Starting tomorrow, ABC will be offering “voluntary separation packages” to all full-time non-union, non-contract employees. If not enough people take the buyouts, the company will move on to layoffs in order to eliminate 300 to 400 jobs – roughly 20% of its news personnel.
ABC news president David Westin sent a lengthy email to staff, in which he emphasizes on the need to “undergo a fundamental transformation” in order to “anticipate change, rather than repond to it,” referring to the digital revolution affecting the news industry. (You can read the email on mediabistro.com).
As part of the transformation, ABC plans to expand use of digital journalists (one-mand bands), combine weekday and weekend operations of Good Morning America and World News, use more freelancers to newsmagazines, and provide extensive training in new technology.