to trim some of the payrolls, said a spokesman for the CBS-owned stations group.
The cutbacks at CBS News are expected to result in a loss of less than 2% of the division’s jobs.
In a move long discussed and not directly related to ordered cutbacks, CBS News is shutting its nominal bureau in Paris. That move is one that has been under discussion for a number of years. The proximity of the Paris bureau, which in recent years has not had a correspondent regularly assigned to it, to the larger London bureau was among the deciding factors.
“Like many, if not most, other news organizations, we are looking at moves that take into account changes in technology, changes in newsgathering and figuring out how best to utilize the staff,” said a CBS News spokeswoman. “Some open jobs are not going to be filled, some jobs are being redefined or reconfigured, some are being lost and some are going to be added.”
Sources familiar with the stations’ strategies said the cuts were a result of more efficient technologies and updated facilities as well as the recessionary atmosphere forcing cutbacks in many sectors of the U.S. economy.

12 Comments

  1. While the News boys and girls at Black Rock are in a cutting mood, why not cut Katie loose?
    That’s a big expense that continues not to work.
    Time to suck up the pride and make a positive move for the evening anchor desk. It’s not Katie’s fault. She got a great chance and took it.
    There were, and are, so many great people at CBS News, anyone of whom could/should have been given the seat…and for a fraction of the financial output.
    Want to cut back? Get rid of those who said let’s steal Katie from TODAY. Now I know writing that will direct the finger-of-fate to the highest office at CBS with the initials L.M. on the door, but then he’s over ego’d and over paid, (and therein lies another opportunity to save CBS greenbacks)!
    CBS News deserves to have an anchor again. Let’s see if they can find the trim tab, set a better course, save money and keep good news people in their jobs.
    In the names of Murrow and Cronkite, I hope so.
    Peter Bright

  2. That was my first reaction too. Why fire innocent staffers around the cdountry when they are paying loser Katie 15Mil?
    I swpeak from experience, having been fired by CBS twice!

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