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Posts Tagged ‘David Westin’

Toyota Asks ABC News For Retraction and Apology

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Toyota is continuing its attack on an ABC News segment by Brian Ross that contained faulty reporting when showing how Toyota cars could produce unintended acceleration.

Gawker posted a copy of a letter to ABC News President David Westin from Toyota’s general counsel, which demands a retraction and apology.

The letter ends with the following statement: “Toyota reserves the right to take any and every appropriate step to protect and defend the reputation of our company and its products from irresponsible and inaccurate claims.”

Chris Gidez, US Director of Risk Management and Crisis Communication at Hill & Knowlton, told PRNewser recently, “it would be a shame if it [Toyota] did not challenge this reporting.”

UPDATE: TVNewser has ABC News’ response.

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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.