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With Layoffs Abound, CBS Finds Time to Celebrate

cbs.jpgTVNewser attended one of the few holiday parties still on the calendar. Producers, anchors and executives from CBS News and CBS Radio, and those of us who cover them, packed the 35th floor of CBS’s Black Rock headquarters last night.

We talked with The Early Show’s Julie Chen as she arrived, before telling us, “Okay, I’ve gotta go say hi to my husband.” Her husband, CBS Corp. CEO Les Moonves was a few feet away chatting with CBS PR honcho Gil Schwartz.

The rest of The Early Show team was in attendance too — Maggie Rodriguez, Harry Smith and Dave Price and Saturday anchors Erica Hill and Chris Wragge. Hill told us she is excited about her new CBS gig, while still contributing to CNN’s AC360. Wragge’s WCBS anchors were also there — Kristine Johnson, formerly an MSNBC anchor and weather guy Lonnie Quinn.

Katie Couric
arrived after the Evening News. “How are things in TVNewser-land?” she asked us. “Great,” we said. We congratulated her on her ratings last week. “Oh, I don’t pay attention to those things,” she said motioning to CBS News president Sean McManus and Moonves who were a few feet away. Couric said, “As long as they’re telling us we’re doing okay.”

We chatted up CBS News correspondent Kelly Wallace, whose husband Matt Saal works across the street, almost literally, on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show.

Charles Osgood, Morley Safer, Steve Kroft, and Troy Roberts, worked the crowd. And 48 Hours EP Susan Zirinsky told us, despite the media gloom and doom, she’s actually hiring for upcoming prime time projects.

And along with the holiday cheer, there was a lot of layoff talk, including someone who covers the industry…


We talked shop with the media who cover the media — the NYTimes’ Bill Carter, the AP’s Dave Bauder, B&C’s Marissa Guthrie, the LATimes’ Matea Gold and were saddened to hear someone who’s been on the beat for decades, Michele Greppi, was laid off yesterday from TVWeek. “Maybe it’s time to try something new,” she told us.

And the layoffs may not be over. Not even for the host of the party. TVNewser has learned cuts may soon be coming to CBS.

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