Give Diane Sawyer a camera?

ABC is swinging the axe and taking about 3-400 people in its news division. It’s been death by a thousand cuts at all the networks, and most local affiliates around the country too. The trades I read are filled with the stories of people in the TV news business either getting canned, or hitting the eject button before they get canned. It’s what I did three years ago for the very same reasons – along with some big quality of life considerations.  Sawyer

Anyway, the most interesting thing to learn about the ABC layoffs is that the network, yes – the network, is going to rely more heavily on the one-man-band model of newsgathering. This is actually an area of specialty for me, and I train on this topic as a consultant – but wow – itís pretty surprising to see the networks talk about putting people into the field as OMBs.

Job descriptions are going to change, and there will be producers, editors, reporters, photojournalists and anchors who can make the change – but many will not – and what’s scary is that I can’t imagine what they’ll do otherwise. If you can’t bring it all to the table, you’re not going to have a seat at the table because the days of staying in your comfort zone skills-wise are over – in many industries.

This won’t effect the stars of course – they’re selling something else. But for the rank-and-file news-worker, it looks like the VJ or OMB model is the only answer to career extension.