Brian Rooney, his father Andy Rooney and sister Emily Rooney in a LIFE magazine story from the Spring of 1993.
When you mess with one Rooney, you mess with them all.
Ergo, when veteran correspondent Brian Rooney becomes a victim of ABC News’ slash-and-burn cuts, the whole family fumes.
“Maybe ABC is in bigger trouble than we know,” says his father, “60 Minutes” commentator Andy Rooney, 91. “It seems unfair. They should have more concern for their own employees, and find a way to keep the ones who have been there a long while.”
Brian Rooney, 58, an L.A.-based staffer for 22 years, was told last month that his contract, which expires April 30, would not be renewed.
Sister Emily Rooney, dumped by ABC in 1994 after a hiccup as executive producer of Peter Jennings‘ “World News Tonight”, says her kid brother was shafted.
“He’s been a loyal foot soldier, not one of the stars,” opines Rooney, 60, a producer at Boston’s WGBH. “He’s gone into war zones, covered wildfires, flown around the country in rickety airplanes. He’s put himself in harm’s way.
“For him to be given the brush-off like that is stunning.”
For his part, Brian Rooney is trying to choose his words carefully. The Rooneys “are kind of a hard bunch” when it comes to overt displays of emotion, he says, but this time is an exception to the rule.