TVNewser has obtained an internal memo from ABC News VP Steve Jones, sent to ABC News Radio staff, announcing cost-cutting measures being taken at the company.
But it appears the cuts will be taken across various areas of Disney:
…In order to ensure our operational stability, we are taking the following steps effective immediately as part of a broader effort by the Walt Disney company and ABC News to keep costs down.
Broader efforts? An ABC News insider tells us: “You’d have to be living on another planet not to know these are tough economic times.”
• Earlier: NBCU To Cut $500 Million From Budget
Click continued to see the full memo…
From ABC News vp Steve Jones: As any listener of ABC News Radio knows, our economy is in crisis. Media businesses in general (and the radio business in particular) are operating under significant pressures to reduce costs as revenues fall. As a team, we have a done a very good job over the last year in reducing costs while providing affiliates with the highest quality news, entertainment and sports coverage. In order to ensure our operational stability, we are taking the following steps effective immediately as part of a broader effort by the Walt Disney company and ABC News to keep costs down. 1. All non-scheduled overtime must be PRE-APPROVED by a manager. This means Senior Editors are not authorized to extend shifts for any reason unless they have reviewed the circumstances with a manager and approval has been granted. I realize this can be an additional burden for an SE in a breaking news situation and you can be sure the management team will make this process as streamlined as possible. 2. The Disney Company is mandating that only business meals with third parties will be reimbursed. So, if you have a corporate credit card and you are traveling on a news assignment you may not use your corp. card to entertain co-workers. 3. All third party meals must be pre-approved by me. 4. All subscriptions are being reviewed. Newspaper delivery is being eliminated. (Newspaper-created content is online and generally is disseminated each day on existing DLs.) 5. The company is cancelling this year’s holiday parties. 6. Any non-news travel or non-critical business travel is being deferred. So, planned visits to NY for out of town staff will be delayed. While the steps above should help, they represent the beginning of a deeper review underway to determine the value we derive from all expense outlay. The business pressures we are under demand action and innovation. We will pursue these efforts in a thoughtful manner and will make every effort to reduce expense in areas that don’t noticeably impact our operation. At the same time, we should be able to complete the changes envisioned for our newsroom. The Walt Disney Company has already committed those funds to us provided they are used solely for capital improvement. sj
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