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Breaking: ABC News To Axe 35 Staffers In Restructuring

abc_layoffs_062207.jpgWe just received this tip:

ABC News being restructured … 35 positions expected to be lost.

UPDATE: Memo from ABC News president David Westin:

From: Westin, David
Sent: Friday, June 22, 2007 11:15 AM
To: ABCTV News ALL
Cc: Sweeney, Anne
Subject: The Future

We regularly take a strategic look at where ABC News stands, where we are going, and what resources we will need to get there. How can we make sure we are doing what we do best — report the news — and do it even better? What can we do that we haven’t been doing? And, given all the changes around us, what can we do without? Every healthy organization asks itself some form of these questions.

So, we’ve begun a two-year process to take a fresh look at ABC News from top to bottom. We’ve enlisted all of senior management and all of the executive producers and others who run our platforms in this effort. In everything we consider and everything we do, we will have three principal goals. First and foremost to maintain and enhance the reputation of ABC News for its unparalleled reporting. Second, to maintain and build wherever possible on the strengths of our broadcasts. And third, to re-design the division to reflect the growing importance of our digital offerings — and their centrality to our future.

What will this all mean? It will mean that we will be adding people and resources in some places — particularly in our digital world. We will also be looking at smart ways to increase our newsgathering, particularly overseas. We’ve already posted new openings for India, Australia, Iran, and Brazil and are in the process of interviewing candidates. It also means that we will be looking closely at areas where, because of technology or because of changes in our competitive environment, we can trim. We will be consolidating some operations, we will be asking some of you to take new assignments, and, yes, some positions will be lost where that makes sense.

Some of you may wonder why we’re considering fundamental changes at a time when the news division is enjoying such hard-earned success.

That success results in part from the changes we’ve already made over the past few years. Now we’re dealing from strength, and that makes it all the more important to act now.

And, of course, you want to know as quickly as possible whether this will affect you personally. We haven’t made final decisions about everything we’re considering, but to give you a sense of the ultimate outcome: After we’ve added positions in some areas and cut positions in others, we will trim about 35 jobs from ABC News staff worldwide. We will do all that we can to minimize the effects on those of you affected.

As this unfolds, I’ll keep you posted on where we are. When you have questions, I encourage you to speak with your supervisors or with any of us in management.

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