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CNN Looking to Cut Costs By Hiring One-Man Bureaus — Or Is It?

Talk about cutting to the bone, CNN is planning on hiring sole individuals in various domestic cities as “all-platform journalists” in “one-person shops,” the cable network announced from its Atlanta heavens today.
The journos will typically carry hand-held cameras, a laptop, an air card, a satellite phone and maybe some lights, according to the CNN VP of Newsgathering Nancy Lane.
CNN wants to hire journalists on the cheap who will be able to piece together stories on the fly that can possibly used on broadcast, radio, Internet or even mobile programming. Hard to say what stop-gap editing measures might be launched, if any in this blog-o-centric world we inhabit.
But the network is hoping to launch these one-stop shops in 10 cities around the country, including Columbus, OH; Denver; Houston; Las Vegas; Minneapolis; Orlando; Philadelphia; Phoenix; Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; and Seattle to counterbalance the 10 traditional U.S. news bureaus.
The only thing missing is the so-called money the cable net is offering.
Some naysayers called it a scam to get college kids to work for free: “Hey Mom, I’m on CNN.”
But CNN VP Lane was clear to say the move was not a cost-saving measure and termed it a “heavy upfront investment.”

Read the Variety story below:

CNN expands operations to 10 cities
‘All-platform journalist’ installed in areas
Hollywood sinks its teeth into vamps

Defying the current media trend toward doing more with less, CNN announced plans to expand its domestic news gathering operations by opening one-person shops in 10 cities across the country.
The cabler, which already has 10 traditional news bureaus in the U.S., will install an “all-platform journalist” in Columbus, OH; Denver; Houston; Las Vegas; Minneapolis; Orlando; Philadelphia; Phoenix; Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; and Seattle, according to Nancy Lane, senior veep of newsgathering for CNN/U.S.

An all-platform journalist will be one who typically carries “a hand-held camera, a laptop, an air card, a satellite phone and maybe some lights,” Lane said. “This will make them more nimble than having to travel with a full load of traditional news gear.”

Each reporter will provide content for CNN’s outlets not just on television but also the Web and radio as well as for mobile programming, Lane added.

The cabler will be looking for partnerships with existing media – either TV, print or universities – in the 10 new cities. So far, only one new operation is up and running – in Minneapolis, with CNN’s local TV affiliate there. Lane hopes to have three or four more of the new operations running before the end of the year, with the rest coming online by the end of first quarter 2009.

Lane declined to say how much the expansion is costing CNN, but did observe that “this is not a cost-savings measure. We are spending money to make this happen. There’s a heavy upfront investment.”

CNN has full bureaus in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, New Orleans, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco and D.C.

More than one option(Person) Nancy Lane
(Person) Nancy Lane

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