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PR Implications Of The ABC News Layoffs

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ABC News has begun the process of eliminating 300 to 400 positions in its news division by asking employees to participate in a buyout of their services, TVNewser reports.

In an interview with TVNewser, ABC News division president David Westin would not comment if the layoffs would affect specific shows, bureaus or jobs. However, he did say, “it’s really substantial, larger than anything, in terms of reduction in the 13 years since I’ve been here.”

What are the implications for PR? First, we know that the layoffs will take time – approximately 60-70 days. Second, reporters will carry more responsibility for their stories. “There will be less layers, less people touching a piece,” Westin said.

Third, there will be no more separate weekday and weekend staffs for shows including “Good Morning America” and “World News with Diane Sawyer.”

Lastly, of course, a lot of people are losing their jobs. It makes sense to be a bit more considerate than usual when reaching out to your contacts at ABC News.

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