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Tribune Co. to Close D.C. Broadcast Bureau

Feb 27, 2009  •  Post A Comment

The Tribune Co. will close its Washington, D.C., broadcasting bureau in mid-March, the company confirmed today.
“It’s not just cost-effective to maintain at this point,” said Gary Weitman, a spokesman for the company. The decision will affect 10 people in the Tribune Washington bureau, including Bureau Chief Cissy Baker.
It’s the second cutback at the bureau. In November, Tribune combined the bureaus of newspapers including the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune and its broadcasting bureaus into a single operation and named Ms. Baker as VP of the Washington news bureau.
At the time, the company said Ms. Baker would be responsible for coordinating news coverage and “facilitating content-sharing” among the company’s media businesses.
Ms. Baker, a former reporter and editor at CNN, is the daughter of former Sen. Howard Baker. She had been bureau chief for Tribune Broadcasting since 1994 and VP/News Operations of Tribune Broadcasting since 2003.
Mr. Weitman said the latest cutback reflected the realities of TV.
He said Tribune will keep print reporters in Washington, but will utilize its news-sharing arrangement with CNN and existing internal resources in order to obtain Washington-based news for its broadcast properties.
He said individual stations would send reporters to cover Washington for major events as needed.
The Tribune announced that Kerry Luft, a Chicago Tribune reporter and editor who had been assistant bureau chief, has been promoted to bureau chief of its now print-only Washington bureau.

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